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Thread: Sun,, Glorious Sun

  1. #1

    Default Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Two days.
    The temp at wake-up this morning was 65 and the humidity had dropped to 80%

    I was thinking of going back to Chinandega for a week or a month, but it looks like that is not going to be necessary now.

    Only the baby is sano. He never got REALLY sick,, but until we took him to the beach we couldn't knock down the snotty nose and noise in his breathing.

    I never got it REALLY bad, and it's mostly gone. All my employees were sick,,, some with nasty sore throats.

    Even "never get sick" Krisnia finally caught it.
    Shelley is flying back to the US tomorrow (I almost wrote "home", but it's no longer home for me). We're cooking up some killer cough syrup for her in case she has a problem on the plane. They may have to carry her off the plane when she gets to Houston,, but she won't cough.

    The farm is beautiful in the sun. We can see across the Rio Coco valley to the road from Telpaneca to Rio Coco de San Juan. It's strange how the clarity changes your perception of distance.

    It won't stay that way long. I want to burn off almost the entire farm, and everyone else will be burning too. But,,, we luckily get the odd rain through the summer and that knocks the dust down. The prevailing wind is from the NE and there just isn't much in that direction except more jungle and the Honduran border.

    The endless rain means that our groundwater has recharged, which the mountain will release through the summer.

    The seasons change quickly. I noticed that the areas south of Estelí are already brown, grass and brush is dying off.

    We have a unique micro climate. As you climb up to the farm there is a point where you turn onto the NE facing slope of the mountain. There is almost a line, between the green and the brown.

    The curse we suffer during the winter of too much moisture (and this winter seemed to be extreme) , becomes our blessing during the summer when the prevailing winds push the clouds against the mountain, and they drop some precious moisture.

    Next year I am just going to take Krisnia and the baby and leave for that last month of rain, wind and cold,,, rent that little cabin on the beach.

    The crew I have is looking really good. Talented and dependable.
    I'll kill a pig and a mess of chickens,,, fill the freezer, and leave them to it.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    I woke up this morning with a sore throat. It feels like the common cold, but your mention of something making the rounds has me curious. Have you heard what is it that everyone is getting, and what (if anything) can be done about it?
    Soy el chele mono.

  3. #3
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    I guess we got lucky, only one or two days with brief rain during the two weeks I was there. We're back now to a rainy cold front.

    I often get a sore throat from snoring, or post nasal drip from allergies. I don't know if they sell zinc lozenges down there, but those actually work to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.

  4. #4
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Us too. All of us have passed thru the sore throat stage to bad coughs, congestion & cold symptoms. Seems like some viral cocktail introduced by vacationing Northerners that went mega-symbiosis here in the tropics. Natives say it's the volcanic dust in the air stirred up off the dry fields by these winds. (Brings to mind my favorite word: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.)

    I'm battling it with vitamin C and hot teas (anise or oregano seem most effective). And with therapeutic lavage of Victoria Clasica to convert the dust to dietary roughage. (Mas Victorias!)
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonh View Post
    ... zinc lozenges ... those actually work to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms.
    This leaves me wondering: http://www.consumerreports.org/vitam...for-your-cold/

    Ditto on a bit from Mayo Clinic.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    The crew I have is looking really good. Talented and dependable.
    I'll kill a pig and a mess of chickens,,, fill the freezer, and leave them to it.
    Looking forward to hearing how the farm does and what new improvements you make this year.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Quote Originally Posted by kwah2249 View Post
    Looking forward to hearing how the farm does and what new improvements you make this year.


    I'll post more pics beginning of next week. The chicken and pig arrangement worked out really well,,, with the wood shavings,,, absolutely no odor from the manure but the chickens themselves smell a little. We got another big load of shavings today,, they have a mountain left, might dip in again tomorrow.

    We are going to move on with the purebred pigs this week or next. The pigs we bought are growing like crazy,, but they SO much want to get out of the pen and wander. They are still small enough to be cute,, but they get into the garden and eat things they shouldn't. The garden is pretty much EOL anyway.

    I was out this afternoon marking off a good sized piece that I can fence with electric wire. Supposedly the pigs (and hogs too) are easy to control with this arrangement. They learn quickly to respect the wire.

    I was going to bring them back and forth,, but it makes more sense to move their "house" which is very portable,, built out of a couple sheets of zin and those plastic bins I use to haul my stuff down in. I can just let them stay out there until we need the spot back for planting. I throw down fresh, dry , wood shavings for them from time to time and they seem quite content with this bedding.

    They still root like crazy,,, but with the wood shavings,, who cares??
    These are clean pigs.

    I'm going to try using pieces of 3/8 rebar for the fence stakes,, pounded in, and a piece of 1/2 inch plastic pipe slipped over it. The fence stakes only have to be 30" tall. This may or may not be enough insulation for the fence,, the heavier schedule 40 PVC might be a worthwhile investment. I have the insulators too if I need them. I then just pull the electric wire (I have both aluminum wire and the newer plastic tape with SS strands woven into it) across the tubes and fix it with a ty-rap. The tape offers a higher level of visibility, and is wider.

