Memphis Backyard Farmer

Farming in Mexico
August 1, 2012, 6:54 am
Filed under: Gardening | Tags: , , ,

It’s been a busy summer. Beyond managing my two gardens here in Memphis, I got a chance to help out with a small farm in Mexico last week. Our family joined a mission team visiting Casa de la Esperanza, an orphanage in Anahuac, Chihuahua, Mexico.

It was a fantastic experience, all around. The scenery was stunning – I’ve never seen such beautiful sunrises or sunsets. The kids were all heartbreakers. Given the poverty and hurt from which they had emerged, it was amazing to see how happy they were. And the facility and grounds were immaculate. Casa is a fully working farm, with pigs, chickens, goats, sheep, cows, horses, bean and grain fields, an orchard, and two broken-down greenhouses.

Call me weird, but there’s something strangely wonderful about getting up on a cool morning, coffee in hand, watching the sun coming up over the fields, with the smell of manure in the air. Heaven on earth.

We had two stated reasons for going to Casa: playing with kids and working on the facility. We DID play with the kids (and play, and play), but we also poured concrete, painted dorms, installed insulation, cut down trees, and…repaired at least one greenhouse.

I’d never put up a real greenhouse before (though I have my own little hoop house on my raised beds at home). Let me just say that it’s a lot of work. Definitely an “all hands on deck” project, as you can see in the images below. It was rewarding once finished, and once the beds inside had been planted. But before jumping into a greenhouse like this, let me encourage you to think twice, invite lots of friends, and don’t tell them what you’re going to do. If they’ve done it before, I can assure you they’ll be busy that day!


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