Sunday, March 29, 2015

A cold day at the farm

There is a young girl that we have worked with for about eight years now.  She and Emma have kept in regular contact despite her being married and living in Bishkek  She even has a new baby now.  Many times she calls Emma just to touch base and have a little visit .  It is nice for her to have some one she can call.    Yesterday she called with a need .  because she never asks for help, we figured it was serious.  It turned out that she and her husband had a difficult winter.  they had fallen behind on her heating and electrical bills.  We were in the city, so we brought her a bag of produce, and decided to cover her bills.  She had asked for a loan, but we told her that it was a gift.  she was very blessed.    I have had plenty of experience falling behind on bills, and have always had the safety net of parents to bail us out.   I just felt so bad for her, I also was blessed to be able to have the opportunity to be that parental role for her.  the greatest part was watching the relief sweep over her face as she found out it was a gift.  no longer crushed under the weight of the $65 debt load.   

Another highlight of the day was meting a couple in Bishkek that we were helping to bless one of the orphanages.  It can be difficult to get donations of shoes into the country and they wanted to get new shoes for an orphanage of about 80 kids.  We came up with a solution. We put our guy on it, and he was able to get us an incredible deal on shoes. so we were able to get them here and bring them in to the city to deliver the shoes to them.    

Today we had a little later start in the day .  After Church we went over to Jeremiah house to get windows for the barn.  They had changed there  windows a short time back, and they donated the old ones to us. . Once we got the windows loaded up we went to Vladys house.  He was fixing a hand held cultivator for us , as well he had half a dozen grape vines that he is donating to the farm. 
Despite the snow and rain , the guys are coming along great on the barn. The block walls will be finished today , then we have do wait for about 3 or 4 days until the mortar hardens up, then we will start on the top floor. 

Windows donated by LAMb

Jengish planting the grapes 

Dr Tatyana made us wonderful pumpkin samsa's and monty, she did make a point of telling us that if her daughter Alona asks, she was eating carrots.
just one more row to go 

Jengish is putting in the back door.

The seeds are doing well.  they have started to sprout.  

 the lettuce and the spinach hanging on the wall are all up and doing well as well.  

We are ready to start planting the onions and garlic next, but will need a few more food shares sold before we can plant to much more.  please consider helping us out by purchasing a $60 food share now.  for more information or to donate follow this link

the puppies don't like the cold so much 

Friday, March 27, 2015

planting at the farm

We began the day by heading out to the village where one of the families we had helped in the past has donated strawberry plants to us  We were able to dig up about 500 plants this morning, and bring them out to the farm.  

A couple days ago I mentioned that we would like to get bees out at the farm.  Each family is $50 and the hives are about $100 .. Vlady called and he found someone selling 5 hives for $100.  5 is the number of bee families that Vlady is trying to sell. so we have gone ahead and purchased the hives and they are being reconditioned and cleaned by Vlady now.  so we just need 5 families at $50 each, and we will be able to move them out to the farm in the next week or two. 

Once e got to the farm, we were able to get the strawberries planted.  We had a very bad wind storm here a couple days ago and a part of the fence blew down, so we reinstated it today as well.  The guys are doing great on the barn.  We had to get another load of sand today as well.   Two loads of Blocks arrived, and they had to be carried out to the barn around back, so there was lots of lifting 

Emma planting strawberries

we have 20 rows with 500 plants in total 

unloading blocks 1300 in total 

15' x 45'  two doors and three windows on the ground floor.  we will start on the upper level probably next week.

this is out the back field.  We will need to put up a fence to keep out the animals once we have market garden tyep produce in there .. Don't want a stray cow or houses taking out a crop of broccoli 

More planting while the boys are carrying blocks 

The fence is back up and Kolya is watering the new raspberries 

seeds in the green house have started to sprout 
Just a reminder that we need to sell 50 more food shares in the next month .. They are just $60 a share and will provide jobs and living expenses for those living on the farm, but will also provide fresh produce to people in need all summer ..please go now to this link and buy a share today .

Thursday, March 26, 2015

back to work after a rain day yesterday

We began the day by taking Augula out to the village to check on her field and make sure that everything was growing ok .  On the way we made some stops to give out food bags along with the food this time, we also gave out vitamins .  After lunch we were on our way out to work on the barn, and the guys called. They are almost higher then they can reach, so we stopped and bought the lumber for the second floor.  That way they can use it to make scaffold for now, then take it apart to use for the roof.  

Victor on the tracks he lives down 

Emma with Aibec and his Family 

Julie with Jazgool and her children and her little sister 

Jengish bringing a food bag for Ann, and three other students at the dorm 

the front of the barn

the end wall.  This will be the door into the goat pen

the roof along the front we are thinking about using this fiberglass to let the light in 

this is the plywood for the upstairs floor ,  The man who owns the shop wanted to be in a picture with us 
Jengish loading up the rafters 
Please remember about our need to sell 50 food shared in the next  month ... just $60 for the whole growing season.  buy yours now , and tell us who you would like yours to feed.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lets talk about food shares again.

