After the oxen plow turned the soil, Franklin along with three farmworkers prepared the seed beds from the bone-dry land; (date of picture: February 4th).
Given that there has not been measurable rain since November, the farmworkers must water the seedbeds in preparation for planting; (date of picture: February 6th).
For the next few days, the farmworkers planted the seeds for lettuce, carrots, onions, okra, tomato, and various types of summer and winter squash and again soaked the seed beds.
There is no well at the finca, so water must be delivered to a large concrete holding tank at the edge of the field, from which the farmworkers fill their watering cans.
Brittney is the first volunteer worker to come to the Mariposa specifically to learn Spanish and work on the land. Here she and Franklin are planting okra seeds… please send any a good recipes for using okra… including Louisiana gumbo.
Meanwhile, back at the Mariposa gardens, Santos and some students planted cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and heirloom tomato seeds in bags filled with potting soil. The potting soil was made from three parts soil from the garden, one part compost from oxen manure digested by earthworms in our “wormery”, and a few hand-fulls of rice hulls to lighten the mixture and hold water.
With the warm days and mild nights, the seeds sprouted in just four to five days!!! In a few more weeks, most of the seedlings will be transplanted to the finca. We will be experimenting with whether the cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower will thrive as the warmer daytime temperatures come in April. As part of this “experiment”, some of transplants will go into the Mariposa gardens, which are shaded and somewhat cooler.
Back to the finca… the following pictures where taken on February 11th:
In just six days the squash sprouted…
In just four days the pole beans sprouted…
And, in just eight days the tomato seeds that were planted directly into the beds at the finca sprouted…