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The farm in Puebla  RSS feed

 
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here's a link to my video  

its the firts one sealed anyway i made more holes but they dont hold water
So the hole is sealed with soil cement and lime mortar. I plan to seal all the way up the walls and to make another large tank just up hill and some smaller tanks throughout the farms.

and my back yard  
 What i like about this video is all the things you cant see, under and between the napier grass are hundreds of trees and chayote vines and stuff.
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Jeff Hodgins
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Here it is. sorry about the filming and spanish

Me and the boys working on the 5 acres.


Me planting a pear tree


This video is a walk out back to get some epazote.


This pic is taken from my bedroom window.
the sheep pen at bottom is empty. sheep don't smell much any way. I like to be able to here if the sheep have a problem.
One time I woke up and the lambs were born and the ram was bunting them, having them close saved those lambs
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Jeff Hodgins
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Here are some more pics Iztaccihuatl and popocatepetl volcanos
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Jeff Hodgins
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here are some Nopal (opuntia) cactus. These are not mine but I have about the same amount as this field only mine are spread out more and mixed in.
You can see here. The guy cuts the nopal too low at the second node every time so his plants can never develop a large root system. 3 or 4 pads is better for tender pad production. the fruit grows on multi branched plants not much pruning on fruit cactus just the grubs have to be cut out or down.
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Jeff Hodgins
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Cactus water thats one thing you can do with cactus and biogas. but its leaves and fruit are valuable and they produce fast. A tortilla factory in Mexico claims to get GM 800 metric tons per anum per hectar. Any thing close to that number is amazing its higher than any plant I've ever herd of The highest Napier hybrids can produce up to 400T GM. and I don't think sugar cane is much different.
So with the "cactus water" you can just cut cactus right near your tree or whatever and put them through a wood chipper.  I will need to cover the cactus goo to stop evaporation. its like liquid but if you drink it its a lot like goo. I think fermented goo is the key to liquefaction you just need to stop evaporation while it ferments like buckets with lids or put dirt on top.
They say cattle will eat nopal but I think he has to be deprived of greens cause none of my animals have ever consumed considerable amounts. one time I fed the sheep here and a pig there but try him the next week on it and he wont eat it. I like the taste but pigs don't but then again mine are boiled to remove acidity. Maybe pigs would do good on boiled cactus and Napier .
 
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It should be noted that Jeff is farming on a very deep layer of volcanic ash. Rain water goes straight down, unless it's trapped by plants or by humans.

I like the idea of a biogas plant that could receive any succulents that are not salable or useful as animal feed. After producing gas, you get all of the moisture back, along with nutrients.

Are you noticing much leakage from your water storage? Have you come up with a way to keep the kids away from it?
.......
I'm 18 years older than Jeff. When they were little, my sister Heidi and Jeff, both thought that I was their uncle ,  until one day when my mother set them straight.☺
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Here is an update on the tanks and farm in general there is a ferrocement  hut wich is now finished
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Backyard foodforest summer 2017


The video below is on my 5.5 acres new dates and stuff

Below is the almost finished ferrocement dome building
 
Dale Hodgins
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Hey there Jeff. Your videos have been improved greatly from the ones you sent me last year. Are most of these videos taken at the second Farm that is not the one you're living at?
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Yes the land with the open field is not lived on and the land that looks like jungle is irrigated from a large glacial melt fed pond 1 km from the property and has the house on it.
 
Dale Hodgins
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That's funny I don't usually think of Mexico as a place where you would get glacial fed water. I guess it's all about elevation. I have a friend who lives half a degree off of the Equator, in Kenya. It gets cold every night because it's in the Kenyan Highlands. The tallest mountain you would have seen when flying over the southern Rockies from Toronto to Vancouver, is Mount Robson. They have mountains 5000 feet taller than this. Their main root crop is Irish potatoes and the main leafy vegetable is Swiss chard. Not what you expect at the equator. 200 miles away, they have crocodiles and hippopotamus, living in the tropical swelter. Those people grow bananas, mangoes, guava and pineapples.
 
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Great stuff Jeff.  Keep up with the videos.  Great to see so much progress and interesting ideas happening.  Keep us posted!  

Dale, your comment here:

That's funny I don't usually think of Mexico as a place where you would get glacial fed water. I guess it's all about elevation.



