Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pie in the face for Nick

A few days left in the challenge and I wanted to highlight another one of the challengers .
Kolya aka Nick Wright 

Nick was the very first kid we met in an orphanage back in 2005. He has become a part of our family.  Nick is in his second year of University studying Psychology.  He comes to the farm on weekends and holidays and keeps things on track.  
Nick really would like to get a pie in the face to be able to celebrate Christmas with many of the underprivileged  kids he knows as well as kids in the orphanages . 

If you would like to help Nick, please use the link below to make a donation .. He is at $100 so he has $400 to go to get a pie in the face and reach his target .. Thank you all so much for being a part of this. 

                             From the US please use this link 
                            challengers name

From Canada please use the link below 
Donate Now Through!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us to all of you .

I have been enjoying all the Facebook posts from our friends in the US as they share their preparation for Thanksgiving.

Sunday we had a celebration out at the farm .  It was a combination of a few different birthdays as well us a last big get together before we go.    

Big feasts are a deep routed part of Kyrgyzstan culture.  Everything from the type of food served, the side dishes and salads, and importantly the bread, even the seating pattern at meal make for a "Good Table" 

Sunday was one of the best.  Everything was perfect.   A table to be proud of.  But what we were most proud of is that it was hosted by everyone at the farm.  serving meals,  pouring drinks, making the ploff and  shashleek out on the fire ..fresh made salads, home made jams and pickles, honey from our own bees .. If  We were to have a Thanksgiving meal at the farm, this would be it. 

NONE of this was learned in the orphanages.   These are just some of the life skills that the kids pick up at the farm.  The hospitality that they have learned through  operating the guest house and the skills that they have been taught by people like Aigoola and Vlady are things that will be invaluable in this culture. 

  Bravo everyone, you guys are awesome .. and Bravo to all of you who have believed in them along with us and make it possible for us to continue to reach out to these young men and women and others like them. 

That's something I am Thankful for. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Two new Challengers in the pie challenge.

Two new challengers in the pie challenge this year.  Vlad and Alina  

Vlad is the youth worker and assistant at the farm and his wife Alina works as a social worker with many families in need.  they are a great couple and have such a heart for the hurting helpless and lost.  That's why they are willing to get a pie in the face if sponsors would like to donate $500 on their behalf.  
The funds raised by Vlad will go towards Christmas in rot front for our kids and the many kids in the village that we would like to bring Christmas too this year. 
Funds donated in Alina's name will go towards the underprivileged families that she works with on a regular basis 

If you want to help but not sure where, please consider either of these challengers . Just put their name in the box to the right of this post as you make a donation . 

the fish have arrived

Air pump  is in and the fish have arrived . 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Greenhouse irrigation part two

Yesterday we worked on getting the pumps and the irrigation lines run in the green houses.   Today we added the soaked hoses on to the lines .  

It was a cold day, and Aiperi had a bit of a chill so she came over to work in the green house for a bit to get warmed up .  34 C that is close to 98 F with a 65% humidity . 

in the photo above you can see the beads of water starting to form on the hose .  Now we can water the strawberries and the greens under them with the turn of a valve.  Warm nutrient rich water from the fish pools .   Speaking of fish pools, they will be picked up on Monday morning.  We will start with just 250 fish to make sure that the whole system works well, then we will build from there as we work out the kinks.  

The section of the green house beside the pools will be our planting beads . here we will start our seedlings for next spring, as well we will be planting flowers for sale in the market when people start planting gardens in the spring.  a single small potted plant here is worth about 50 cents. so even if we can set up a bit of a whole sale network that will be a good revenue source for the farm.

Today we brought over an old rabbit hutch that we had and we will use it as a planting station.  The bags around it are full of well aged manure from the mountain barn.  

Next up is the planting of the floating plant beds.  For this we used a closed cell sophomore.  We then cut holes in it with a hole saw.  then with the same size saw we cut out plugs of roxsal insulation.  

