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my experience as a farmer girl  RSS feed

 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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Is my first post, I was looking the right place to post, i hope is this.

I don't know how start but I will try to explain as best as my English level permit.   

I've been reading a lot of all web, about permaculture, organic, ecological, etc.
My name is Caroline, I have a small farm in the Caribbean, working for myself, a few weeks ago I found in Internet these volunteer programs and farmers, temporary helpers on farms, in principle to find these programs I was very happy and I told myself "Excellent" is just what I need! Help! Find people willing to help charitably who is passionate about what she does, so full of excitement I started looking for more information, however, from the days while more information read, my joy was coming down since I found several conditions and surprises that will describe below.

The main conditions is of course language, lots of good information I can find is in English, what I do is translate to Spanish online, is not the best but sometimes is enough. 

Hand Labor: Unfortunately volunteering in my country for this kind of thing is a dream, even though we are a nation based on agriculture, the natives run away to this kind of hard work.

Investment: I invested my savings, to try to keep the land, I built a small hut, with water, electricity, bathroom, tools, etc. but on a farm always there are things to invest and exhausted my resources.

Help: A friend suggested a campaign to raise funds "Crowdfunding" it sounded good idea and did it as an experiment but maybe I could not describe well my intentions or needs in a foreign language, since I have not had any response, but the hope is the last thing a human being can lose. Do not? Maybe someone can suggest an idea.

https://www.generosity.com/community-fundraising/dominican-republic-organic-farm-project

Beginner: On the topic of permaculture I am beginner and at this stage start one believes understand everything you read, but in practice is completely different, I talk with other local farmers in my area about permaculture, back to the earth what it gives to us, organic farming practice and they  look at you as alien, and do not want to work even when receive payment.

Donations: In grant from others, many are reluctant to help individuals, they prefer help to ONGs  even if these have been found that many do not use the funds for what they said. My concern is, donors do not believe in people? A person with a caritative soul must necessarily believe in another. The fact have an organized foundation does not mean that it will use the funds received better than an individual. My impression is, donors prefer to help in cases of children with health problems in Africa, this great continent has been receiving all kinds of help for hundreds of years and still their project self-sufficient nation fails to take off, always tell us at school, in college, at home when planning a project must have a beginning, development and growth, Africa as a national project it does not happen. No one ask why?
Volunteer programs and farmers hosts: I have read several web about this, but most of them ask for a fee for membership to access helper and hostes list, in that sense, I understand they have maintenance costs and so on, but is as a person looking for job and charge to seek employment.

Work on the farm: As a woman I must say, work on the farm is very cute and fun for those who like, I feel good working the land, but I can not do it every day, my hands are already feeling cramp, remove weeds, chopping the land, care the chickens, plant they fodder, build space for vegetables, making ecological fertilizer, insecticides, harvest, cut, etc etc.

We see many pictures on the internet of beautiful farms or gardens, but behind them is a battalion of men and women working hard, I get depressed a little to see that I can not keep my same or similar, for more work, strength and passion I have and do.

I would like to have help and encouragement of people experienced in permaculture, and offer a friendly place, a kind of familiar ambient, or a space to enjoy nature, unfortunately at the moment I'm looking for ways to build another small hut where people can be in a comfortable environment to make your stay pleasant, not pretend to make money with this, I could not compete with commercial farmers, but share hobbies, family nutrition produce.

Well, I think I have spread far, are the things that have filled me with unease to start this stage.

If in any case someone feel offend with my opinions I apologize, sometimes the feeling in different language are not the same.

Thanks everyone who take their time to read me, I know guys you have a lot thing to do!
This site is wonderful.
 
Abbey Battle
Posts: 85
Location: Wealden AONB
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I could make you feel happier by posting pictures of my lot. Not a beautiful garden at all. Over run with brambles, nettles, thistles and dock. For ever getting away from me.
As for my planting, a bed of weeds where I sow my seeds, not veggies at all, not even a one. Mind, some of the wild flowers are pretty, just that I can't eat them.
My orchard is slowly being destroyed by rabbits and deer, I can't build fast enough to compensate for their damage.

I am one woman, alone, I seem not to be big enough or strong enough to be able to realise all my ideas.
I think every new venture is hard to get off the ground and fraught with frustrations. I'm sure that there are plenty of people here who will understand and be able to offer constructive advice.

As for discussing permaculture with others, well, it is not main stream agriculture, people don't like anything that is different. It will work out for you though.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3474
Location: Anjou ,France
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Take Heart Carol !  You have found permies and I am sure folks here will be glad to help if they can .
Firstly dont worry about your English you are doing better than fine
Secondly some pictures of your place might help
Thirdly have you advertised with Woofer type organisations .If you have and got not takers then share your advert here and we might be able to offer some suggestions
Fourthly  tell us more about yourself

David 
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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Abbey Battle wrote:I could make you feel happier by posting pictures of my lot. Not a beautiful garden at all. Over run with brambles, nettles, thistles and dock. For ever getting away from me.
As for my planting, a bed of weeds where I sow my seeds, not veggies at all, not even a one. Mind, some of the wild flowers are pretty, just that I can't eat them.
My orchard is slowly being destroyed by rabbits and deer, I can't build fast enough to compensate for their damage.

