The agriculture team has been working hard, rain or shine, to continue making progress on the Kalu Yala farm week 4!
After adding some much needed cow poop and critters to our old composting unit, Matt Duffy took the liberty of mixing and enclosing the location in order to begin the time consuming process of developing useable compost for the farm over the next year. Meanwhile, Maddy Partridge has led our team to the completion of Kalu Yala’s very first ‘humanure’ composting scheme! She has revamped our current composting toilets, implementing an ingenious system that will turn all human waste, food scraps and toilet paper into useable compost for the farm. She also has plans to use the compost as a natural and organic pest control in the future. A huge thank-you goes out to all valley interns who have jumped (excitedly) on board to doing ‘their business’ in buckets for such a worthy cause!
Extending Garden Beds:
Throughout the afternoons this week, the entire agriculture team came together to extend the garden beds surrounding ‘Fonda Largo’, making room for the abundance of veg that is ready to be planted from our greenhouse seedlings. The team also completed the weed deterrent mulching of several beds, with sawdust harvested from fallen trees on the property. Rick Sholander also got his hands dirty this week, creating a trellis for our (already) flowering cucumber plants!
Animal Science: Learning from the Locals!
The animal science crew has been hard at work finalizing project proposals. We have an incredibly diverse group of interns and there have been talks of bringing a wide variety of livestock and poultry to Kalu Yala by the end of the summer semester! In particular, proposals have been developed for rabbits, goats, cows, and horses… and yes, even pigs! Animal science also has plans to revamp our current chicken coop to make room for even more poultry.
In order to aid in the finalization of livestock and poultry plans, the entire agriculture team came together this week to begin tours of campasino properties in the area. Kalu Yala is founded on the belief that local knowledge is extremely valuable to the growth of our community. Thus, we started our ventures by touring Ramon’s farm property, in addition to receiving insight into his current livestock practices. Ramon has been a dear friend to Kalu Yala for the past two years, and succeeded once again in bringing a wealth of knowledge to the ag team this week. He was even so kind as to donate several plant trimmings to add to our current collection…KY hot sauce is now in sight! Thanks Ramon, WE LOVE YOU!
Other Projects: Terracing & Medicinal Gardening
Kaitlin Johnson has been hard at work clearing the hillside of farm section III for her terracing project. She has plans to implement several garden beds of varying soil compositions to test their effects on tropical plant growth. Connor Egyhazi brought both her muscles and vocal abilities in aiding Kaitlin in rock removal and clearing of the area. Kalu Yala interns always rock out in style, and these ladies are clearly no exception! Way to go girls!
Lisa Pope and Effie Mantzouranis have also begun the tedious task of clearing and weeding farm section IV for the implementation of their medicinal herb and butterfly garden. They have plans to create a meditative space, perfect for relaxing the mind and healing the body. We will keep you updated on their project throughout the coming weeks. Savasana ladies!