Friday, August 19, 2016

Update from the summer ..

Well I think it has been about three days that I have been back in Kyrgyzstan now. I have visited most of the projects that we have been working on as well as an exciting new one that I will share more about tomorrow, but for now lets recap the last couple of months. 

  The hospital clinic has been an on going project for a few years now and it is almost finished.  In the beginning of the summer we finished the roof allowing the workers to work inside all summer.  

 The back half has been completed with the floors, interior walls, and ceiling all dry walled and ready for plaster.  The waiting area has been expanded, a procedure room with a private bath and shower room added as well as a public washroom.  The exam room has also been expanded to include more Dr's office space in the exam area.  Sponsors have been found in country for the windows and doors, and now a lot of the labor is also being done free by people who's kids have been treated at the hospital.. 

Plaster, paint and tile flooring in the procedure and exam room are all that is needed.  

Back at the farm we have a few big projects on the go ..they have been juggling around depending on the weather.  The biggest one is the green house.  This was a very ambitious project and has had a lot of problems because of the weather.  We have had so much rain and to build mud walls we need it to be sun dried and baked before the parging could go on.  But It looks like we are on track now to start putting on the poly-carbonate next week.  

The inside has been dug down a foot, but will need to be dug out another 2 feet.  

There are actually 2 green houses connected by a furnace/ pump room at one end. It sure was easier to draw a second one on the plan then it has been to build it... But the worst is done, and we are now welding the trusses on the second green house. 

The farm has started to out grow the barns, both with the animals and the hay storage space.  The barns were full and we still have another 1000 bails to bring cut in a another month.   Last week they finished the addition on the new barn. This includes the extra hay space as well as a covered pen for the bulls. They have also just planted the second crop of cucumbers. 

Tomorrow we will be putting in the mangers and building a small paddock around this that will give the cows access to some grass area behind the house. 

We will need one more barn before winter so we have begun the newest barn on farm 5. This will be where the goats and sheep end up with a larger outside pen as well.  Like the others, it will be a two story building with the hay loft.  If you have proper storage, hay is worth almost 4 times more in the winter so it will be a great investment for us to not sell the hay until January.  We are hoping for another field this year so that next year we will have enough hay to fill this one as well. 

Well some of the kids  are hard at work on the construction projects the others have done an amazing job with the gardens.   There has been so much rain that they have had to stake up most of the plants to stop them from rotting in the fields.  

I have had other farmers tell me that they have not been able to get a good crop this year , but we have been blessed with another bumper crop.

The fruit trees are doing exceptionally well. Last year there was a late frost so we did not see much fruit to realize how many fruit trees we actually have that have good fruit. We sure can see this year.

The sweet corn has been exceptional as well.  Yesterday we picked about 2000 cobs and still have about 4000 that will be ready over the next couple weeks, and yes the sun flowers did it again.  The ones behind Nick here are on our property, the ones to Nicks left are on the neighbors and are the size they should be right now. 

 We have planted a lot of herbs this year and Emma has begun experimenting with making goats milk soap with our own herbs and scents. She has about 5 different herbs as well as medicinal flowers.  Also we have planted flowers through out the garden for bug control so that we are able to keep the gardens pesticide free . 

People have become more excepting of the style of Apple orchard, and are now actually excited to have this modern method here. They must have been researching some on their own because one of my jobs this fall was to stake them. The one that was the biggest critic of this was actually the one that went out and staked them the right way .. out of 250 trees, we only lost 3.  I am very pleased with that rate. 

This next picture was us bagging up the corn for deliveries today 

Along with the corn we also picked 25 crates of tomatoes and peppers, and you would never know we were in the fields .  I would say that by the end of next week we will be able to do that every day.

Today we delivered to 3 different orphanages, as well as to Olga's center were about 20 families came to get food.  In total, one days delivery had a market value of almost $1500.  That was the by product of the life skills and healthy living that the kids are learning on the farm.  I had Misha with me today.  I want to start spending more one on one time with each of them, as well it is great for them so see the impact that these donations make on all that receive them.. Besides, Misha actually came to me and asked if I would please bring food to the orphanage where is little brother lives.  

So about the bees.  As I shared earlier we had purchased more bee boxes, and the bees began to come and fill them before we even got them to the mountain. The poor guys had to carry them across the river and 1/2 a mile further into the gorge on their backs .. miraculously no one got stung.  

We now are up to 17 hives, and only three of them do not have families in them already.  Again others are discouraged with the volume of honey so far this year, but we have been supper blessed.  So far, out of the 14 hives we have 101 liters of honey, and will likely get another 50 on the last draw of the season before we put them to bed for the winter.  This is about 50% more then what would be normal on a good year.  As we work toward a 5 year goal of becoming self sustaining and still donating the same level of produce, we have have been reinvesting the proceeds, and by this time next year, just half way through our 5 year plan, the bees alone  will be able to produce enough honey to cover 10% of our yearly operating budget. 

After the food deliveries, we picked up this kettle that brings the honey to just the right temperature to re bottle into smaller new sterilized bottles. In just a few hours Misha was able to seal 75 bottles ready to sell. 

I wanted to give a little up date on the medical side of things.    Marat and Aizada went to get their new glasses and it was discovered that he had a serious condition and would soon loose his sight. So he has had a couple operations so far, and his vision is already 20% better and has stopped all degeneration. Maybe two more operations and he will possibly be back to 20 / 20 vision. 

So that said, he is on light duty and works mostly with Aigula now, something he loves to do .  

We have also had an endless summer of dental trips for every one on the farm. With Nurik being the most extensive because of his cleft pallet.  He still requires another operation, then the will likely have to get a plate which will be tricky but they think they can do it.  

During the summer, two of our kids have passed their drivers exams and are fully licenced and able to drive, as well this fall we have three in university. One in a collage prep program and one in and fast track grade school program.  

heading to collage next week

Well that is all for now .. From all of us to all of you, thank you for all your on going support .. 

"exceedingly and abundantly  more then we could ask or imagine "

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