So I´ve uploaded some new photos on my flickr account.
Here are some highlights of my last couple weeks. I got to visit a field with a Paraguayan farmer who is actually using a rollo cuchillo and siempra directa. 2 of the biggest agricultural practices we push here in Paraguay.
Farmers in Paraguay have been farming the same stretch of land for years. Even generations. The big problem is that instead of adding nutrients back to the soils and leaving the fields to fallow for a season, the farmers continue planting the same things over and over, leaving the soil devoid of any plant food. Artificial fertilizers are bought, but alas, most farmers can´t afford them for their consumable crops, only their commercial crops (if they have any). A smart way to farm this land is to rotate crops, use green manures - such as planting a crop of beans which are filled with Nitrogen which feed the soil. Using mulch is a great way to contain the moisture in the soil, and the less turning over of the soil, the less topsoil your scraping off. Siempra Directa is direct planting. Planting directly in the soil without hoeing. You fertilize by planting an abonos verde over your land to add nutrients. You cut the abonos verdes down with an ox drawn rollo cuchillo - or rolling knife (which is really what it is). Its a round compressor filled with water to make it heavy, and knives sticking out all over it to cut the abonos verdes. You then leave the abonos verdes to become a mulch cover, and then plant your crop seeds directly into the cut, mulched field.
We got to check it out with the farmer and my local counterpart for my department of La Pastora. It was pretty cool. I really hope my farmer gets to check this out when we go to our seminar next week.
After that I headed into town to see Indiana Jones 4. I´m only going to make a couple statements about that movie.
All I can say is WOW.
Apparently not even an atomic bomb can kill Indy - but bad acting surely will.
And DON´T call me Shirley.
Now now, it was Indiana Jones after all. And I really liked the part where it was...Indiana Jones. Waste of time? No. Will I see it again? Yes. Is Temple of Doom better? You bet.
After that I mosied on down to Carapegua to visit a fellow volunteer at his site. It sure is different than mine, and he even has a bathroom with a HOT shower. I´m super jealous. When I spoke to him about peeing in a banana field and bucket bathing, he looked at me like I was from the Looney Bin.
BUT we did get to listen to some great Paraguayan polkas from his community (I think ALL of them showed up) a little bluegrass from us PCVs and heck, even a couple rounds of beer pong. All and all, a good night.
I can´t wait for next week.
Oh yeah, and I´m starting a radio program. It´s all in Guarani! Yikes!!!