I am one woman, alone, I seem not to be big enough or strong enough to be able to realise all my ideas.
I think every new venture is hard to get off the ground and fraught with frustrations. I'm sure that there are plenty of people here who will understand and be able to offer constructive advice.

As for discussing permaculture with others, well, it is not main stream agriculture, people don't like anything that is different. It will work out for you though.


Hi, Abbey

Thank you for your response makes me happy to know I'm not alone in the club, I do not have many wild animals running, a few guineas do not hurt, than eat the seeds and grains hahahha but nothing to bother me. 
I enjoy what I do and not feel frustrated with what I'm doing, on the contrary.

Would like post some photos but Im learnig how.     

Greeting
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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Hello david,
Thank you for your words, I appreciate a lot, since I found permies knew I had come to the right site, that makes me happy. 

About me, I am in Rep Dom, is a subtropical climate, summer all year, I'm in zone 10 or 11 weather is very similar to Puerto Rico, my soil is completely alkaline, I have 7 acres is not too big but enough for me, I cultivate and harvest many types of plants, except some type of cereals that I have to wait that the temperature is lower, this occurs mid-October, when I can plant broccoli raab,  cauliflower etc.

Some pictures
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seedling, arugula, carrot, kale, mustard, lettuce, mizuna, collard green,
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Hens eating Microgreens and marigold flowers
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Yardlong red beans, first harvest.
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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Others photos

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Tomatoes transplant, now are in flowers yuupiii
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Sunflowers and sesame seeds, to feed the chickens
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First time planting Buckwheat for the chickens, not difficult.
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3474
Location: Anjou ,France
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Very impressive , you said you have alkaline soil does that limit what you want to grow ? How about fruit trees and other perennials . There are lots of sub tropical stuff I would like to grow myself and I am sure you must have some citrus or similar ? Avocados ?

David
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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In alkaline soils the work is doble, what I do every 15 days make my own fertilizer, with whey, molasses and moringa leaves and  place before planting a bunch of leaves, branches and tree trunks into the ground, similar to hügelkultur beds.

I have different types of fruit trees such as cashew, “Limoncillos”, mangoes, oranges, bananas, Star fruit, the sweetest papayas, passion fruits, cherries, green lime, manikara sapota, plantain, wild guavas, pineapple.

Yes, I have avocado but to plant it requires doing a different job to the other trees, because their roots are deep, I made a deep hole with a large rock inside, then place the plant, this makes the root does not run deep when reach the rock take form of L and walk on the sides. Oh God I hope the is understood. I'll try to make picture of the process. j

I've always wanted to do more pictures, but working time does not permit, if you like you can see some pictures on my web google plus,  
https://plus.google.com/u/0/100050718800494444683/posts

If you are interested in some seeds of fruit or vegetables like I can send it.

carambola-Starfruit.jpeg
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star fruit tree, (Carambola)
cerezaplant.JPG
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Barbado Cherry, in spanish Cerezas.
Cajuil2.jpg
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Cashew, almost invasive plant, we use the juice as tea compost
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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David Livingston wrote:Very impressive , you said you have alkaline soil does that limit what you want to grow ? How about fruit trees and other perennials . There are lots of sub tropical stuff I would like to grow myself and I am sure you must have some citrus or similar ? Avocados ?

David


Morning! Thanks again

Yes, I have different kind of citrus trees, I post others photos.
For now Im concentrate in clean the property and make a nice coop for the organic chickens.

And you? what do you plant?  
 
David Livingston
steward
Posts: 3474
Location: Anjou ,France
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Well at the moment am harvesting , courgette , French beans , cucumber , potatoes , some tomatoes ( blight problems )and  plums and am planting out broccoli , green and purple.
It's a bit cold for avocados and citrus but my plums pears and apples are doing well this year

For some pics see here http://permies.com/t/31583/projects/Permie-Pennies-France

David
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
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David Livingston wrote:Well at the moment am harvesting , courgette , French beans , cucumber , potatoes , some tomatoes ( blight problems )and  plums and am planting out broccoli , green and purple.
It's a bit cold for avocados and citrus but my plums pears and apples are doing well this year

For some pics see here http://permies.com/t/31583/projects/Permie-Pennies-France

David


Oh! Morning David, I have planted Zuchini (courgette) but the plants died after some raining days, I have grow different kind of tomatoes somes grow well, but have the same problems, cracks or blight
I start to plant kale, lettuce, swisschard.
With brussell sprout, and broccoli I have no success

Saw your farm and is beautiful, Love the house!

also I'm trying to grow belgium endive keeping my finger cross 

Greeting
 
David Livingston
steward
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Courgettes are so productive 4 plants are almost more than we can eat when they get going . I am surprised that you have issues with rain as they just love the dampness when it rains here . The problem I have is with slugs eating the young ones . Slugs seem to come from miles around just to eat the young plants . That's why I now buy plants instead ( six leaves ) even then I grow them on for a few weeks before planting out . Buying a whole packet of seeds just for four plants seems an awful lot of work to me .
Have you been reading about Joeseph Lofthouses experiments with Tomatoes , since you live in conditions close to the tomatoes natural habitat then maybe his approach could help you ?
Have you tried Sweet potato these are my big experiment this year and I hope to be digging up a big crop soon .

