We have started packing up. Our last day in the area is tomorrow, then we will head for Bishkek to Bekah's house for the day then head to the airport from there. We had a lot of last minute things to do at the farm. The kids have finished some more baskets that we can bring back to Canada with us. I will miss the cheese, but I am sure it will be good.
I have been keeping most of the tools in the back of my car, so today we set up a small work shop in one of the rooms behind the guest house. One day the wood working shop will have all full sized tools, but for now we have a good selection of hand power tools .
Now that the paint is dry, Julie was busy putting the final touches on everything.
Today they were making more jam. I think they did about 100 lbs of strawberries, and tomorrow they will do another 100 lbs. Many hands make light work as the kids all gathered around the table to prep the berries. Aiperi was learning how to work the new sewing machine and made me this pillow , complete with embroidered corners.
It was a beautiful drive back to the city again today . It is amazing how the mountains can look so different every day.
"The Farm" is a fully operational farm which gives special consideration to youth after they leave the orphanage system, offering them a job, teaching life skills and training them for the future.
Hospitality is a valuable skill for our kids on the farm to learn, and at the same time the farm has so much to offer guests. Incredible traditional Kyrgyz food cooked fresh with ingredients right from the farm, come experience "Life on the Farm". Stay and relax, or join in the daily chores, learn to milk a cow and make cheese , or help harvest fruits and vegetables from the garden and make jams and do some canning for winter or deliver them to orphanages and families in need. The Guest House is close to the water falls, horseback riding, the hot springs and fishing. Or maybe just trekking in the mountains is your thing .. it's all here.
As well as a shared living room with a flip down couch if you have a larger group.
The Guest House also has a Banya (steam bath) which has a modern sit down toilet, shower and hot water as well as laundry facilities.
Guests staying at the farm are welcome to dine with our workers at a common table, and join in the daily activities.
The farm raises dairy and beef cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, donkeys, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese, and turkeys.
We have several large gardens where we grow produce to help feed the many orphanages, institutions and families in need in the area. We are currently constructing a green house so that we can produce year round.
The farm is located at the base of the mountain about 10 minutes from the village of Burana and sight of the Barana tower on the Silk Road.
We are between two popular gorges, Kegeti, the sight of a beautiful mountain water falls and incredible mountain trails , and the local favourite, Issyk-Ata , the sight of the geothermal hot springs. There are many mountain rivers for fishing, with several locations stocked ($) so that you are guaranteed to catch the big one.
Guests at The Farm also have access to horseback riding ($) in the mountains directly behind the farm.. Horsed are available by the hour or by the day with a guide. There is another way to see some of the untouched beauty of Kyrgyzstan. Available for our guests as well is an old 4x4 camper van ($) complete with two beds and a wood cook stove.
The farm is also a great base for your stay in Kyrgyzstan, and daily or extended tours of all that Kyrgyzstan has to offer can be arranged. Tours ($) include a comfortable SUV and professional driver/translator. (contact us for prices and availability) Also airport pick up and translators ($) are available Depending on availability, guests at the farm can also stay at Bekah's B & B, located in a great area in the capital city at no extra charge or our guest apartment in Tokmok. At the guest house it is our hope that you become acquainted with life in a traditional home, and not only experience, but fall in love with the Kyrgyz people and their beautiful land. All proceeds from the Guest House will go to support the farm and those that live there. The room rate at the farm is just $20 USD / night for the first guest and $10 for each additional. for more information and bookings or to arrange tours please contact Jengish directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mirlan was pretty excited today, He had asked Julie to get him a black baseball cap, so she found him one today at the bazaar.
We hung some more curtains at the farm today as well as a few final touches. It is pretty much set now, and Michele has moved in to her room now.
Over in the kitchen they are starting to make cheese now. Its cool to see the process. We also had Lugman for lunch made with fresh home made noodles and our own beef.
Nick is back from school now. We walked the gardens together so he could get a feel for everything that has been planted and we could discuss its care. We also trimmed up the orchard. We wanted the weeds cut and not pulled. We are wanting a good ground cover that will hold the soil and the moisture and be a place that we can let the ducks and geese graze. It is a little difficult this year because we have planted other things in the orchard besides the apples so we won't wast the space while we are waiting for the pasture to take root .. so they are cutting and hoeing around the trees, roses, onions and cabbages.. not to mention the hundreds or Potatoes that had reseeded them selves from last year.
its looking good.
We have also worked up the old duck pen and have reseeded it . I can't believe how well the trees are coming along , its hard to see, but they are starting to branch out nicely
We have been planing and sanding some of the old stools and benches as well, and out painter (Nurlan) is quick to paint .. everything in sight , in fact he told Emma that he is concerned that soon he will be out of paint and everything will have been painted and then what will we do with him ... Hummmm maybe he will be as diligent at weeding as he is at painting.
Good Job Nuric
June 1 is children's day, and we are sponsoring the gifts for our village children. So today we packed 100 gift bags. Each has a rubber ball, a squirt gun, a skipping rope and bubbles, as well as a bag of mixed candy and a bag of cookies, and tomorrow we will add an apple to each as well. We fly out on June 1 so we needed to get this all packed now and will drop them off at the mayors house tomorrow.
Once that was done, Michele was back into the kitchen to help make the first batch of strawberry jam of the season. We did about 25 lbs of strawberries today
First stop this morning was to the Baby orphanage. We brought them a big piece of meat from the farm, as well as a couple boxes of clothes that Sergey had for them
Next stop was to the baby hospital to meet the director and discuss the next stage of the building. The approvals are all in now and the next process will be to put in the services , the heating, water, sewer and electrical all need to go in before we finish the floor and the walls, so that will likely be the next stage to find some sponsors for.
Out at the farm, we brought some very cheap vinyl flooring that we found , it is not only cheaper, but much stronger then table cloths.
Sergey had a bunch of clothes for the kids on the farm as well . They were very excited, it was like Christmas.
Then it was back to work. We planted another 1200 pepper plants and another 2000 seeds of corn into the ground. This will give us about a 3 or 4 week stagger between the crops so that we will have an extended season.
Over at the guest house we have had a lot still to do to get it ready. All the doors are old and were scraping on the floor or not closing properly so I took them off and planed them down. Then changed all the locks on the doors, some we had no keys for and some just did not have locks.
While we had the sander and planer out, we decided to refinish an old table that was hanging around the farm. It was in really rough shape, but once it was striped and sanded and a little urethane, it looked great.
The boys did a great job.. I said to Julie "Funny how when you add a power tool a job seems more like fun." She then commented that I seemed to be having as much fun as they were.