In addition to fresh (harvested before your eyes) affordable organic produce, Saturdays in November include a chance to pick blueberries.
In a half hour or so, I had three kilos (6.6 pounds). Cost? Just under US$2 per pound.
Checking in our nearby chacra, I met a neighbor I don’t know cutting our field using the tractor of our immediate neighbor, who I gave access for his cows. I was expecting to borrow his tractor and do it myself, but seeing the grass, I realize it’s much to his cows’ benefit. What he’s cutting is some kind of nasty brushy weed that the cows ignore. The grass they will like.
We really appreciate the opportunity, every other week, to buy fresh-as-you-can-get-it organic produce at bargain prices. Here Ricardo has just harvested a variety of acelga (Swiss chard) for us. Acelga is arguably the vegetable in Uruguay — if you order ravioli or canelones con verduras in a restaurant the verduras will be acelga. You can get it year-round. It took us a year or two to realize this was our desirable spinach substitute, since spinach is only occasionally available. And needs much more washing.
So then off to our chacra nearby where the in-places knee-high grass needed cutting. A couple of wild ducks flew into our tajamar, but decided the noise of the lawn mower was offensive, and left. I had seen one on my previous trip. Other posts about the pond we created. It’s an interesting experiment in “letting nature do its thing.”
Then there was the twice-monthly (because “bimonthly” can mean either twice a month or every two month; thanks English language) Atlántida-area English-speakers’ get together. 23 people showed up. Many lively (and funny!) discussions. Nationalities included Uruguay, US, Canada, England, Holland, and Germany. On other occasions we’ve had South Africans, Argentines, and no doubt others I can’t think of right now.
Last year, we installed a windmill over the hand dug well at our chacra (small farm). I got an upgrade by taking a larger-than-quoted demo unit in place of a brand new one. Hey, why not, these things last a long time. They had to disassemble this unit; win-win. Almost: sometimes when you engage it, something sticks and the tail fin doesn’t go perpendicular to the rotation of the fan blades.
In other words, it does nothing. Which it did the other day.
And the something that sticks is way at the top. Where I have never ventured. But now it’s out of warranty, so up I went the wire ladder, consoling myself that it would at least make an awesome photo op.
Which it didn’t. Oh well.
The more I looked at the mechanism at the top, the less I could understand where the problem lay. Then I looked further up, and saw the tail fin perpendicular to the fan blades. In other words, the mechanism worked. But the windmill didn’t, given the unusual and complete absence of wind. Problem solved? Ya veremos. We will see.
We visited with our country neighbor, Mariana the veterinarian, who boards dogs and took in the lovely dog in the upper right, Benji, whom we rescued from a neighbor’s yard (with their permission; poor thing was on a 5-foot chain and yowling all day long in misery). Unfortunately, Benji has the people skills of a database technician (due apologies, yada yada), and during his last “interview” with an enthusiastic family with kids, walked away from them, curled up under a tree, and went to sleep.
Windmills that work, but don’t; dogs that are lovely, but aren’t. Must be a Zen thing.
Dumpster. Windows installed, much of the interior finished; time to tear out poorly made (like everything else in the campo) cement-and-rubble floors. Floors from the front half of the house filled this container.