Tag Archives: homesteading in Mexico

Has rainy season arrived?

The neighbor’s roof! Not a great picture but I wasn’t going outside!

The month of May was blazingly hot, as it is every year. At the very end of the month, we had a shower or two that sent the campesinos out into their fields to ready the rows for planting. Then June arrived and we’ve been hit with not one, but two, terrific storms. The first storm was so strong that the neighbor’s roof blew off, metal support beams and all. 

The rain brought out all the critters. We’ve been inundated with scorpions in the house. Every night we try to do a thorough wall check for these little buggers. Having been stung before, all of us wish to avoid that painful encounter completely.

Then the mice have been out and about. Fred does his part in the back to try and keep the mouse population under control. George takes credit for Fred’s kills in the morning, as any respectable head dog would do. And delightfully, Manchas has proven herself to be an excellent mouser, despite her small size. Yesterday morning, Cocoa and Fuzz roused me out of bed for their breakfast at the ungodly hour of 4:50 am. I didn’t see Manchas, so I flicked on a few lights and saw she had not one, but two mice in her clutches on the back porch. WHOOP!

Another home invading species that had taken shelter indoors during the rain was the tarantula. The day before yesterday, my son got into the shower and immediately jumped back out for a weapon. He became a broom-wielding naked ninja against a family of spiders, the largest the size of his hand. We think the spiders had been living in the woodpile and slid into the bathroom window to avoid the worst of the wetness. 

Finally, to remove any remaining doubt that the rainy season has begun, the chicatanas have hatched even though it’s a few weeks early. These flying ants are considered a delicacy in many areas of Mexico, but I haven’t been tempted to try them yet.

Unfortunately, due to the sheets of rain that fell during these two storms, any rows that the farmers made have washed away. The ground is so saturated that walking becomes a heavy-booted effort, so the remarking of the rows is extremely slow going. 

With Mexico in the throes of the worst drought in 30 years, the rainy season is received with gleeful anticipation. Here’s hoping that Tlaloc will smile upon his subjects this year. 

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Filed under Alternative Farming, Battling Nature, Homesteading, Native fauna and flora, Water issues

Quarantine Project #4 — Back Porch Planters

Once the tinacos were moved to the new roof, my husband started on the back porch. I wanted some additional planters and had him make them from the bases where the tinacos had been.

Since growing our own food has been a priority for some time, I used one to plant leafy greens and the other for root vegetables. 

After we got Fuzz, the planters were completely ransacked after he figured out how to climb that high. I replanted with some larger plants instead and that seems to be more to his liking. He hasn’t bothered them yet anyway.

My husband also ran a tube from one of the tinacos on the roof and attached a short hose for watering. Since we have a rain barrel there as well, there is plenty of water (at least in the rainy season). 

He hasn’t finished the patching of the wall on this section of the house either. I know it is his least favorite part of construction, so I’m sure he’ll put it off indefinitely. Meanwhile, about those tejas from Quarantine Project #1….

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Quarantine Project #2 — Animal Roof

Before

One of the projects that interrupted the tejas was the roof for the animal area. Quarantine was as good as time as any to work on this. My husband is a pro at creating a roof, so in short order, the tarimas (wooden frames) were up and the roofing crew was called.

The colladores (roofing crew) were the same group that did my sister-in-law’s roof. They arrived early enough and made short work of the job. My son was the gofer–an extra bucket of sand, some more gravel, a new bucket for the guy who broke his, all of that was under his jurisdiction. 

Although I made several forays outside to check on the progress, I stopped after a bit. Every time I went outside, the men were wearing fewer clothing items. In fact, before all was said and done, two of the crew had taken a shower with the hose. Not something I really needed to see. 

 A lunch of carnitas and beer (and a drag on the ever present mota) was provided about ¾ of the way through. Eventually, everyone packed up and scattered. 

Lady had to be housed on the patio temporarily because there just wasn’t room for her with the beams holding the roof up. Twenty-two days later, the wood came down and the animals had a permanent roof. Lady moved back into her stall and the only one that doesn’t seem to appreciate the new roof is Jolina, who even at several months pregnant, still insisted on jumping out of the pen and sleeping near (or bothering) Terry.

After

But the work wasn’t done quite yet!

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Filed under Construction