We got up this morning, and by the end of breakfast realized that we would have some sun! Marcelo got a new grate for us to sift subsoil with, and we went down with our shovels, buckets, and the wheelbarrow to the pile by the garden. We quickly sifted through 20 buckets, throwing out all of the bigger rocks, and then lugged it all up to the building site. (It was a dream compared to the four days it took us last week to make half as much.) To this we added 8 buckets of sand, three or four of water, and a bunch of pine needles for fiber, and stomped away, feeling so happy to be making progress on building again.Finally, our mortar was mixed (it’s so much harder to do a double-load like we did today! It took four of us to pull it side to side on the tarp to mix it. You roll it into a big cigar and then into the center, and then stomp on it more to mix it.) We laid nearly an entire layer of bricks around the structure before it started raining and we had to cover everything with tarps, and go down to wash our tools and boots and hands in the river. What started as gentle rain turned into absolute downpour in a flash though, and within a few seconds we were soaked through as we ran to the tool shed for refuge. Kim was in the kitchen listening to “Here comes the rain again… “
These are tung nuts from the tung trees growing all over here. This farm used to be a tung tree plantation. The nuts are toxic, but are grown for making that lovely oil we use to finish wood!The sky has cleared now, and we’re having siesta for the heat of the day. Kim and Keren are laying in hammocks beside me, reading… Maggie is down at the river sunning herself, and Kayla is somewhere else reading as well. Marcelo is tucked quietly away in the house, studying his mushroom books for the mycology class he’s taking. I can hear the roosters crowing in the forest near the kitchen as they run around scratching for grubs. The river is running muddy today from all the rain, and the sound of it flowing permeates everything we do here. It’s peaceful on the farm. Sometimes we listen to music from Kim and Marcelo’s ipod, but more often it’s the sounds of the insects, the river, the birds, and the breeze that are our music.