We are a group of people working collectively to preserve our environment, regain food sovereignty and build community. This blog is a way for us to document and share our project, provide information and communicate with those who want to learn, teach, and participate in sustainable and regenerative living.
We are in the process of creating a self-sufficient homestead utilizing regenerative and sustainable practices to grow our own food, harvest and recycle water, and provide ecological education to the community. We live on 1.5 hectares just outside of San Miguel de Allende in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico. At present there are 6 adults and 2 children living on site. We work regularly with a team from a neighboring rancho.
With this land we hope to develop a model for a self-sufficient farm specific to this climate that incorporates both farming and building methods traditional to the area, as well as European techniques and appropriate technologies. We want to develop a model we can share with others and that can be easily adapted to varying sites around our region. Our primary focus is on water harvesting and management. Our climate typically receives 8.5 months with no rain and a 3.5 month rainy season. However, in recent years the rainy season has begun late and ended early. Our goal is to harvest and recycle rainwater to its maximum potential and track its use within our system, in order to create a model that addresses the regional water shortages.
We also teach workshops on the land and hopefully will host larger events in the future.
At present we are in the early stages of food production. Our greenhouse and vegetable beds produce a variety of greens, radishes, artichokes, carrots, and a few aromatic and medicinal plants. We also have fruit trees planted in and outside of the greenhouse that will produce in 2 to 4 years.
There are two separate fish tanks built into the floor of the greenhouse, one is currently raising tilapia, the other will eventually hold trout. We use the water from the tanks to irrigate the plants and the many seedlings we germinate, grow and sell in the community.
We have a wide variety of organic seeds that we have accumulated over the years, which we keep in our seed bank, the true banco vivo. We intend to continue germinating and producing seeds from our crop varieties to preserve food sovereignty in the future, as well as make these seeds available locally.
Beneath our seed bank is the root cellar, which eventually will have three temperature-controlled chambers. Root cellars extend the growing season in the way that they provide fresh, living food months after harvest.
There are two residential structures on the land, the round house and a little casita. The stone foundation for a third house has been built and we have begun cobbing the walls. Our seed bank also has a dormitory space for guests and interns.
Above the property is Picacho mountain range. The gradual slope leading down from the rock faces feeds our bordo.
The bordo will fill completely within 10 years, however after just one rainy season the first level filled. Thus far it has provided us with enough water for irrigation and domestic use. We also have a rainwater catchment system built into the round house. Water from the roof flows down into gutters below which run to an adjacent underground cistern. We pump water approximately once a week up into a water tank on the roof, which feeds our sinks and shower using gravity pressure. We will soon filter our drinking water with a low cost earthen filter made by friends at ICATIS.
We plan to work diligently to develop and prepare the land for the upcoming seasons. We also are offering workshops in the upcoming months, more information can be found here. Please feel free to contact us with questions and comments.