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Old 08-10-2008   #121 (permalink)
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We're at Sacbe now, have been for a few weeks but going back to Md. August 12th. We'll be coming down for the winter in December and stay until the beginning of May most likely.
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Old 07-17-2010   #122 (permalink)
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Thought it was about time to resurrect this thread and get it up to date. Biggest change is that we now have a flush toilet. Construction of this is a little tricky since we have such porous soils and a water table only down about 20 feet. We installed a biodigester and an humidal which is basically an above ground wetland seperated from the ground water by a sealed concrete enclosure. It is then filled with a gravel and charcoal mix and planted with things tolerant of the wet conditions. Ours was planted with elephant ears, bananas, a type of shrimp plant, and several others. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of how it looks with plants growing my camera broke. Maybe Auntieninny will send one. Here are some shots of the construction process.

A backhoe with a jackhammer attachment was brought in to remove rock for the biodigester tank and the base of the humidal.


Close up of the rock being broken- quite a lot of work even with a machine.

Once the hole was cut in the rock to about 5 feet deep the work on construction of the biodigester began. Ours has 2 compartments. It is important that both the biodigester and humidal have a surface coat of cement with a polymer and fiber additive to seal them securely and prevent leakage into the ground water. Here's a shot of the biodigester before the interior seal coat was applied.



Solids break down in the first chamber and only liquids are able to move to the second chamber. After some time and more biological breakdown the liquid moves out into the humidal. the water passes sequentially through 3 seperate chambers with plants which consume nutrients and water. By the time anything leaves the 3rd chamber, it is clean. In our case our humidal is so large that almost all the water is consumed by the plants and we seldom have any water exiting the 3rd chamber. Below is a photo of Joseito building the stone wall on the above ground portion of the humidal.


Finally here's a shot from the ribbon cutting ceremony.


Lynn could you take a photo of the plants as they look now in the humidal and post it?
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Last edited by flowerBill; 07-17-2010 at 12:49 PM..
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Old 07-17-2010   #123 (permalink)
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I'll get right on it FB! I still owe you a photo of the mosaic kitchen table!
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Old 07-19-2010   #124 (permalink)
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Thanks Lynn
Thought I'd put up a little on what we've done gardening. We've planted numerous fruit tree, Mango, Annona, Manderine, Limes, Hawaiian Papayas, Pineapples, Prickly Pear (edible pads, yum), sour orange, 3 or 4 types of bananas. So far we've only picked Papayas. Hopefully get some citrus fruit soon as the trees have grown a good bit.

Preparing a hole for planting is quite a chore as the soil is at least 2/3 rock and 1/3 soil. I collect our kitchen compost and bury it under plants. seems to help and I've purchased habono de borego at the Cancun Home Depot which I use as fertilizer. I use anything I can get as mulch, leaves, wood chips, old grass from the roof etc. thinking about bagging seaweed at the beach and starting a compost pile with it. I wish I could find someone who'd deliver truckloads of manure for a reasonable price. I have a neighbor with ducks and chickens that sells me their compost/manure. He also sometimes has duck eggs, oh my god are they good.

Prepped a large vegetable garden area this past year. the backhoe working on the humidal loosened the rocks and stumps for me. still a huge chore removing rocks and roots. Burned the roots and used big rocks for garden borders for raised beds and small ones for gravel paths.
Here's a shot of the digging and burning

It took weeks to finish this garden area. Sifted soil from the hole dug for the humidal to fill the raised beds. We planted tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, basil, cilantro and other perennial herbs in this bed. Where it borders the road we put in a hibiscus hedge and a sour orange tree. Here's a shot of the tomato plants late during the visit.


Tried cucumbers and squash as well but there is some little worm that burrows into them and ruins them. Plan to try chard this coming year.
Tomatoes and peppers do great and produce well, but I had to find Tomatoes resistant to Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl virus as it is common down there and stunted and killed my plants a few years back. I grow 2 varieties now, Champion II and Margo and they do fine.

Below is a shot of cukes and squash we grew. Grew well but couldn't shake the worms.


Last shot is of our dog Kizzie who is being trained as our designated driver for returning from Mom's and Manne's Beergarten.
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Old 07-19-2010   #125 (permalink)
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I can vouch for the tomatoes and beans, they were AWESOME! We were still picking and eating them a month after FlowerBill left SacBe!! YUM!
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Old 07-19-2010   #126 (permalink)
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By the way, Kizzie is an excellent driver!
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Old 07-23-2010   #127 (permalink)
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Nice Tomatoes!

Lynn, Bill,

Nice tomatoes...always nice to see photos from Sacbe. Hope all's well.

Dave in New Brunswick
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