Sunday, July 7, 2013

Farm stuff

For those who aren't very familiar with work trade rules, the usual trade is about 4 hours of work each day in return for some meals and a place to sleep. They're nicely laid back here so we just find projects and work on them for a while. If its outside, then we work on that until it rains, then switch to something else inside. And of course, siesta. :)

What we've been doing the past few days:

Tessa and I got to watch the workers milk the buffalo in the evening (since morning milking is like 5am) and we even saw one of the calves and it was sooo adorably awkward. Lots of pictures. Next we will have to watch them make cheese.

There is a developing food forest in the fields, and mostly we have been working on fixing that up, all of us. First we had to clean around, unchoke, and mulch the trees and bushes. And that's once we have found them under all the other natural growth. Trees like apples, pears, plum, mulberry, and chestnut are common, and they were planted last year. The bushes around them are usually red or black current so we get to snack while working. :)

Another huge project that's our main focus is charting the land. This afternoon we spent hours mapping out the food forest and marking coordinates where all the trees and bushes are located. This is all by taking big meter-sized steps of course. But with all five of us, we got a system down pretty fast, and were able to record all the data for the first 60x100 meters (200x330 feet), but we are barely halfway done. Safe to say, we got a ton of walking in for the day.

Now we are creating some graphing paper and making a to-scale map of the main living area buildings/veggie garden/food forest parts of the farm. At least all that's mainly used, because Krishan's land is 500 acres all together.

We spent a few hours picking clover flowers all over, and then Tessa magically made clover jelly. It's incredibly delicious! We have a couple pounds of it but it's going away pretty quickly. Yum.

And we also went foraging in the forest about a mile away for mushrooms. Cathryn knows a whole lot about mushrooms and knows which ones are worth picking. Then we cataloged the species and Cathryn is going to dry them for soups later. They look pretty funny.

The milk comes every evening and we tried to make some butter. This is the ancient machine that separates the cream from the milk, creating skim milk and cream at the same time. Our butter didn't work this time, so we aimed for yogurt, and then ended up with some sort of buttery cheese two days later. Well it's tasty.

Anyway it's great fun and hard work here so I'll update again when something else exciting and new happens!

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