Thursday, January 28, 2010

December 30, 2008 - Exploring the Farm


Dec 30, 2008
Something between 32 and 35 degree Celsius (85⁰F -90⁰F). It has not rained significantly. It gets cooler only after the sunset but never inside the house. We need to have the fans on all day and night long. My father uses a piece of board on top of the sofa to rest after meals. It has been his habit for the longest time I can remember. Because it has been so hot, he is now laying down outside, at the varanda while my mother is sitting on an old woven plastic wire chair we used to have since we were small children. The chairs were out of comission for years, taking rain and sunshine. They were rusted, dirty and broken. As this is normal at the farm, we fix everything we can. We keep everything piled up, then, we give them a second chance (or more), performing the same job or a different one.
Living on a farm is not romantic as seen on movies were aristocrats spend their day laying under a tree, or ladies running across the field wearing a white dress. For me, living here is not putting on a pair or sneakers or boots, but comforming with a pair of latex sandals. My heels are cracked and constantly dirty. I am tanned only up to where my sleeves allow. My clothes are the worst of all: mismatched, old, stainned and dirty. There is no other way if I am leading a true farm living. I wake up to go straight to the kitchen to find unsweetened coffee fixed by my father who is up three hour before.
Today I wanted to try our wild cucumber. I walked first to the coffee field closest to our house. My father had told me “you can find where the young coffee bushes are”. The coffee bushes were tall and bearing green fruits. Among them, I noticed old mandioc plants. They were too old, tall, skinny and on a dry weather, they didn’t yield edible roots. Yet, my father didn’t eliminate them. I missed the huge avocado tree on the right side of the path. Soon I saw a big cut trunk near its roots. I remembered my mother complaining that my father cuts down everything. I have the same complaint. He cleaned the herb garden, but I cannot find my oregano I brought from Aguas. He surely cut it away. I found mint buried under dirt. I saw the nehem trees growing strong. When I asked why he was planting them, he told me that it was for wood. I guess he has great hope in life expectancy. This is good. I saw two other avocado trees full of unriped fruits. My father later told me that ripe fruits would fall on the ground easily and then I can have them. I am planning to make good soap using avocado pulp, differently from other recipes that call for avocado oil. I had made it before, but used dende palm oil which made it smell funny and leached yellow color on the clothes. I can replace tallow for palm oil, then, I am going to have guaranteed success. Still looking for wild cucumbers, the fresh air after a hot day on a open land made me understand why my father doesn’t give up working on it. A nice view of gentle rolling hills showing abandoned chick batteries, coffee plantations, the buildings, and two generous bamboo patches which made me aware that I know nothing about agriculture calendar. I walked to the other side of the farm to find just planted coffee bushes on the ground. It didn’t take me long to find crawling on the ground like watermelon the vine hiding ready to pick cucumbers. The skin seemed taut and prickly to the touch. I collected enough for myself and for Maria Cristina who taught me how to cook it. We had probably thousands of wild cucumbers, dozens of avocados, uncountable number of wild healing herbs on a small strip of land. I propose myself to make a vegetable garden to supply our kitchen. There is no reason for me to buy our vegetables elsewhere.
My sister and I went to a plant nursery. We brought back jasmin and some other plants I don’t know their names. We want to revive our garden. Bring life back to the house. There is so much to do.

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