The rains stopped and we are conserving water again. The greens growing under the blue netting are refreshed from tubs of water when we go to pick our dinner salad. The children have been turning the soil in the fields to prepare them to be covered with straw for the dry season. School is still online, so there is time to get out to care for the animals and the fields.
There has been some swine flu nearby and the cost of pork has skyrocketed - from USD 3 per kg to USD 9 per kg. Needless to say, the children have been served more vegetables and chicken. The situation has been a lesson for the children to make the food for the pigs so they do not risk spreading the virus from some purchased feed that may be contaminated. We had been purchasing some feed and making about half of the food from local greens and banana trees.
Now the children are helping to collect and dry the leaves and plants to store ingredients and build up supplies. Banana tree stalks are a major ingredient and need to be chopped finely. We planted a number of banana trees around the property, both for eating bananas and animal feed, and we are glad to have a steady supply. So far the pigs have stayed healthy, although they do not like the chilly nights and we are careful to check their mosquito netting to avoid bites that might carry disease.
The children have come to appreciate the variety of meat they had before the swine flu outbreak. For now, they are making food and caring for the animals, glad to see the pigs welcome them with loud greetings as they dig into the homemade food.
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