Made me think of my time in Arizona and Utah where I was traveling for a while.  In both of these states I spent time climbing up mountains and remember being initially quite shocked about getting up into the upper levels of the mountain and coming across forest species that were much like home in B.C..  On Boulder Mountain (which has an area the size of Rhode Island), with an elevation of over 11,000 feet, I was walking in firs, birches, and aspens, and eating stinging nettles, and bolete mushrooms.  Meanwhile, in the very same day I could walk downhill through Ponderosa forests, and then on to scrub Juniper and pinion pine, and then on down in the 5,000 foot area to sagebrush and cacti.  The climatic change, from moist temperate, was as dramatic as the vegetation.    
 
Jeff Hodgins
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I guess its not really a glacier more like an ice sheet at the summit and snow melt. It looks like a thin ice sheet from down at the bottom for all I know it could be hundreds of feet thick. On the new highway to Atlixco its like 30 min its still high in Atlixco about 1400 m I think but its in a bowl so I think the heat reflects off the hills to make the suptropical micro climate. they are almost as close to the volcanoes as my place but on our side it levels out into a high plain and to the south of popocatepetl the altitude continues to go down as you pass Atlixco. Even though tropical climate is nice for the fruit you could grow but the bugs are bad and ants too. where I am we get enough cold to still grow roses kiwi pears apples tejocotes peach and enough heat to grow avacado loquat citrus pomagranite natal plum ect.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Here's a picture I took of "the sleeping woman" "Iztaccihuatl"
I found some videos from 2 years ago on my PC. Will post after it uploads to youtube.
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Jeff Hodgins
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I also just thought I should Mention and thank My father in law Alaxandrino, he has done much of the work when I am not around not to mention the land we live on is his.

 
Jeff Hodgins
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I just got back from just over a month in Puebla. unfortunately we had hard frost that killed almost all the passionfruit. But I was able to observe that the frost on the big farm is less severe than the frost at the house. The figs on the big farm still have leaves and I watered them all well. I planted a lemon in a hole 2 feet wide and 3 feet deep and it was not damaged by frost at all, the lemons in smaller holes were damaged slightly. The raspberries did not get damaged by frost at all but they were devastated by grasshoppers and japanese beetles. I noticed that loquats took no damage from the frost and the grasshoppers only eat the tender leaves and leave the mature leaves alone. Loquats also resist drought because of fine hairs or powder on the under side of the leaf. In general plants with furry leaves like that are more drought tolerant, there is short furry grass that grows in the dry season. so if your looking for drought tolerant plants fur or powdery substance is an indicator of a xerophyte. Out of all the trees I grow I have found that palms figs and zapotes are the only fruit trees left totally untouched by grasshoppers. The trees they like most seem to be apples but once a tree is tall enough the higher leaves pull through. Avocados planted from seed on the big farm get eaten to death.  
 
Jeff Hodgins
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OMG! The Ice age has begun -5 in puebla all lemons look like they might die, some dead already. I think I need to find a new grass crop too, something less tropical. In fact I'm going to shift all my efforts toward the cold hardy crops. At least I still have hope for raspberries as my cash crop. Nopal cactus can handle -8 or so, hope it never gets that low.
 
Dale Hodgins
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How are the avocados handling this?  Your pond water could be used to prevent damage during cold events. It could be pumped through sprayers, to protect vulnerable crops.
 
Jeff Hodgins
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pop bottles 20% full of water get warm. Nopal Cactus is a passive solar air warmer at night. I want to do some earth work on the big farm, deep wide pits with steep walls, narrow trenches. the soil is an air heater with steep soil walls around new tropicals. I might put plastic on the narrow trenches because I can make a nice row of trees with a narrow strip of plastic. I'm also concentrating my efforts with tropicals on areas near the water source. Got no pump yet all buckets. There are plenty of crops that will do great on the high dry half of the land (although pears and apples don't have much cash value locally).
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Mature avocados are quite hardy and so are loquats they don't die but they lose shoots leaves and fruit. Some true tropicals that die here(Puebla) are Chirimoya, coffee, guava, zapotes (white zapote survive frost and dry), passion fruit need to be protected very well, pomegranate (I guess their not russian ones), citrus can handle a good frost but the frost we had 2 weeks ago killed branches over a foot long.  
 
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