Well it looks like may 10 was the last time I did one of these and now it is has been 2 weeks. The rain has been falling at least weekly and my plants have been happy and growing. My wife has been growing too, but don't tell her @dzigbordi.
I went to my old garden at my office for the first time in a while they had let things over grow since I also did not have time for it. But this time they had someone come and do some weeding and clean the place up. The moringa trees on the right hand side were planted almost one year ago exactly and they have grown so much since that time. I need to collect some of the banana and plantain suckers from the back and bring them to my current garden.
One of the updates from the past week is that I have put in some gravity fed drip irrigation. The time before my last trip to my old farm I pulled up the irrigation there and brought it back to my current farm. The first step was breaking down all the pieces and throwing out any bad bits. I then had to plumb one side of my water tank outlet from 1" to 3/4" pipe fitting for the harden hose Y. One side goes to a fitting that reduces things down to this very small hose and the other side is open and I hook a regular sized garden hose to that and use for watering by gravity. Here in the pic above you can see the watering system make it part way down one row of peppers.
Here is another branch of the drip line this branch is hitting some basil, pepper, tomato, egg plant and one lone volunteer okra.
On the other side of the same bad with a light path through the middle is cantaloupe and a few basils. I have only run the drip to the c antelope. I have since done a trellis for the cantaloupe and just starting to train them up it. They have been hit hard from pests. I have been trying to spray them each evening with neem oil and soup solution. I am almost out of neem oil and I will be trying some other solutions with pepper and garlic also. I used to use some citronella oil with the neem oil also.
Sadly just today I found that my back pack sprayer was gone from the store room. I had let the prior gardener know at the resort that that sprayer was only for me and for no reason should they use chemicals in it or use it. Well guess what? It was missing today and was let out to someone outside the resort. I was so pissed because for one I know some chemicals will be used in it and it will be basically garbage to me, and 2 someone letting stuff out like that from the resort regardless of who's it is. Some of the everyday challenges.
With more regular rains weeding is the next emergent issue. It is a full time job and once you finish one section and start the next you look back at the last section and realize they are coming up again. Even if carefully hand weeded. I have given up on that and I got a 10 inch wide long handle hoe and I am just working it every day. At the current moment I have got about 5/6th of the garden roughly weeded and planted. There is 1/6th to go.
I have only used about 1/3rd of the land over all given to me to farm by the resort owner. I have strong plans for the other 2/3rds and been making small gains and purchases towards it each month but it has yet to materialize so i have let the ground go fallow.
When I got the land in September of last year it was completely plowed and dead. Before I even had a chance to touch it, it had started raining on it. I went section by section for that short rainy season from September to October and created 3 swales and 3 sections down the hill and planted most of that and got a small harvest last season. Primarily basil, a lot of okra, scotch bonnet peppers, a little ground nut and a little bambara beans. But each section has had investment in the soil with the swales, mulching, compost and activated biochar.
So all of that to show the progress on the land because this week has been a challenge. It is now rainy season and the neighbors have started to prepare their land for planting. I have already harvested some but still not using part of the land and everyone's eyes are on that part of the land. Multiple people asking me if they can farm it and one workman for the resort trying to have a tractor plow it for him the other day.
Leaving the land slightly bushy has all been part of my design. I have been working on putting together a solar electric fence to help keep out ravaging herds of free range cows and sheep, to demarcate the land properly, and keep some goats and pigs in some moving paddocks within the parameter of the land.
And as of today it looks like I have a border despute on my hands. The whole reason this piece of land exists is because the owner of the land needed to bring electricity to the resort she needed to bring power lines in and a transformer. To do this she had to place it somewhere and the people in the area forced her to buy this section of land due to that. it is about 1 acre of land in traditional acre measurements, more than an acre if you are looking at the Ghanaian system of measurement. The desputed area is the area under the power lines. It is part of the area that the woman who is farming peppers next to me had plowed. The tractor drove across my future goat food multiple times also and almost over my last swale.
Today I noticed that she had planted the whole area under the power lines and even where some of the plow marks went into the land that I am working but have not touched yet. When I am looking to put my fence down what I have been told the true property line is this is going to be a conflict and an issue.
Her eyes, and other people's eyes are on the land and they are seeing me as someone blocking them. They are pushing in on the land at the time I am due to fence the whole thing. I have one guy that I work with that is very in touch with the area and his dad is the one the sold the land but also one of the ones trying to get his foot in this land. But this young man is very good at looking at things from all sides and will tell me the truth about the boundary and also interviene with the woman.
