[Paraules sobre el consumisme escrites per a Mestre Marc de l´Escola d´Adultes, amb totes meues errores]
Per a el capitalisme sempre es necessari buscar mercats. Per això, vol i té que vendre l´idea del desenvolupament sense limite. Però habitem un món amb limites, es dir, amb recursos limitades. I no podem consumir sense control per què els recursos se van acabant. Podem limitar el nostre consum? Podem trobar la felicitat en les nostres relaciós humanes? En la naturalesa o en la activitat física? I viure una vida més saludable a la mateixa vegada? Jo dic que una bici dona més felicitat que estar envolupats en un cotxe sense poder parlar amb la gent, veure les tarongers i inhalar l´atzar.
Abajo se ven unas fotos de las hortalizas de la temporada veraniega de nuestro nuevo huertecito, una cosecha relativamente pobre por haber comenzado nosotros tarde…
ENG: Because S. is an avid urban gardener of many more years than I can claim, this had to be an early focus and we carved out a little garden from a roughly 8 m square area that was free of all but stubby orange trees, little thinking that there might have been a reason for this. We started a bit on the late side (double-digging our first bio-intensive bed and throwing in some seeds on Mar. 27th, then some tomato seedlings in the first half of April), about a month late, we struggled with anything we planted much later than the first half of April. Going into it I was pretty sure everything would die in the fierce July and August sun, and this was fairly close to reality, particularly as we later deduced that this was an especially warm spot of the farm. The soil is an unusual reddish sand that seems to reflect the sun more than darker earth. It’s extremely depleted of organic material, sadly, typical of citrus (and many other) monocultures. Here’s a picture of an autochtonous bean known as “meter-long” that did best with the heat:
Potatoes, onions and radishes also did fine (mental note to think about root vegetables next spring). In contrast, many peppers and tomatoes and peas either never germinated if planted from seeds or struggled for months if planted as seedlings. Once things cooled off in September, various seeds that we had given up for lost sprouted for the first time. Even now in mid-November our bean and tomato and green pepper plants continue bearing fruit.
Conclusion: Germinating as early as February and planting no later than March is absolutely necessary to get plants started before the sun gets too strong. Mulching and shade would also help; a classic stand-alone garden does not benefit from the shade provided by trees in a polyculture environment and we’ll want to move more toward multiple layers and inter-cropping. Despite it all, we got some nice golden cherry and red pear tomatoes, lots of beans, and even a few watermelons and pumpkins.
[Castellano abajo.] To all our friends who’ve been asking us for months now to post photos, an apology for the long delay. But you’ve probably already heard many times about how much work farming is and although we both come from farming backgrounds, we can now very personally attest to it. So here are photos of the little piece of heaven that is breaking our backs and our pocketbook, even as its beauty motivates us and its potential inspires us. And that´s not to mention the effect on one very happy dog!
[Aquí unas de las primeras fotos de la nueva parcela, con un resumen en inglés para los amigos extranjeros. Ya pronto describiré en más detalle las experiencias que hemos vivido y lo mucho que estamos aprendiendo. Lo cierto es que ya podemos constar lo que todos dicen, que ¡la agricultura implica muchísimo trabajo!]
In the next few photos, you can appreciate the state of decay in which we found the property, some 4 years out of production; for us, a true bonus as this means that the pesticide residues from modern citrus farming will have undergone significant degradation.
The first step was to prune the remaining viable trees, which out of a thousand originally present, sadly represent only about 10 percent. Here are some of them silhouetted by a sunrise in May.
And last but not least, our local peak surrounded by real rain clouds (photo from April). There are few things to compare with the joy of a farmer in a semi-arid zone when it actually rains!
Coming soon, photos of how we are gradually attempting to transform a citrus monoculture into a polyculture using agroecology.