Saturday, February 4, 2012

Travel: Day 1

(Vale of Avoca) I have spent the past week packing and thinking of every last minute item that could come in use during my trip. The past three months I have spent my free time researching, learning and planning for this trip, taking small steps every day. I have set up three hosts to stay with during my travel; a small countryside family, a large family on a large estate, and a small sustainable organic farm run by the local community. My first host, The Knockanode House, is a small family consisting of children, two parents and a helpful grandmother who helps run an alternative healing center. I will be helping the family start a sustainable production system for thier household and healing center. The gardens will be desinged to provide a variety of organic vegetables and herbs that can be produced sustainably with minimal external inputs and atrificial fertilizers or pesticides. The family has had troubles in the past with organic production with certain pests and diseases along with poor yields returning them to conventional methods, so would like to take a more transitional approach that will provide a benificial product with minimal conventional methods.
I have started to design the farm plan through a site provided by Johnny Seeds called Agsquared which provides an excell type program that sets sowing, planting, and maintenence dates and conditions to help keep a buisy farmer on task. The program works through three stages, planning, planting, and harvesting which covers all types of preparations such as tillage and trellising to maturity indeces and storage information for selected crops. This type of planning and record keeping in the convient browser program will hopefully aid myself and the family with a succesful grow season this year and the years to follow from what we learn with this program and planning/maintenece methods.
I expect these first few weeks to be rather laid back, planning and plotting, hopefully having a few nice days to get out and see the local scenery. I look forward to the slowed time, and long afternoons, working in the field and the dirt from early morning until the growing shadows of the countryside dusk followed by relaxing evenings of preparing meals and fires with the family.

With all my expectations and excitement, I cannot be more ready to see more of the world and open my mind to new culture and ideas. I am about to ger the experience and agricultural knowledge to gain the confidence to one day soon start my own sustainable household and production system.

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