Tuesday, March 13, 2018

'Seeds Of Hope/Semillas De Esperanza' Garden Project Update

We've come up with a name for our garden projects in the San Pedro Itzican area.

­č张Seeds Of Hope - Semillas De Esperanza ­čĺĽ

Our mission this day was to visit our 4 pilot gardens and check on their progress.

Along the way we ran into Kari's knitting circle in La Cuesta.
The women are doing amazing things in just a short period of time.

Child's Cape

Go Kari!


Our latest garden is to be located on Reye's family compound in Mezcala.
In order to access the rooftop garden a ladder is used.

Full sun....check.  Water source...check.  Smiles....check.

I think we are good to go on the container garden for Reye's family.

We headed over to San Pedro Itzican to visit Brigadista Xochitl's container garden.
The family continues to harvest from their plantings and Xochitl's mother informed me
that she is preparing her backyard area for more plants.  We agreed this is a splendid idea.

Then it was off to Laura's family's land for a quick look.  The land had been cleared of
rocks, wood and other debris.  It had been plowed and was almost ready for planting. The fencing was to be installed that same day.   Anita will be bringing plants for this garden that were started, from seed, at the Brigadista's home office vivero.

And last, but not least, was Jorge's family's garden.  Anita told us that Jorge's family was anxious to show us their latest work.  When we arrived the first thing we saw was this lovely potting table/home vivero that had been installed.

The plants in the garden were growing well.  Due to the higher temps, more watering is needed now.


Medicinal plants and flowers are interspersed with vegetables in this garden, adding to its beauty.

To our surprise a compost area had been started.  The design is based on our friend's worm farm concept.  The family wants to collect the compost and the tea that it produces, for use in their

All in all the model/pilot gardens are growing well, along with your spirits and hopes for a 
brighter future for the people of the towns of Mezcala and San Pedro Itzican.

May your gardens grow beautiful and strong.

Monday, March 5, 2018

3er Festival de Semillas Nativas - 3rd Annual Native Seeds Festival

Un Festival lleno de Semillas, que nos dan la vida y que son parte de cada momento en el que existimos, ya que con ellas obtenemos algunos de nuestros alimentos, ropa, muebles, energ├şas, artesan├şas, libros, etc. Te invitamos a que conozcas a los productores de semillas, a los transformadores de las mismas y que sigamos colaborando para el cuidado de tan valioso legado de las semillas.

Habrá, además de Semillas Nativas, criollas, adaptadas, comida tradicional a base de semillas, bebidas ancestrales, talleres para niñxs y adultos, presentación del Manual de Semillas, exposición de arte, Conferencias, Charlas, ecotecnias, y música.

For some of us its all about seeds and water.  This particular day seeds took the centerstage at the
3rd Annual Native Seeds Festival in Jose Del Quince in the Municipality of El Salto.

Our friend Nereida, who is a vendor at the Tuesday Farmers Market in Ajijic and also an organic farmer, played hostess to the event at her ranch 'Granja Los Eucaliptos'.  It is a sprawling oasis of organic farming in the middle of a humble town.

Vendors were set up in and around the beautiful, fertile property, which is used by Nereida's family.

Piyu and his table.

Recycling and ecological vendors were present to share their products and services.

 Abad Aispuro Chavez had wonderful products, all nature base.

BiciMaquinas.com was there with their people powered products

Also, a series of classes and lectures was held throughout the day. 

As we arrived our dear friend Ana Luz Zepeda, an organic/biodynamic farmer, was lecturing...
what a treat!

 Andy, our excellent tour guide

Our group consisted of Mexican farmers, organic produce growers, ex-pats and a few canine friends.  Andy led us through the property gifting us with a wealth of information and history.


I've always been fascinated with Chinampas.  Chinampa is a type of Mesoamerican agriculture which used small, rectangular areas of fertile arable land to grow crops on the shallow lake beds in the Valley of Mexico.

I envision planting many of these along Lake Chapala's shoreline.

Medicinal Plant Garden Planter

I'm fascinated with our medical plants and how they are grown, processed and used.

Bishop's Balls


Vendors and their products were plenty.


Where else would you find our dear friend Saul, the seed guy?

An innovative use for styrofoam containers is to make them into a planting bed border.

I found these clay watering vessels beautiful and functional.

I'd like to thank Nereida, her family, all the wonderful vendors, farmers, growers
and the people who support these causes.

We'll see you next year. 

You won't want to miss this festival.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

************ Garden Project Update - Mezcala ****************

Volunteer Rita

As life would have it positive efforts spring up everywhere....case in point,
our Volunteer Rita who asked the folk of La Pe├▒a if they wanted to learn English.  Next thing you know a class was taking place on the sidewalk.  Go Rita!

Street alphabet

We had returned to La Pe├▒a for our weekly knitting and music & movement classes, and also to check in on the progress of Jorge's family's garden.

We were greeted by the family burro.  The burro had to give up his usual pen space for the new garden.  He didn't seem to mind too much.  Gracias burro.

The new garden is located on the west end of the family's property, running alongside the family home, at a slight elevation.


The faster growing crops like cilantro had taken off.  The newer plantlings, which had been started from seed at the Brigadista's nursery, were now in the ground, making grand efforts to catch up with the cilantro.

 Swiss Chard Starters

 Carrot Starters

Do├▒a Olivia

Anita had asked me to bring flower seeds to put into Jorge's garden.  Do├▒a Olivia and her son were thrilled with the selections.  Aside from providing much needed food and nutrition for the family, their garden will also be adorned by colorful flowers.

 Garden Crew Portrait

 New Nursery Location

We were also happy to hear that the family planned to clear a pig pen for future use as a plant nursery.  They will start plants from seed and have an inventory to transplant into their garden, perhaps also producing an abundance that can be sold at market or on the plaza.

Do├▒a Olivia and her family were very eager to show us their lower plot, where they were already growing cilantro and radishes.

Were were generously given gifts to take home.

Happiness held is the seed; 
Happiness shared is the flower. 

---John Harrigan