October 4 , 2009


After almost 3 months of record temperatures, the heat wave finally broke last weekend. In fact, the evenings are already getting downright chilly. What happened to fall?  Did they forget indian summer? In any case despite the heat, progress has been made over the 5 weeks since we posted our last update.

Above, Petra has continued to add plants to our landscaping along the parkway adjacent to the street. This planting at the entrance to the farm is pretty much finished, although it will take a couple of years before it fills out.

In the greenhouse, we installed four air circulation fans, which immediately freshened the air inside. They are variable speed, reversible and controlled by a thermostat that automatically kicks them in when it gets either too hot or too cold. We also finished the roll-ups on both sides. All that remains to prepare for winter are the doors and lexan panels to cover the vents at the tops of both end walls.

Below, most of the eight ground beds are planted now and the new residents are all doing quite well, thank you! Petra installed a drip watering system so that the beds can be watered simultaneously. Eventually, we'll automate all of this with timers.

In our continuing mission to tame the land, we had our grader pro come in and create a third taco-shaped pad above the other two. This will be an open area for plants that tolerate the extremes of the great outdoors- full sun to an occasional freeze. Here we've set up a rows of low benches using ordinary pallets set up on concrete blocks. On the pad below, we plan to fill in the gap with additional shade structures.

The intense heat in the afternoons often drove us indoors, affording opportunities to establish order in the shed. Lights are up and shelves built along both sides. Ah, civilization!

Paul's new workbench and tool board.

This 500' x 18' parkway in front of the nursey land was a huge bonus that came with the property. Although this strip is legally owned by the County, it's not likely they will ever use it, The strip lies inside our private fence and the County only requires/allows us to maintain and landscape it in a presentable manner. It was a mess when we moved in- open trenches, big piles of dirt, mystery piping and nasty Queen palms. Petra has been working on it sporadically ever since, finally arriving at a point a couple of weeks ago where the grader could come in and even it all out. Here Petra and Amalia discuss how to make cash crops pass for landscaping.

A view of the 500' parkway strip looking north from the duplex. Landscaping is in progress everywhere.

Below, Brian digs yet another hole for a plant adjacent to the nursery entrance. Jose's gate is now framed by two large Ipomoea Arborescence, which he used to own, but generously "donated" to our landscaping effort as a condition of his lease. These bushy trees will be covered with gorgeous white blossoms in the winter, long before they leaf out in the spring . That's the duplex in the background.