The farm is a place where youth can learn life skills they need to begin life on their own after leaving the orphanage, or coming off the street.   It is a place where recovering guys or homeless can come to get a second start at life after they come out of rehab.   The farm is a place were we will be growing market crops for institutions, children's homes, shelters, the seniors home and families and students food hampers.

Just a reminder how it works.  We have 100 shares available at $60 / share.  When you purchase a share, you tell us where you would like your share to go.  For a list of places you can donate your share to, go to this link FOOD SHARES FROM THE FARM   and scroll down. 

ready for a hard working summer 

The boys are hard at work preparing the bed for strawberries 

a few thousand seeds planted already 

starting the renovations on the room that will be the bunk room for workers 
The food shares will be used for plowing , planting and the care of the crops.  It will also cover food and a small salary for the guys.  From this we also cover the food and basic living expenses for those living there.

We are now entering into the most expensive time for the farm, and we have about 25% of the shares sold.  We need to sell another 50 shares to get us threw the next few months.  

Please consider purchasing a share now, as well as sharing this great opportunity to help so many with others.  Share this link, tell a friend, ask family members to be a part of the blessing.  Our goal is to sell 50 shares in the next month.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Time enough for counting when the dealings done ....

This morning Jengish and I headed out early to the Animal Bazaar.  We had a mission.  We wanted to find the price of calves, and to pick up a male duck for the farm.  What we found is that the price of cows have gone through the roof.. over double what we had intended to spend.  a small calf is now almost $500, in fact we saw some for over $500.  The price of sheep have stayed about the same , about $150, but the big deal today was a couple goats that the owner was desperate to sell.  so for the price of one goat, we were able to get two, and two new born kids thrown in . So we bought the goats while the deal was available.  We now have to reevaluate the cows.  We were going to buy 6, but thats not possible now.  Maybe what we will do is get a female calf to raise up, and then get 6 or 7 sheep.  We could start a flock of sheep, and then in time will be able to get 6 or 7 a winter that we will be able to use for the food hampers, all while maintaining the flock.  We did well with the duck.  We found they are expensive now as well.. there were lots for about $25 but they were in rough shape. Then we found one for less but they would not sell it with out its mate.  with a little bargaining we managed to get the price to where we could afford.. we got the pair for $25.    Under the watchful eye of his big brother, we were bargaining with a boy about eight years old.  He was a hard bargainer, and had a real stern poker face.  that is until he had cash in hand.. then he started dancing around with a big smile waving the money in the air.. then big brother told him .. "Untie the ducks and complete the deal, then you can smile and dance"  Time enough for counting when the dealings done ....

Huey  and his mate 

meet Promises and her son, soon to be named  

yet to be named

Today we were out to the farm to bring hay and stray and see that the goats were settle in.  They guys were worn out.  The first half of the blocks arrived today for the barn .. the rest will be here in a couple days.

It was great to have Lynn and Ruby out for a visit and the at the farm today.  Ruby remembered raising meat rabbits as a kid, and was quick to give Starbuck a little attention.

 Emma and I pose for a quick photo with the kids.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

An opportunity for them to give..

On our way out to the farm today for the Memorial for our friend Jamal, we passed through a couple little villages that were setting up for Noorus.  This is a big holiday here,  

community celebration

ploff , salads and fresh nuts 
 After lunch we had a bit of time to spend with the animals , I like to have them held as much as we can to keep them friendly .  

this is Tibor, He was bought for my brother in law Dave.  

Logan , your friend Robert is doing great as well 

Some of you will remember Kolya. This is his fiancee, Alina.  He will be working at the farm for the next few weeks.  The Blocks for the barn arrive tomorrow .  There is talk of a wedding, but they have been trying to raise the money for this .  They would like to have a wedding party up by the waterfalls behind the farm, but they can't afford it .   If there is anyone out there that would like to sponsor the wedding, let me know , I think we could give them a nice wedding for about $250

We have been talking to Vlady about bees for the farm.  We could bring some from the mountain and have them here to pollinate the farm here, as well as have the honey to sell.  The start up for this is about $100 a family for the family and the hive.  As they are sponsored we will move them in .

After lunch and a visit, we headed to Iskra where we went to visit friends to celebrate Noorus.

While we were having a visit we met with the neighbor.  Her daughter has a heart condition that will need surgery.  Her problem is not the finances for the surgery, it is getting in to see the surgeon.  We will see what we can do to help her maneuver her way through the system

The other reason for the visit was to talk to friends there about buying strawberry plants for the farm.  She has really good plants, and they give berries the entire summer.  We have ordered 1000 plants for the farm, but a few minutes later she came back to tell us that they will be free for us.  Right away I wanted to insist we pay after all we came to them because we wanted to support them, but really, what better support could there be then giving them an opportunity to be a blessing , a chance to give back!