≈ right now
We're currently in Santa Marta, in the north-east of Colombia, where Laura and I have lived for the last 12 months. We're closing down contracts with old landladies, selling everything that we can't use or get wet on the way, and psychologically preparing Gordis, Chiquibronx and Goa for their imminent sea voyage (Below, big-small respectively). Were finishing off final orders of Feel Free teeshirts and bags while were here, too.
3 cats in a boat?
While were here the lot is being maintained loosely by the previous owner, and as you can imagine we're itching to get to work on it. But we have lots to organise, including a leftover payment for the attached riverside lot, transporting not just the cats but the SERyGRAFÍA workshop et al.; as well as finding a way of ditching a particularly sticky rental contract in Santa Marta in exchange for Nerys' cousin's* little farmhouse beside the lot at the equivalent of £75p/m.
*That's how it is here.
The impatience is killing me. I can smell the dirt. W are on our way however, an have lots of trustworthy contacts here who are elping us, as well as a dear friend in Capurganá, co-owner of Capurganá's first hostel and property quee, Ner.
e'll be taking the not-immediately-necessary stuff over, with fingers crossed, at the start of April. ABOVE: Nery with Lau at the lot.
In terms of bureaucracy, visas, and other papers of all kinds we are prepared, having a wealth of experience over the last year with bureaucracy. y visa is in process after lots of frustrating official visits and signed papers around the country together with Lau. I couldn't even have started this without Lau's unwavering encouragement and loyalty throughout.
When finally in Capurganá we'll map, plan, clear, plan the structures, layout, prepare beds and soil for planting and start to seed the some 120+ Moringa seeds as a circaviva (or living fence) and Baston del Imperador we were graciously given by Laura's uncle Diego in Fusa (Bogotá).
April will be an uncomfortable period of passing between Santa Marta back-and-forth. We will apply for necessary permits and finalise all the tedious paperwork in this month. We're going to keep everything as low cost as possible, esp. as paperwork is costing us already. We also will arrange the water and electricity services in April.
We will have mapped, cleared, planned, prepared and be cultivating on the farm. We will tart building (pending permit) the septic system and main hostel structure with the local chippy Arturo (and with luck new best friend. He's a good, seemingly educated man who lives 10 minutes from Feel Free) plus volunteers from Workaway.com and close friends, with a view of having at least one two-storey scribble below live-in ready by July.
Architects don't panic - It's not the only scribble. We'll also mount the greenhouse nursery. he design aims to keep you safe and dry as close as possible to the giant cashew tree - the beating heart of the forest.
≈ the summer
From July/August the main structure will be mounted and the hostel taking it's first payments.
e will have maintained the fences, and prepared every mandala-shaped bed in zone 1 (the intensive food production area, or kitchen garden see this) with chopped cover crop, compost and hügelkultur beds ready for intensive production of vegetables and fruits. he groundwork for the food forest in zones 2 & 3 will be laid, seeding slower species first.
The full list of plants and trees we will be cultivating will soon be available in our public dropbox, here. Once production is started we can start on the natural pool, other guest houses, the kitchen, the animal areas. e'll also start projects like LAN PAREJO, (waste management), LAN ABEJA (beehive network) and PLAN COLIBRÍ (he hummingbird conservation plan).
We plan on keeping a regular diary of all the permaculture related activities which will make the final FeelFreePermaculture.pdf around August. Artists and the local school will be invited to create murals and exhibits in the space, as well as participating in the other various projects.
With everything in place, we can mount the Free Bar and really start the movement. Boozers, book your flights for around Christmas for best results.
Dear Feel Free heroes
We are eternally grateful for everything you've done to get us to this point. We are now preparing for a massive challenge and couldn't be more excited to get started.
While the dust settles with the tax man (men) please keep spreading the word it anyone you think might have an interest in this project as were going to need constant exposure to the campaign to succeed!
Bees are in trouble worldwide. I know, you've heard... Still, it's more important than you might think. Without nature's pollinators there are no plants in a very short time.
The team at SumOfUs is leading the campaign against BAYER GM (heard that name before? ...talks of a Monsanto takeover by German chem. giant, May 2016). That to one side, we're right behind the petition. Sign against bee-killing practices to guarantee food for the next generation.
We too aim to conserve the pollinators, one sponsored hive at a time. Contributions to our projects earns you not only eternal gratitude but amazing perks - like a sponsored beehive lands you free honey for life, free stays AND a personalisedFeel Free tee made by SERyGRAFíA.
Bee a part of it here: igg.me/at/feelfreehostel Feel Free #feelfreehostel