David
 
Carol Var
Posts: 21
Location: Dom.Rep.
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No I dont knew about Joseph, will look as soon i can.

Hmm sweet potatoes, I have white sweet potatoes, in the state have different variety
For us the local plants are like weed. My father use a trick before digging the S.Potatoes,
he cuts the plants and clean the soil with a hoe, leave for a week or less until it begins to be born a new plant, in that place he digg and find quick the sweet potato
Im waiting for the next month to start new seedling.  I would love plant lavanda, but just I can plant from seeds

Im sure you are get a lot S.Potatoes

Take care David
 
David Livingston
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White ones mmm I just have some orange ones and some purple ones . ( er I hope we shall see when I harvest )
Do you have issues with voles eating them while they are still under ground

David
 
Carol Var
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David Livingston wrote:White ones mmm I just have some orange ones and some purple ones . ( er I hope we shall see when I harvest )
Do you have issues with voles eating them while they are still under ground

David


The organge  and purple I never had grown, just we can buy imported

Vole mean "Rat"?
Yes, they eat the yuca also, I had read that if you plant mint around the rat hate the mint odor.

Carol
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Kevin Young
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When I read your first post I thought maybe you were in a bad situation, but when I saw the photos I was amazed at all you have done! Your farm looks wonderful--keep up the great work!
 
Carol Var
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Hello Kevin,

Thank you!! It's a lot of work for me. Sometimes I see some advance and other reverse, uff!!

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
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Location: Longbranch, WA
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I understand. I have 10 acres and I cant keep up with the 5 that have been developed for 100 years. I list the extra 5 in my signature but I have not found anyone to take me up on the offer.
I have 70 years of permaculture experience to share but most people prefer the modern life stress to the work on the land.
Have you read about permaculture zones where you start close to the house for things that need tending each day and put things lest frequent further out and leave a zone far out for nature to observe what happens on it's own?
 
Carol Var
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Hi! Hans

Thanks for writing, I am very pleased to share our experiences, many people when they see our crops, claim, oh Waooo! that rich, that good vegetables, I love, bla bla, and they forget all the effort behind a good fruit or vegetables. We also often just post on the Internet nice pictures of our farms, some places on my farm are a mess, and I have no idea how I can do for my self. Hahahha! Im not the wonder woman, or Superman wife, hahaha!     

Yeah! Young people of my country, are not interested in this life, here we have many Haitian immigrants who work in the farms but they do not want to do it if involve organic or permaculture because they say it is too much work, only they know the famous Roundop,  so I have to work alone. The government do not promote the permaculture or ecology agriculture.

Yes, I have the vegetable garden near the house, and fruits and vegetables of longer periods other elsewhere.
Many occasions, I would take pictures of everything, but most of the time my hands are full of mud that can not hold the phone. Every week I prepare a plan "Things I have to do" But the days only have 14 works hours.

I had already told you guys that my English is primitive?   

If anyone speaks Spanish we can share experience too.

Are you working along in your farm? tell us, how do you do?

A Big hug!

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
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Location: Longbranch, WA
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If the lady from Mexico comes back to apprentice I will have her describe what I do in Spanish. I know some French but not much Spanish.

If you click on my name it will take you to my profile page. Then click on Created topics: [25] Topics created by Hans Quistorff and you will find some of the things I have posted about my farm.
 
Carol Var
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Hi!

I saw your links, and your sites, nice info.

I watch some interesting videos. Thanks.

Also love to see a link in your site about lavander, (Blue Willow Lavender Farm) Months ago I tried to plant from seeds but I had not success, just 1 seed sprout, but died after transplant. I need buy seeds again I would like have some lavander plant in my garden.

Here I could not find the plant, just buying seeds in the State.

Thanks

 
Hans Quistorff
pollinator
Posts: 772
Location: Longbranch, WA
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Months ago I tried to plant from seeds but I had not success, just 1 seed sprout, but died after transplant. I need buy seeds again I would like have some lavender plant in my garden.

Here I could not find the plant, just buying seeds in the State. 

I think lavender has to sprout and get its roots down in the winter.  It grows best with cool damp winters and hot dry summers when it blooms. If you can not get it to sprout in your cool season you may need to refrigerate the seeds in damp starting soil for some time to break the dormancy.
 
Carol Var
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Hans Quistorff wrote:
Months ago I tried to plant from seeds but I had not success, just 1 seed sprout, but died after transplant. I need buy seeds again I would like have some lavender plant in my garden.

Here I could not find the plant, just buying seeds in the State. 

I think lavender has to sprout and get its roots down in the winter.  It grows best with cool damp winters and hot dry summers when it blooms. If you can not get it to sprout in your cool season you may need to refrigerate the seeds in damp starting soil for some time to break the dormancy.


Yes! I will try to refrigerate the seeds, yesterday I have purchased the seeds, keeping my finger cross.

Thanks :)
 
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