Tag Archives: homesteading in Mexico

Rainy Season Babies and Stuff

Despite having limited outside options because of the rain, our little ranchito is growing by leaps and bounds.  We’ve had two new sets of kids. The first set was another Biggie Small pair. The solid black male was literally twice the size of his black and white sister. The other set were both girls. All of the wee ones are doing fine and enjoyed their first foray to greener pastures yesterday with the herd.

Mama and babies with the Puppers looking on

The quiquiriqui (little hen) hatched some eggs this week too. Three little chicks the size of your thumb were born. One seemed to have been born malformed. There was something wrong with its leg and it died later that day. However, the other two little pinguinos (penguins) are doing fine. My son is a nervous wreck over them. He gets panicked when mama hen leads them out on an adventure. He’s concerned the Puppers might scare them and that Cocoa might chase them. Cocoa isn’t allowed outside unsupervised right now for that reason. He’d cause too much pandemonium. 

My husband decided to sell Rojo, which sort of surprised me. It’s true we don’t have enough space for a young stallion, however since Rojo was born on my husband’s birthday, he’s had a special fondness for him that I thought might cause him to want to keep him. We still have Lady and it seems as if she has just begun her first heat cycle–so removing Rojo from the premises was a good move. 

Rojo hasn’t gone far. He’s moved up the hill with Azul the vet. And my husband still sees him on the caminatas (group horse rides), which have now become a weekly event. Although with Lady in heat, I’m questioning his decision to participate this week.

Lady has moved into Rojo’s stall, which is more sheltered from the rain than the back pen. The Puppers have moved into Lady’s pen to keep out of the wet. We’ve had torrential rains most of the week and some flooding in the backyard.

My husband also sold the truck, which we affectionately named Butch, to another neighbor. He and I still have our motorcycles and my son has his bike, so we aren’t stranded by any means. My husband is looking for a replacement vehicle, but nothing has appeared on the horizon just yet.

We’ve also discovered that Fuzz Lightyear is blind or partially blind in one eye. He has had no eye injuries or infections since we took him in, but he’s always been a bit of a clutz. Now that we know, it’s obvious that limited vision in one eye would make him less than graceful. His impairment has become more pronounced in the last few weeks. Honestly, the vet in town isn’t skilled enough to do much to help Fuzz, so we’ll just manage his condition the best that we can. 

And the construction project on the new lot is coming along, slowly but surely. The idea is to have a small front room with a cooking area and the rest of the lot dedicated to plants, plants, and more plants. My husband has already moved a few of our smaller fruit trees over and planted some corn, beans, and squash to take advantage of the new dirt fill. 

So it’s been quite a week as you can see!

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Filed under Animal Husbandry

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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Filed under Construction