This is where we had McGyver it a little.  there are special baskets that drop into the hoes that stop the insulation from falling down into the water.  since the are not available here we have found plastic cups and cut them down to size so the fit snug, then we cut some big holes in the bottom allowing places for water to get in and the roots to get out.  this is the first of six sheets that will go in each pool containing 45 plants for a total of  270 plants peer pool .  Tomorrow we will finish this part of the process . 

this next picture is our cuteness  for the day . 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Irrigation system is all up and running.

The irrigation system is all up and running.   I am trying to make it as simple as possible for our kids this winter.  First in the line is a float switch.  This will maintain the water level of the pools at a constant level, turning on and off automatically.  

the next stage is a siphon pipe that will keep the water levels in both pools the same, so as one fills so will the other. 

Next step is a pump and pressure  tank that pumps from the second pool and then is pipped around the two green houses to hoses.  The pump will come on and off automatically to maintain water pressure when watering.    I also have a second line that is a direct line that does not go trough the pools so we can buy pass and still water when there is now power. 

The next step will be tomorrow.   I have soaker hoses that will be strung up above the strawberries, so that half of the green house will get a slow gentle watering with warm nutrient rich water with the turn of a valve.  Tomorrow we will also add the floating plant beds on the top of the pools .  

We have located a supplier for carp.   We are going to pick them up on Monday.  We will start with 250 fish.  The fish will live under the floating pads.  they will put carbon dioxide into the green house and  also their waist will add nutrients to the water. 

Aigoola and Aiperi were in the city for back treatments today so I was on duty for lunch..   I had my hands full with the plumbing so lunch today consisted of a case of  ramma noodles of all flavors dumped out on the table.. It was actually a hit with the kids .. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Second Peter given from the farm

 Those of you flowing the blog know that I enjoy chickens.  As a boy I actually collected chickens of all different breads.   Now at the farm I have started collecting them again.  We have so many different and unique breads .. great big ones , very small ones  , chickens with just down and chickens that are bald, some with afros and some with beards.  Its not just unique chickens we have, we have chickens for eggs as well.  ducks and geese for meat , and a big turkey , just because he looks cool.   

We also raise chickens to the egg laying stage that we give to families in need.  Yesterday was a day that we were delivering some of these chickens.  9 hens and 1 rooster went to a family in need so that they could have a small income.  Here is the problem, how does one decide which of your pets to give away.  It was easier to decide on the hens but the roosters were a little harder.  many of them are strange breeds except for two .. one is my beautiful and gallant rooster named Peter, and the other his son who we refer to as  "Second Peter"  so I was trying to decide which to give.    I actually turned to second Peter and read a couple lines in
 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"
Second Peter is it then .. it just seems fitting 

2 Peter on his way to his new home
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

We loaded up the last of 100 tons of coal that we were  delivering that day.   Coal is at its highest price that any one can remember and many times is simply not available, yet this year we have been able to bump up our deliveries by 400%. 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

While delivering coal to Auxana and her family we had a chance to visit some of our friends from the farm that have moved to her house .. we were happy to learn  that Batman and his wife are expecting .   
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

The poultry have been expanding as well .. many new babies 
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

With the coal delivered, we have started delivering flour to orphanages and families in need ..  here we are bringing a load to the Red River orphanage.   Flour has started going up in price and availability will be a problem shortly due to border problems yet we are blessed to have a few tons in the store house. 
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you" 

While at the orphanage we met up with a young friend that we found living in the dump almost 10 years ago.  He was such a tormented sole.  He did not speak, could not be touched even looking at him would bring trauma to him ..  Now he sees us and comes running. What a blessing to see the peace that he is experiencing now.  
 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

While with him he started telling me how excited he and his friends were that Christmas was coming and asked if  I will  be coming with our team to them this year .. They asked if we could bring popcorn and a movie to the party as well .. Christmas is 6 weeks away and only comes once a year, but has become such a highlight for these kids .. It is all because of the funds that come in through the pie challenge that we are able to have these parties..  In the next week we are hoping to raise $10000 to bring Christmas to 1000 kids I just have to have faith that it will all work out , and just remember,
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Next up was for a visit to a family that we know and help. They have 5 kids and live in a one room house that is about 12 x 20 feet.  Their work has now finished up the season.  We stopped to open up discussions about the possibility of them coming to live in one of our houses at the farm, and working on the farm when they do not have work available to them off the farm.   

