Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring! And Cuba!

Spring seems to be settling in here finally. With no frost at night, odd for so early, much of the snow is melted other than where it has been piled. In the country side, a winter's worth of road clearing results in miles of lengths of ice which can take into May to completely melt. Melt water runs along these ice channels in the ditches, often flooding across the road completely.

Since our farm lies along the edge of a large marsh-lake, much local runoff makes its way to the lake via our property. If the County does its job and opens a channel to the road allowance, much of this water could run straight down the road allowance ditch and into the lake. As this picture shows, the County rarely does its job, so Dad has been out with his tractor, trying to open it from the other end.

So for as long as I can remember, spring has meant a yard full of water. And since the new(er) house went in 15 or so years ago, this flooding often comes dangerously close to flooding the septic tank.

This year, nature selected a slightly different path to reach the partial creek that runs through our yard.

Years of this spring flooding has carved a partial ditch through our yard, but the ends of the ditch are both flat and the run off water floods as the above picture shows. So for some time now I have been trying to convince my folks to rent a backhoe for a couple of days so that I could extend this runoff ditch at both ends. This would give us a lovely creek that runs through the yard in spring and after heavy rains, adding value to the property and doing much to remove the threat of spring flooding and having to rely on the county to clear the road allowance ditch. Mom and I have also been talking about trying to design a pool in the low part of the yard, where spring run off first enters our property from the roadside ditch.

Maybe I can convince them this year after the plumbing excavation is done. Just one more thing I'd like to do this year...and the list is long. Good thing its a 3 year list.

This does mean that I will likely be posting less often. Or maybe not. After all, its not like the world looks to be calming down any.

For the next week, however, posts will be very few as I am heading to Cuba tomorrow. My younger brother is getting married, and thanks to his lovely fossil fuel exploitation salary, the immediate family gets a lovely vacation out of the deal. As I have mentioned before, there is a bit of guilt in this for me...with so many who have lost everything, its just a little hard to reconcile a trip like this. But on the positive side, Cuba is a country that I very much want to see. I am hoping to get a chance to do some exploring and really get a first-hand look at how agrarian communities are set up there. Obviously I am also keen to have a look at all the urban agriculture for which Cuba is becoming famous. I'm quite excited to have this opportunity, and thankful to my brother for it. I will post upload pictures from the trip and post a link upon my return.

Peace and comfort to all.


Liz said...

Hi SBT - I say leave the guilt at home and have a wonderful time. I was reading somewhere the other day a bit about the collapse of the Soviet Union combined with the US embargo, and the effect it had on Cuba. I agree it would be interesting to actually see how they've tackled their food problems. Warm sun and rum punch would be nice too. ;o)

SoapBoxTech said...

Thanks Liz. That recovery story is exactly what has me so excited to snoop around Cuba. It was the Nature of Things that first informed me.

Theresa said...

Do enjoy your trip SBT :) You will learn a lot, relax a little, and come back with all sorts of new ideas and motivation. Just like the water in your yard, there are some flows you may as well work *with* than against. Safe travels!

SoapBoxTech said...

Hear hear Theresa, thanks.

MoonRaven said...

I like seeing pictures of your farm and hearing about your plans to extend that stream.

Good luck on your trip to Cuba. I, too, would like to hear more about the urban agriculture there. (Especially since I live in a city.) I hope you enjoy yourself.

linda said...

I know how you feel about this trip. I actually took the family to Japan on the eve of the economic collapse (we won the tickets in auction long before)and was wracked with guilt before we left. I soon forgot all about it once we landed and got on our first bullet train from the airport. Japan overtook me. I think that Cuba will do the same for you.

I said before, I am envious. Thanks to your trip, I have been discussing going to Cuba sometime in the future as well. I figure travel while you can, if you can. We may not have that luxury later on. I also believe that with the right attitude, travel is the best educator. I look forward to hearing about it.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Cuba is more than (tropical) urban agriculture. It is all human rights abuses and lack of personal freedom.

SoapBoxTech said...

I don't disagree with you about much EJ, it seems, but I do disagree with the statement that Cuba is "all human rights abuses and lack of personal freedom".

I am back now and will be posting about the trip, but I was indeed rather overwhelmed and a bit unsure as to just where to start. You were right Linda.