Next work items at the property

Submitted by patcoyle on Tue, 03/25/2008 - 15:35

Date: Sun, 16 Mar 2008 17:23:05 -0800
To: "bccl"
From: Pat Coyle
Subject: next work items for property
Cc: Osmany Salas ,
Natalio Soliz ,, Ruth White ,
Mary Ann Studer ,
Vicente Tuyub

I talked with David on Saturday and he said you were going on vacation for two weeks starting on Thursday. I hope you enjoy yourself. I sure was glad I was there for the celebration.

I said I'd send the list of work items for the property so you could print it for him before you left. I know I'll need to follow up with additional funds.

I'll call to follow up after David and Natalio to go over any questions, or suggestions he has.

Mary Ann Studer, can you please give us feedback, on how much we should leave for "as-is" baseline plots as I discuss in the bullets regarding preparing for planting? Both the size, I suggested 15' by 15, and the amount or fraction of the overall property.

Vicente, just wanted to keep you posted on the agriculture improvements. If you have suggestions, please let us know.


The following is a list of site improvements for the property from the February 27, 2008 discussion with David Dyck and follow on conversations with others.

Where we can and it makes sense, let's coordinate with Natalio Soliz to use people from August Pine Ridge to do part of this work. It can promote more of a sense of ownership and buy-in.
• Caretakers' residence: complete electrical hookup and house wiring, connect water and sewer (toilet and gray water), lavatory, water closet; kitchen counter and cabinets, kitchen sink, window security bars, screens for windows, ceiling inside and exterior barrier to the attic area, screen or other
• Fence around Caretakers' residence: chain link (even though in our initial discussion didn't think we needed it), it is viewed as important by Natalio Soliz and the caretaker, Carlos Garcia.
• Fence around perimeter with woven wire, sheep fence plus two barb wire strand on top, or perhaps a smaller part done that way (like the front 10 acres), with just barb wire with extra strands for the balance of the perimeter fence. Let's see what the cost difference is. I'd prefer to use the woven wire, sheep fence plus two barb wire all round.
• Interior cross fencing: small part of it same as the perimeter, in close around the shelter and pens; but for the balance, use posts with electric fencing. Use either grid electricity or solar fence chargers.
• Sheep and goat shelter and pens: the one I saw in Cayo was about 50' by 60' with two separate pitched roofs (one and been done before the other), plan space for a shipping container beside it, maybe shipping container part of it on one side, all this on a raised marl pad. Extend the new service road straight ahead to the area where we identified we want this to go by the two large pine trees.
• Shipping container: up off the ground on blocks or concrete sleepers
• Area for protein banks: legumes demonstration plots, close to sheep and goats shelter with room to expand them.
• Area with BSI topsoil or filter cake for garden: adjacent to the service road by the caretakers' residence, about half to one acre.
• Nursery area close by (the one at Yo Creek is about 28' by 84', with 50% shade cloth on the top)
• Shallow water well: about 20', the deepest can go with a backhoe; with perforated concrete sections and rock around it. Locate it far enough away from the existing septic pit and expected additional ones for next houses and the livestock barn area to avoid contamination. Looks like this might put it about 150' straight east of the caretakers residence going toward the rear of the property. Provide cover with manual bucket access, plus a pump to be connected to electricity from the grid or solar power; or to wind power; with an elevated tank for storage and gravity feed or pressure tank with pumped distribution. (We are providing this well even though David Dyck did not think we need it, because the August Pine Ridge water board expects us to have it to avoid the perception that we are using the community water system for livestock and agricultural purposes.) We also want to consider drilled wells too later on.
• Pond: pretty good sized, exact size and depth still to be determined; also how to circulate the water - whether with a solar pump or a windmill. I want the edges smoothed back into the surrounding contour of the land, not have the removed soil just piled up at the edge. Use for livestock water, fish, and water based plants and animals for ecotourism interest. Pond to be located on the north edge toward August Pine Ridge at the low lying spot where it was still wet during my visit and the equipment got stuck when doing the boundary strip. However, we need to remember that on that side, the survey map shows a 20 ft. road strip between us and the next property. We need to stay inside our property line. It looks like the smoothed and planted strip we did, is out beyond our property line in that 20' road strip. This may be worth checking with surveyor.
• Above grade tanks with water supply (relatively small, exact dimensions to be determined) close to caretakers residence and perhaps more near the livestock shelter; these could be concrete or other construction, intended to grow fish and water plants; the ones close to the caretakers residence may be integrated with landscaping. These will have circulating water as well.
• In ground streams: Constructed streams with liner and pumped water circulation (I can show some examples of these. They are used here for landscaping, but could also work for watering livestock, fish and water plants, and for ecotourism interest.)
• Bush hog between the larger cashews, pines, and other trees and prepare most of the property to be ready to seed with grass and legumes mix and then fertilize it when the rainy season starts. Does that mean we also burn it at the right time? As David indicated, would only lightly disk the soil if at all. One detail is that we want to leave small test areas (maybe 15' by 15') throughout the property as-is for a baseline for measurements for the work with the educational institutions on soil testing and results of improvements we make. Let's also think about if it makes sense to hand clear the areas right at the base of the trees that can't get to with bush hog. They could also clean the cashews of old dead branches and put a little fertilizer around them.
• Use small dozer to clear the back part of the property, where it is mostly palmettos and brush. Prepare it to seed and fertilize as for the rest of property. Again, we want to leave small test areas (maybe 15' by 15') as noted above, here as well. However, it's worth considering whether that soil is different enough and better that we should use a different kind of grass and legume mix for that area to take advantage of the better soil. I want to also check out the grass type Mannie Cowo recommended for pine ridge savannah. It might make sense to use a few different kinds of grass.
• Put concrete posts at the corner markers of the property. Check whether we know the corners well enough, or if we need a surveyor to help in any way. I think we know well enough, with possible exception of the north edge 20 ' road between us and next property.
• Water lines: ditch witch trenches and put in water lines to the pasture sections. Use white PVC pipe lines like David uses to get water to the grazing areas so we can water livestock with troughs or tanks in each section with float level controls on the tanks.
• Roof gutters and rain water tanks: On the caretakers' residence and the sheep and goats shelter
• Get first sheep and goats, first fish
• Get first planting materials: grass and legumes seeds; one to five gallon size seedling plants for trees for the protein banks and the rest of it.
• Get the cashews from Louie Sylvestre: Need to arrange for him to get the 100 already purchased ready for us. When I stopped in, the nursery was empty. The guy there said could get them going. Alternatively get that dollar amount of seeds to start and plant out ourselves after we start them in our nursery.