harvest time

i’m back in civilization and i have to say that i’m missing my little farm already.  having an amazing time, but living on a rice farm with no running water or electricity has been a huge learning curve.

first of all harvesting has just finished which means that every jeepney leading to civilization is chock full of rice!

this jeepney is only semi full, trust me they can fit many many more sacks on there, not surprisingly we got a flat tyre.

i’ve been lucky enough to experience every stage of the harvest, from ani which is the actual harvesting of rice which is still done by hand around here.
to bilad which is the drying stage done on cement with bare feet- mostly boring, aparantly watching rice dry is similar to watching grass grow. rice has to bilad twice, then it gets milled at the gilingan where the brown shell is taken off the rice.
my favourite stage though is of course the eating stage, and the smell of freshly cooked rice that was harvested just outside our front door has to be one of the greatest smells in the world.

other than rice harvesting there are many many other things to keep a little family occupied, like building a chicken coop, and taking care of the chooks, even day to day things are keeping us busy, cutting and drying wood so that we have a good supply takes a big chunk out of everyday, cooking and working out what we can get myles to eat other than egg, tomatoes and rice is also a challenge that julz and i put a lot of attention into. i also have tomatoe seedlings on the go, and some pretty happy bean shoots that are growing well, as well as my sweet potatoe patch in front of the kitchen- sweet potatoe is the only veggie that myles likes, luckily it grows in abundance around here, he loves helping pick the young leaves.

now that we have moved house we are also busy getting it exactly the way we want, like putting in shelves for books and clothes, the hammock is up in the guest house, pics of me in it with a pina colada coming soon.

my jeepney will be here soon so i’d better get going, but i just wanted to let everyone know that we are happy.

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The house and guest house are done! Come on over!

Our digs have been built. We have a big party planned for Roxy’s birthday on the 30th. Here are the photos:

Very proud couple there!

Myles was adamant that he would be allowed to try the spicy vinegar concoction. It does go quite well with a slug of gin, but until he comes of age, he may not agree.

The cool breeze in the afternoon slowly drifts through the floor boards.

Myles and Tonka the puppy. Can you guess where here name came from?

Myles with a big piece of chicken.

There she is, my beautiful wife. Oh, we have a new house too!

A view of the kitchen.

The guesthouse with Mt Halcon in the background.

The two houses together.

My old coffee machine

Well this is a litle old, but here goes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jITehdEHGqI&feature=youtu.be
My friend David Stuart, who is an up and coming videojournalist, filmed me tinkering in my workshop the year before last. A lot of people have heard about my wizz bang coffee machine, not that many had the chance to see it in action. Its all on youtube now folks…
I’m not going to discuss the coffee situation in the Philippines. It is all too traumatic to contrast.

Our Location is:

N 13.195
E 121.140278

Check it out on google maps. Apparently there is not much resolution at that location though. Here is some more photos. Our house will be getting a pump by this time tommorrow, which is why I happen to be in the city. We’re having some minor contractor teething issues, but no massive dramas. By the end of the week we will have a modest house, an outhouse, a guest house and bridge to fish from. All for the princely sum of 1500 bucks!

These things are huge!

A tabby in a paddy!

Myles playing host to a bunch of buddies!

House frame, climbing frame. Not much difference really? Myles agrees!

I fried him an egg, turned around and he had dropped off like a log!

Myles… Well… He’s stuffing a puppy headfirst into my shoe.

Moo!

Myles and daddy having a morning shave. It was surprisingly easy without a mirror!