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Thread: Corn Island Finca Update

  1. #1
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Corn Island Finca Update

    Been a while since the last update, here is the latest.

    January brought the dry season, well sort of, we still had around 5" of rain in both January & February. March brought less than 2", & this month nothing to measure, a few brief showers. The last few days seem to indicate a change coming in the weather, breezes have picked up & there have been more cloudy days & a drizzle or 2, last night heard thunder for the first time in months.

    January was spent cleaning up the mess from November & December, hundreds of downed plantain trees, a real mess. February was rock month, we moved out around 50 tons of rock from baseball size to boulders, the biggest rocks all went in one load & it took 7 of them to make a load with a 4.5 ton truck. All the rock was moved by hand (no machinery here), I had up to 5 men working & the truck man had an additional 3, we built ramps, & sleds to help move them & we rolled the really big ones. I have another 50 tons or so piled & rolled up to the road & hopefully I will get rid of them soon, that will clear up the majority of the front 2 acres, I will save the back acre for now. I still have a few dozen "BIG" rocks around the house & when we get firewood collected we build a bonfire on a big one then when it gets really hot, we pour water on it, sometimes it breaks them, sometimes not, but who doesn't like a big bonfire. My mind set is so different then a year ago, I would have never thought about burning rocks to break them, you really have to relearn here. Some of the books I brought are homesteading books from the 1940's & 50's & they been more valuable then all the newer information I have.

    Rains should start within the next 6 weeks & right now is the "burning season", everyone is clearing, cleaning, & chopping their land, trying to get things cleaned up & burned before the rains come. I am doing the same & trying to burn up as many stumps as possible.

    I had a good pumpkin (winter squash) harvest, got around 10 dozen from the area around my house, most of those vines have died, but I will put in more with the first rains & will harvest them in Sept-Nov, that crop should be 2-3 times the size of this one with the rains, been getting a few watermelon & cantaloupe & have lots of them planted & they are just waiting for a little rain to get into action. Have maybe 2 dz tomato plants hanging on,1 dz pepper plants, a few okra, & still 2 eggplants producing like crazy (one has over 20 on right now). Had a bumper crop of corn, planted in January, hoping to get a little pig food & they produced great, ate lots & the rest sold off quick as no one here plants corn then. My peanuts came really nice & it looks like a new crop is coming in good right behind the old. I have a hundred or so seedlings of all sorts growing on the porch & planting more everyday, trying to have plenty to put out by late May or Early June.

    The pig is getting fatter, he just finished up the last of the pumpkin & started on mangoes a few days ago, right now there are mangoes like rice, we pick them up by the 5 gallon bucket full, he ate 1 bucket full today & started the second, that was on top of some coconut, scraps, & concentrate, he is eating & putting the pounds on now. I am looking for 2 piglets right now to start & have for Christmas.

    Problems with the electricity again, been going on since before Easter. I have been eating my stockpile of shrimp, fish, & lobster so that I don't loose them. Life without ice is really not that great. Luckily the past several days it has only been out from around daylight to around dark (if you plan carefully, you still have ice at 5 o'clock). Everyone here keeps a stockpile of candles & most big houses & hotels have a generator. I usually go to bed shortly after dark, unless I am reading, so it is not such an inconvenience other than the fridge, you just have to remember to make ice at night & try not to open it unless necessary.

    Today was a great work day, cloudy & breezy, I started a little after 5am & worked until noon, & really should have put a few more hours in, it is rare for me to be able to work outside past 10am this time of year, the sun has been intense, these past few cloudy days have been a real treat. I set fires before dark (the politically correct burning times are very early or just before dark, that way you don't smoke up the neighbors laundry that is hanging out to dry) burning up all the brush I cut & piled today as well as a few stumps I am working on. A neighbor on one side has a new-born baby, so now I have to try & coordinate the time & breeze before I burn so that I don't smoke up the laundry or the little baby, I am getting better but the breeze here is tough to predict.

    I have been planting lots of trees the past few months & have one piece of advice about planting trees in the dry season, don't do it, unless you enjoy hauling 5 gallon buckets of water all over the place. Somehow I have managed to keep them all alive (at least the ones I remember where I planted). Lots more avocado, lime, orange, Royal Ponciana's for shade, a few more mangoes (great pig food), dozens of papaya (they only take 9 months or so to bear & they are also great pig food), cashew, grapefruit, calala (passion fruit) vines, really anything I can get. Always planting more coconut, trying to reach my goal of 100 on the property, still 80 or so away, maybe by this time next year.

    Looking at the place sometimes it is hard for me to see progress, but looking back at pictures I am truly amazed, in a little over a year I have managed to get a lot done, but I have a long way to go. Looking at the pictures from the last 18 months & the one project that seems amazing now (at the time it was just something that needed to be done) is my "road", 300 feet long & 10 feet wide, we put down a 6-8 inch road bed of rock (all picked up by hand & carried by wheelbarrow, I wish I had kept a count of the wheelbarrow loads), then we brought dirt from where the well had been dug & a few other spots around the property, laid a few inches on the rock & waited for rain, the rain came & packed the road & it held up pretty well, then I had more rock put in a few places, another 6 inches in one stretch through the lowest part of the property, fixed any low or bad spots & now after having 50 tons of rock hauled across it I think I have a road that with very little maintenance will last for many years. Maybe next year (after I see how the November, December torrential rains affect it) I will put down gravel on it, but right now I am very happy with it.

