Rachel joined us with her partner Francesco in late February 2014 for ten days. They are both tour guides in Rome, Italy. Rachel, originally from the US, has spent over four years in Rome, where Francesco is a native Italian. When they came to the farm it was great to hear them talk together in Italian. We were lucky to have a huge variety of tasks for them to enjoy. We all enjoyed building a new composting toilet together including cutting the bamboo and splitting it for the flooring and weaving bamboo for the walls.
We need the composting toilet so we can save water seeing we are now in the dry time of the year and with our increased number of guests we have to reduce water consumption.
There was a lot of Kardis (pigeon pea) to be collected – both fresh and dry so they enjoyed doing that a few times as well as enjoying the yummy dish it makes. Francesco was super keen to collect papaya from our VERY high trees located deep in a gully on the lower part of the property. It was a blessing he was very persistent returning from his ‘hunt’ with a huge bucket full of green papaya. His sudden ‘harvest’ prompted us to make natural green papaya lactic acid pickle. Out came all the pickling jars, bundles of garlic and onions while they both grated the papaya ready for the pickle. They will get to eat their pickle in a few days time in Manila when it will be ready.
Yesterday we all walked down to the beach (40 mins away) to have a barbecue to celebrate Rachel’s birthday. It was her first ‘birthday in the sun’ so she loved it. She’s never been in a warm place for her birthday and never been to the beach seeing it’s mid winter in the US at her birthday time. We piled all together into a tricycle to come back after filling our tummies with barbecued Bangus (milk fish – a local fresh water fish) and some local San Miguel beer.
As well as quenching the thirst of our loverly avocado trees, rescuing them from the relentless sun, they also finished off the herb bed next to the Little Happy house this morning before they left putting into place the final bamboo stakes to stop the chickens scratching out the bamboo leaf bedding mulch.
Our time at Happy House Farm was truly an amazing introduction into the world of organic farming and simplicity. We arrived at the property not even knowing how to properly water a papaya tree and left not only knowing how to water the trees but also knowing how to climb them, fetch papayas and even pickle them! The daily schedule was always varied and the overall experience left me with a whole range of new knowledge. David, Carol (and especially Kyra!) made my first farming experience unforgettable. And it would be a shame not to mention that the whole experience was made just a little more amazing because of what an AMAZING cook Carol is! Not only will I return home knowing the basics of farming, but I now have a million ideas and inspirations for vegetarian cooking.
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This time at the Happy House Farm has been really nice and a great learning for me. I was not used to many things that for David and Carol are the normal life such as not having a real shower with running water but I loved cooking on a real fire and taking care of all the plants and trees on¬†the property.
It’s such an amazing thing how you can live just using what the Earth gives you if you treat her well. I hope that the Happy House Farm project can develop because this property and project has such a big potential, and then the ‘star’ of the property, Kyra, will be loved by so many people.
I’m looking forward to see soon pictures of how the plants, the property, and the most beautiful baby girl in the world – little Kyra, are doing.
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