The first picture below is where I left off from my last post. Since then, Rick and I (mainly Rick) added the plastic roof, lights, light switches, electricity, doors, latches (fabricated by Rick) and some other little touches. We have started testing the drying house on a small scale with the cherries picked by a couple people on coffee tours. It is working beautifully!
International Living Magazine
We were interviewed by the magazine International Living. So, if anyone has a subscription you can read about us in the July 2018 edition.
Besides the regular caterpillars and butterflies right now, we are seeing some very small bugs. The first 2 pictures are of the same bug. It would fit on the tip of a toothpick. The 3rd picture is a spotted bug that would not sit still long enough for me to take a good picture....sigh. The last is just a picture of one of the many butterflies that floats around all day.
1. This is how the girl dog tries to make me jealous at night. She lays her head on my husband's leg and stares at me. She thinks this will make me so jealous that she is with him and I will then beg her to cuddle on my lap. :) Okay, I do let her cuddle most nights.
2. We had to make a new batch of coffee rub for grilling meat. This is what coffee, sugar, chili, paprika, oregano and some other spices look like all mixed together.
3. We have cleaned the outdoor kitchen area up and it is all ready for the next people to come and stay in the Coffee Can. The inside is clean too, but I only had a picture of the outside for this post. :)
Most of the big projects that we wanted to accomplish before this next harvest, are now done. However, there is still a little time to improve things.
1. We have a new, larger de-pulping machine and will be modifying our de-pulping station to accommodate it.
2. There are still a few areas that could use some landscaping fixes.
3. We have decided to relocate our water pump, so it is easier to prime and less noisy.
4. We would still like to make a cabinet under the sink area in the Coffee Can, but we are waiting for inspiration on what we should do....so it might be awhile.
The fun never ends......
Fireplace is done! We will add a fire guard soon, but everything is done and the mosaic tiling job done by James and Maddy makes it even better.
Testing of the New Fireplace
We had to test the fireplace out a few times. Once for some marshmallows, once for our last night together "Hobo Dinner" and then for s'mores.
Hobo Dinner and S'mores
We asked the volunteers to prepare for an American camping tradition, The Hobo Dinner. Throw some food in foil packs, put it in the fire and we would eat hours later. The problem with this is telling a Brit who is an amazing chef to put together a simple meal is like herding cats....can't be done! He outdid himself and put together an amazing dinner, with just a little cheating. :) We had baked potatoes, seasoned peppers, seasoned eggplant, short-ribs and was topped off with wine in a box. :)
None of the volunteers had ever experienced a s'more, so this was new to them. I found Hershey chocolate and white marshmallows, but could not find graham crackers. We had to substitute a honey bran cracker instead. The crackers were a little smaller, but very yummy. James ended the night with a three layer s'more and yes, he could open his mouth big enough to eat it!
(sorry some of the pictures are dark, I realized later that my flash on my phone was turned off)
Solar Drying House
The drying house is not finished, but we have made progress. The fans took 2 weeks before they arrived at the store and we decided the shelves needed more reinforcements. However, the fans are up and we have the material to reinforce the shelves. Maybe it will be finished by the end of the week. Things will slow down now that it is just Rick and I again.
The volunteers found time to have a little fun. They watched the World Cup, played in the workshop, did some jumping and enjoyed some walks.
The birds have made nests all over the property. Many of the nests are hidden and we can hear baby birds chirping all around. Below is a picture of a nest on top of one of the coffee trees. I guess this bird gave up on finding a spot with shelter that was still vacant. :)
We have 2 new "volunteers" that are here on the Workaway program. They are from the U.K. and they are both very creative. Each group has had different skills and we have enjoyed each group more than we anticipated.
Maddie and James are on their 2nd week with us and have done incredible things around the farm. Maddie has actually resurrected the instagram account and is very good at remembering to update it each day. I guess I am going to have to continue her great work after she leaves. I will miss her for many reasons when she leaves, this is just one of them.
James and Maddie both contributed to the new Coffee Can sign on the wall. I think they both might still have a little paint on their hands. :)
Both James and Maddie are amazing in the kitchen. However, James gets stuck with more of the meal preparation. I should have been taking pictures of the incredible food we have been eating for months now, but below is James in the outdoor kitchen and a couple of the lunches we have had.
Other projects that have been completed in the 10 days:
This week we are working on an outdoor fireplace for the Coffee Can. We were lucky to have 2 guys from Canada come and help for a day too. Hopefully, I will have a pictures of it completed by the next time I update this page.
Maddie and James spent the evening with me at our large batch coffee roaster's house. Below, Maddie is frantically trying to sweep out the roasted coffee beans before the next batch drops down. I think they had some fun.
They have been doing small batch roasting on the farm and experimenting with different roasts and different ways to brew the coffee. They have been drinking iced coffee, cold brewed, espressos, auto-drip....
I had never seen a a guanabana bloom before. It is my understanding that it only blooms in the morning, but we finally saw this one in our backyard. We are hoping to have a few good guanabanas this year.
We tested our water with some petrifilm. On the right is the water that comes into our water tanks from the supplier. Pink dots are not really good. It shows how many coliforms, or possible contamination colonies that are present. Blue dots would show E.coli that was present. Thankfully, we only have lots of coliforms coming in. Our system then has water filters and even a U.V. filter before it reaches the house. As you can see in the 2nd test, the filters are doing their job!!! The water is 100% clean according to the this week's test. I had never heard of petrifilm until this year, it is kinda neat. Little petri dishes built in slides.
Bug of the week
I have shown caterpillars before, but unfortunately this kind of caterpillar attached himself to Maddie's leg while she was working in the coffee field. Her leg started getting hot with a large blister looking rash. The rash was in the shape of Panama, which was interesting, but I do not think Maddie thought it was cool at the time. After a shot from the doc and some strong antihistamines she is back to herself, but we are all a little more cautious right now when we go through the coffee trees.
Last but not least, after living here for almost 2 years, we finally bought our own lawnmower. It is not as fancy as Hector's riding lawn mower, but we did splurge on the self-propelled and push-button start. Rick actually can mow the lawn in the about the same amount of time and he can get into the smaller areas now. The downsides:s not as cool as the riding lawn mower, you can drink a beer while mowing the lawn and it takes more energy now.