Another gap in the posts. Alright, here we go!!!

Well friends and supporters of project Bona Fide,

I wish to say I am a slacker, but for those of you who know me that is just not true, busy as a bee is the truth here at Bona Fide, also with formerly broken computers and broken cameras, neither the tropics or myself is easy on either btw do not ever go swimming in the Rio San Juan with your digital camera (well I fell in stuck in the mud and toppled over to be precise)

Lots to say not sure where to begin, has been 2 full months since my last post, in the first two above slides you can see photos of our Beloved Kris Falls AKA hombre pequeno AKA Tiny Many (not small TINY!!) doing his simultaneous translating gig, these shots were taken at Rancho Mastatal, an education and learning center focused on community work, permaculture, natural building and food preparation. In July shorter after my last post I had the opportunity to teach a 15 day Permaculture Design course to 19 individuals from 7 countries. Spanish and English were the lingua francas of the day and students worked hard on redesigning two overgrown non functioning valleys full of old orchard trees into climate adaptive multifunctional agro-forest systems integrated into a permaculture landscape. Just after the course students and I traveled around CR sourcing seeds for Rancho Mastatal and Bona Fide. We visited CATIE, Finca La Loma Botanical garden in Puerto Viejo and various outdoor markets for seed and plant stock. Dancedown in Puerto Viejo was also an excellent way to ease out of 15 hr. days. Rancho MAstatal and Project Bona Fide will be joining forces by creating a joint apprenticeship program, information and skills share as well as introduce a yearly PDC out at the Ranch taught by yours truly and ranch staff and of course Kris Fallas.

Following a return to Bona Fide in early August I came back to what were experiencing in CR as well. Almost record level rains, lake level is as high now sept 21st as it was in late October of 2008, that was a record year, we are already seeing the town River in Balgüe go from 10 feet wide to over 60 feet. The upriver bypass to cross the Balgüe stream has already been cut, the ferry dock is under water so is the ferry ticket office. Wow. Let us not even get started about the road, well OK here we go. Positive: adoquin paved road is on its way, supposedly to Balgüe, certainly to Santa Cruz at least, they have already reached almost to Santo Domingo, they are working 7 days per week since April. So far so good. Neg: as for the rest of the road to our town is pretty much the worst I have seen it. No upkeep done for almost 2 years. Rains that flooded the town’s catholic church and moved 50 kilogram/hundred pound plus boulders meters/feet down the road, in many places exposed on the road to seasonal quebradas all material is gone, just rocks remain, A joy to ride on a motorcycle, worse in a truck. 😉

On the upside heavy rains are helping along heavy rice and corn crops, beans are suffering from dampness though and our sorghum actually started to sprout on the seed head ha! We have had good harvests in the annual fields and we are overall pleased with this year’s annual food production efforts. On that note we have to date planted over 100 coffee, 100 cacao, 500 nitrogen fixing trees, 300 hundred fruit trees, over two acres of pigeon pea and hundreds of nut trees, bamboos, scores of coconuts, hundreds of thatch palms and a partridge in a pear tree :)

This year we opened up some formerly monocropped land that grew over with cover cropping vines and scrub trees, the land is now in pigeon pea legume cover crops, with many fruit trees planted underneath to be shielded by the pigeon pea in their first year to reduce or eliminate irrigation needs. On the same note a large native fruit and nut tree planting was carried out to connect two zone five forest areas and form a more cohesive and coherent wildlife corridor.

Starfruit abounds, ackee just began, guavas are dropping, rollinias and guanabana and caimito are flowering, canistels are swelling on the trees as are all manners of citrus..same to be said for Jackfruit, gardens resting at the BF cocina, pumping down the hill at my Casita…

Peppers Peppers Peppers, that shot of myself and my 9 varieties of hot peppers is just part of the story, processing continues with hot peppers dried, in oil, and in vinegar.

ANIMALS ANIMALS ANIMALS!!! End of 2010 and all of 2011 is the epoch of integrated animal systems at BF. Pigs coming, rabbits, chickens, guinea fowl, and DUCKS. )

As per remaining fotos:
Orange fruits: Wild Jocote, native genetics that produces our cultivated Jocote. Tasty!!

Church shot: Ernesto Cardenal’s peasant church on Solentiname island Mancarron, where campesino led masses helped inspire art, revolution, and change. Grafitti courtesy of corrupt government that is no better than who they replaced decades ago. Oh well. Punks.

Thanks all for your love, presence and support,

Chris Shanks
Co-Director Project Bona Fide

Copyright © Project Bona Fide 2015