    We're killing ten chickens end of week,,, some have gotten good sized. We're going to oven roast four of them,, 2 X 2, and celebrate a dual birthday on Sunday. Sebastian is a full year old on Sunday,,, and his caregiver, Belkis,, with a two year old toddler of her own,, is 16 on Monday.

    Anyone who is in the neighborhood is welcome!
    We'll start Sunday about noon.


    The other chickens we are going to vacuum-pack whole into food saver bags and throw in the freezer.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc36VoL4A5g


    We have a total of 30 this run, and we managed to get a 100% yield,, but five are "patio" chickens we thought we might keep for eggs. That leaves fifteen more to butcher,, but maybe two more weeks for those last fifteen.

    There are 50 more chicks ready to leave their little starter house, and with the warmer weather, these will grow even faster. I need to partition the chicken pen into two, or maybe,, three,, with some nests at the back,, so we can have three lots going all the time.

    Lots of pics next week,, I promise.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    This leaves me wondering: http://www.consumerreports.org/vitam...for-your-cold/

    Ditto on a bit from Mayo Clinic.
    You can never go wrong with good old fashioned dope.
    (Actually you can,, but you go with a smile on your face).

  9. #9
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Never tried the electric fence for Pigs but everything I read says it will work (provided you got electric). You can "ring" their noses to help with the rooting. You will get some Pigs that seldom ever root, others that is all they want to do, you never know. That's the main reason we keep them on a rope and move them around (not practical with more than a few pigs), during our rains you get one rooting all the time and you got huge mud holes quick.

    Given the choice I would raise them on Concrete but have them an area of "pasture" and let them out on that some in the day, I think they greatly benefit from that.

    Curious to see how the Pure Breds do compared to the others, bet you will see a big difference. I have had a few that I could not get weight on and another that was so much fat it was nearly a lost cause.

    What are the Piglets bringing over there, 1,000 each on the Island. You get a few to birth, and 8 piglets is not uncommon, you can recoup your investment quick, and still have the breeding stock.

    Biggest problem I ran into was the Boar, after I was sure the Sow was bred I had him cut, he was getting wild and a pain in the ass, and I thought I might lose him, the bigger they get the more problems likely when cutting them, and a Hell of a lot harder to hold and cut as well.

    I really enjoyed raising Pigs and the meat was exceptional.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    The pigs can root to their heart's content, and they do, along the sides of the pen,, and in front of the gate,,, looking for a way out. Unfortunately for them, it's piedra canteras set in concrete. I just kick or shovel the wood shavings level again. I have a piece of concrete in the pen,, but it's used to store the wood shavings. The pigs climb up the wood shavings hill and root a bit there too,, but not seriously.

    The plan here is to just add a layer of shavings regularly. The shavings absorb the excrement and eventually diminish in height. There is absolutely no smell. The pigs are actually quite clean. It works for the chickens too,,, no manure smell,, but the chickens themselves have a bit of a stink.

    Eventually I will have to muck out the pig pen,, but it could be a year or more the way it's going. I'm going down to Condega for another load this morning,,,,, there is a mountain of the shavings at the cigar box factory and I can't seem to make headway.

    The chicken pen,, I rake the top of it and take out an inch or two and throw it on the compost pile. The chicken pen is a little different since we started cutting grass and throwing that in there. The compost pile is an amazing success story too,,, that compost business really works. I keep throwing stuff on the pile but it keeps getting smaller and smaller You would need a mountain of compost to replace a quintal of nitrogen fertilizer,, but for the garden,,, we might have enough to go organic.

    The pigs really like anything green,, ignore my beautiful corn and concentrado mix for kitchen scraps and squash, ignore my molasses. They love squash. Cabbage. I have lots of it,, but my idea here is to put on the weight fast, and to me that means corn. This farm is a business,, not a hobby,, as I tell the pigs. They grunt in agreement. I'd like to at least start breaking even. At least it sounds good, even though it may not happen in my lifetime.

    Sour milk. I had a liter of the baby's milk sour and was about to chuck it,, the pigs loved it, ran amuck trying to push each other away from the feed dish.
    They were started and raised on whey and a little concentrado mixed in. The guy I got them from had a dairy,, made cheese from his milk, and fed the whey to the pigs. I'll have a cow to milk in another year,, and am thinking of getting another. Why milk just one? One of my guys coincidentally used to milk thirty cows.

    So,, it's an on-going learning process, and it's -mostly- fun. They are fattening and growing taller.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Kevin was right about the pigs finding one spot for their excretory functions and sticking to it.

    Interesting their choice: the further-most corner of the pen. Makes life a little easier.

  12. #12
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    Pigs are much cleaner than people think. I always read about them picking a spot away from their bedding and food, never believed it until I saw it with my own eyes.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  13. #13

    Default Re: Sun,, Glorious Sun

    If you could figure out to install a grate for them to use the bathroom on and lower level clean-out you would have fairly easy maintenance. If it all starts turning the profit you want you could always turn this area into just a chicken pen and build a new pig pen.

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