A Zany Navy Encounter Contrasts With A Good Week With the New Farm

peter's picture

Milyn Eating Sugar CaneWell, we had been negotiating on two lots over the past four months; recently in some other posts we had described some of the obstacles that we encountered with regards to one lot.  So we've gone with the other one.

My wife had put ten percent down, but hadn't gotten a very good agreement in return.  The purchase price was alright, but in essence all she got for the ten percent was a receipt that says "we have your money."  We gave the seller enough of a guilt trip that he came around and gave us a better paper, this one with a full lease that grants us full privileges to use the land up to the time when they get the final "certificate of retention" (which could be a month or two - or who knows!).  Monday we got the paper.

Tuesday we were planning to plant about 100 trees we have been gathering for several years.  But between organizing the transportation and hauling the 100 black plastic bags the last 400m through a sugar cane field, we didn't have enough time Wednesday.  I was pleasantly surprised by the ingenuity of my wife's brother, who came along to help.  He found bamboo parts, vines, tattered bags and baskets, and by balancing the bags on either end of the bamboo hauled quite a few black plastic bags at once.  Then after I claimed eminent domain on his setup, he came up with another one out of nowhere as well.

peter and rosalinda

Wednesday morning we had to head back to do the actual planting.  Two kids helped carrying

 water and plants, I marked rows, my wife's brother did most of the digging, and I did most of the planting.  I didn't understand why her brother had slowed down from the day before, but afterwards my wife explained that he had gotten himself into a bicycle accident inbetween, riding a bicycle without brakes. Very clever. We planted noni, pejibaye, zapote, avocado, longan, mangosteen, durian, in about that order of "how many we had", all from seed, most of which we brought from Central America, but the longan actually was from Hong Kong and the durian I can't remember I've started and given away so many durians I don't know where these were from.  It was a long, hard day of working in the sun.  I haven't been so physically exhausted and sore for a few years - what a lazy butt.

After a day of rest, today my wife and I watered all the trees.  Most seem to be still alive after two days.  I'm optimistic.  I think 80-90% survival at 2 years is likely.

It was a great week.  A lot more could have gone wrong that didn't.  Sorry, no pictures of the farm, we forgot all about the camera until we had left the farm and were walking out through the neighbor's backyard.

But to keep things grounded in reality, I did just now run across this report of the Philippines Navy carrying out vigilante justice a few days ago somewhere off Mindanao.  Keep your video phone and bolo handy, and have your exit strategy worked out!