It is pretty complicated and annoying since all of last year I know nothing was done on this land and I know who the true owner of it is. The ones proving to be difficult are the ones that in fact sold it ot the owner.
Anyway back to the garden and life.
Here is a great picture of @dzigbordi taking shade under a paw paw leaf.
We will take a brief intermission from the garden and head into the resort.
Since the last post about the beach bar we have completely finished the mural wall, hung the art work, and all the glass is in the doors. The bar is also completely finished but I don't have pics of that.. There are just a few other details that we have yet to sort out.
Back to the garden.
We cleared and made some room in the seed bed where I let @dzigbordi do some see nursing with her far superior green thumb and motherly technique. She planted some swiss chard, collard greens, marigolds, parsley and something else.
This bed did not get the start I hoped for and there are some big holes to fill. It was originally planted with basil, lettuce, broccoli, and rocket. I got a number of basil, some volunteer sunflowers, a ton of alefu volunteers, and some spinach volunteers. I cleared out the alefu and weeds and you can see there is a lot of space I think Dzi planted some carrots here, some more rocket and lettuce. We will see what comes of it now. The soil is definitely more moist now and I am not having to hand water.
Here is the same bed from another perspective after a few rains.
We got our first cucumber out of the farm and we eat it raw with some salt and pepper.
Sometimes I just have to catch those angles of wifey around the property.
The waves have been coming very high this season and one of the walls at the sea front was not done very well. We have had to do a new one and have it done very well this time. It has not been an easy month with maintenance costs and low business.
The log that is usually on the beach front of the resort has made some trips due to the higher waters also. It has traveled to the neighbors on one side, back to the property and now over on the neighbors on the other side. One day it might leave us entirely.
Last week the pawpaw flowers were blooming. This week there are baby pawpaws growing.
We got a new lawn mower for the resort and I have been trying to make some good use of the grass clippings. I think earlier when I went on a tangent about weeds I ended up at land disputes but that orange bucket there is a new project of mine too. That is brewing some funky, weed juice, swamp juice, JADAM Liquid fertilizer mix. This is weeds and wild grasses that I have filled the barrel with. I then filled with water and sprinkled some leaves that have begun to mold and grass clippings. The next day also I threw some bakers yeast in for the hell of it. It smells like that back end of a cow now about 7 days later and the juice is quite dark. In a few more days I will mix a small part of it with water and start feeding to the beds.
This bed also got some drip irrigation. It is a bed of cucumbers with a trellis and two rows of dill on either side. I guess this is the pickle station. The top of the bed has a butterfly pea plant that has been hanging out since last season. There was one volunteer tomato but the leaves started curling so I yanked it and it went into the bucket, smelly soup of doom.
A look down the top section. The first bed to the left is the one above with the cucumbers and only the butterfly pea plant is visible here. Then the seed bed, then the basil, rocket lettuce bed, then the three sisters with corn, squash, beans and sunflowers are. There is not much visible beyond that.
The bed above was another mixed bag. I had planted all kinds of mini rows of things inside but very littel came up. At the top is a few rows of onions. Then some tomato volunteers came in and a little bit of lettuce, then a cumber volunteer that we have harvested 2 cucumbers off already, and then about 5 cabbage. With a lot of holes to fill I have planted basil around the bed and some spinach in with the lettuce. We have also gone back and thickly planted cabbage again, lettuce and added some rocket to this bed too. We will see what comes up this time. In the back ground is another struggling 3 sisters. The corn is having a rough time, I think that termites are biting it off at the ankles in this bed. The water melon has been attacked by small caterpillars also. So we are rebuilding this one currently.
Last weekend was slow at the resort and I got a little time in the hammock at the beach with the wife. I took a little swim also. I have not been surfing or swimming enough. Sometimes you take the sweetest things for granted.
I have started weeding below the second swale and finished at the time of this post. It can be discouraging looking back and seeing the weeds coming back. But we move and keep hoing.
Dzigbordi giving a little smooch to the sunflowers.
Some more seeds in the seed bed after another good rain.
Sunset over the farm. The last rows of millet, sorghum, and corn showing at the bottom. In the swale just in front is some ground nuts, beans, sweet potatoes, and paw paw.
Another angle of the sunset and farm.
All of my sunflowers showing face.
Red corn showing its true colors. I have had a real war on my plants against pest in general and you can see here the solider worm has had a hay day on my corn tops. Doing this without chemicals is not easy.
Sunset down the corn row.
I hope you enjoyed my update. Until next time.