    One project that is begging to be done is improving the soil in the garden, I thought I would get to it this year & 2010 would be the year of the super garden, but now it is looking more like 2010 will be the year of soil improvement, maybe I will get some work done on the soil in October, possibly earlier depending on how the crops do (or don't). Last years mediocre crops (or at least I thought), & every variety of soil borne disease known, made it evident that much work was needed. I was really just happy we got the garden cleared last year, I can live with a year or 2 of problematic soil, especially since I am still able to harvest plenty for myself, with a 1/4 acre garden you can lose lots of the harvest & still have more than enough.

    I still get 2-3 bunch of plantain a week, plantain does not like the dry & things will increase dramatically once the rains come.

    Other than that not much going on, just waiting on the rains, & trying to get as much done as possible before the rains.

  2. #2
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    In Italy they feed the pigs the leftover parmessan cheese from the factories That's why their pancettas(italian bacon) are so flavorfull
    There's nothing like killing a hog the same day and barbequing the sucker
    Basted with coconut oil and you'll get a delicious crunchy skin with a beautiful color
    Dios es Amor!

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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Pic of Cookshow's finca (top field) in January - after the November/December winds burned almost everything.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable

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    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Corn Island Finca Update and Thank You

    Kevin,
    I want to publicly thank you for all your help to me and the construction crew during the rehab of the small house on Brig Bay. Without you and Merle who was such a gracious and patient host during my weekly visits, we would have never have done as much in such a short time. Despite being later overcome with gout from a daily diet of shrimp, lobster and fried food while on the island, it was a great experience.

    Your "rocks" more accurately described as immense stone boulders that could have been part of Stonehenge, proved invaluable as the base of the breakwater we are building, yes, erosion is real and a serious future problem on the island.
    We had the kitchen cabinets delivered this week to Managua, (with only a minor six week delay), so it looks like we will crank up again and finish out the punch list. From the look of your letter the list better include a small generator, if I want to lease to tourists. I hope to see you next week with more seeds for the garden.
    Thanks Again!
    Mark
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

  5. #5
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by El Greco View Post
    In Italy they feed the pigs the leftover parmessan cheese from the factories That's why their pancettas(italian bacon) are so flavorfull
    There's nothing like killing a hog the same day and barbequing the sucker
    Basted with coconut oil and you'll get a delicious crunchy skin with a beautiful color
    Hot Dam, sounds like you know what you doing too broder...
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  6. #6
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    You used to hear the same about Corn Island hogs... They were fed the thrash from the coconut production/industry and were healthy and the meat was sweet.
    That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable

  7. #7
    Viejo del Foro El Greco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain John Wayne View Post
    Hot Dam, sounds like you know what you doing too broder...
    I went to cooking school, Man let me tell you JPJW I love to cook!! If we ever get together for a BBQ we"ll have a feast, I'll guarntee you that
    Dios es Amor!

  8. #8
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by marlies View Post
    You used to hear the same about Corn Island hogs... They were fed the thrash from the coconut production/industry and were healthy and the meat was sweet.
    I have an uncle from down east NC that was an avid fish eater......

    He smelled like one all the time.....:LMAO:
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  9. #9
    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Enough pork talk man, my gouty foot aches with desire.
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

  10. #10

    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    I have seen the brig bay house What an improvement!!!

  11. #11
    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by renco View Post
    Enough pork talk man, my gouty foot aches with desire.
    Colchicine will clear that up in just a few hours, then it's back to the pork roast.

    If you get gout pretty regularly, you can take a half dose before "pigging out" and it should avoid the attack in the first place.

    Both points above assume your kidneys are functioning normally. If not (or if you're not sure), take some Motrin and ride it out.
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

  12. #12
    Active TRN Member renco's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Thanks Doc, good advice!
    You'll excuse me, gentlemen. Your business is politics, mine is running a saloon.
    Casablanca-1942

  13. #13
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Scout Finch View Post
    I have seen the brig bay house What an improvement!!!
    Welcome SF, I know in the hussle and bustle of things, some of us (Me included) forget to say this ...But anyway welcome to the Mad House....:LMAO:
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  14. #14
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by El Doc View Post
    Colchicine will clear that up in just a few hours, then it's back to the pork roast.

    If you get gout pretty regularly, you can take a half dose before "pigging out" and it should avoid the attack in the first place.

    Both points above assume your kidneys are functioning normally. If not (or if you're not sure), take some Motrin and ride it out.
    Ahhh, I remember "Pigging Out" at Fat Boys in Canaveral........

    A mix of Pork, Beef, and Chicken for two or Four......
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  15. #15

    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Scout Finch View Post
    I have seen the brig bay house What an improvement!!!
    welcome! any relation to atticus?
    All this for a flag? Michelle Obama http://hotair.com/archives/2011/11/0...our-years-ago/

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    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Been feeding the pig mango, papaya, eggplant, okra, the whey from making cheese, coconut "trash", corn, concentrate, fed plenty of avocado when I had them, I am hoping the meat comes nice.

  17. #17
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Feed him some grain, and you'll just about have a complete meal!

  18. #18
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Corn Island Finca Update

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Been feeding the pig mango, papaya, eggplant, okra, the whey from making cheese, coconut "trash", corn, concentrate, fed plenty of avocado when I had them, I am hoping the meat comes nice.

    A meat that doubles as desert.. Now that's a pig roast..
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