We have done our part, now they just need to make the hard choices, but now they at least have choices.. they just need the peace, but we know that 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

At the farm today we were going to plumb in the irrigation in the green house but there was no electricity in the village, so we worked in the garden instead.  For my birthday yesterday Julie bought me 10 peach trees.  We planted two in the new fruit garden, and then eight along the front of the Guest house cafe and hostel .  

In the green house things are coming along great .. the leaf lettuce is now about 3 or 4 inches high. We are having a big party at the farm on Sunday afternoon. just think fresh strawberries and lettuce salad in the middle of November, the first of the season. 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Aiperi has taken on a real burden for this little baby we first introduced you to last week.  She collected up some baby clothes and bought a winter snowsuit for him.   With the new formula he has really started to thrive, starting to get some colour.  He was expected to go though one tin of formula every 2 weeks, and s
he has gone through the first can in just over a week .. this means that it will be about $50 a month for his food.  He was at the hospital for tests this week, and they have found that he has two small holes in his heart.  We are waiting to see if they will grow in on  their own or if there will be treatment needed.  If their is an operation needed we may be relying on some of you to make it happen .. looking for Grace 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

If you are viewing this post from your computer or the web version on your phone, you will see the pie challenge fund raising thermometer and donate button on the top right side of the blog.  For every $10, we are able to add one more child to the list for a party and a gift, like the ones below celebrating with Bubbles the clown.   

together we can do this...  

2 peter 1:2  "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Monday, November 13, 2017

filling the pools

Its a funny time of year to be filling a pool, but not when you are in a green house.  We are now at the stage of setting up the irrigation system. this will include two fish ponds with floating plant beds on the top.  We will start with carp, a very popular fish here to eat, and one that will give a lot of fertilizer into the water.  The plants we will start with are bok choy and Chinese cabbage two other popular food items .  I wanted to plant romaine lettuce but can not find the seeds here.  I have ordered them through a local supplier but they will not get here for a while so we will get one harvest in before we plant them.   Eventually we will be growing tolopia rather then carp.  I have experience breading and raising them so we will be able to produce our own fry. I still have not found them live here, and do not want to be the one to introduce a new species so until we can source locally we will stick to carp.  

The water system will be tied to this so that we will be watering with warm high nutrient water pumped strait from the pools.   I have a float switch set up so that as we draw off the old water the tank will refill with fresh water maintaining a constant level we also have air pumps to keep the water oxygenated. 

Next we have soaker hoses that will be strung through the strawberry pots. this will give them a slow gentle watering and then drip through to the lettuce bellow. 

By this time next week we may even be eating our first pick of lettuce. 

Up at the yurts, we have put a protective canvas on the yurts.  This will keep them dry for the winter, and keep the cold winds out.  We will also be able to extend the season for the yurts by a couple months spring and fall. 

 Vlady came to the farm today with the plum trees for the new fuit garden where the chicken pen was .  We have 9 new plum trees of three different variety's, and tomorrow I will pick up to peach trees as well.  Then this spot will be the summer home of the strawberries from the green house.   We hope to put up a tapchan ( picnic shelter ) here as well.  

This truck below is the last of 100 tons of coal (220 000 lbs) we will be receiving.  Already coal has gone up by 60% and has no sign of slowing down.  Half the truck was dropped at the farm and the other half dropped at a friends who will help to deliver it to 5 families in need.  The coal at the farm has been bagged up and we will deliver,  some of  it tomorrow to another family in need, and the rest the next day to two more.   

 It has been such a blessing to be able to be a part of helping so many this season.  That said I am sure the boys will be happy that its over.  The poor guys have worked soooo hard. I think when this is over we should have some special little treat for them.   Not once have they grumbled or complained, or even shown any sign of displeasure.  They really are great kids.