News from The Republic of Corn, September 2020
This week at The Republic of Corn we are busy at work building a stable for our horses. We love projects like this one because they give us an opportunity to create employment for local people and to learn more about ecological construction with organic resources from the jungle surrounding us. At the same time, we are visioning more expansions to our farm and working hard to make more happen. In the coming days, we are preparing our gallinero (chicken coop) for the approaching arrival of our hens to finally begin our organic egg operation. A spacious, shady corner of our land has been dedicated to their oasis enclosure and palapa shelter, with views of the garden and protection from the foxes. In return, the hens will help The Republic of Corn become more self-sustaining, produce more organic food, and add another element of permaculture to our farm’s growing ecosystem. The hens consumption of our fruit and vegetable compost means that organic material that might considered “waste” is instead turned into food once again, with the hens doing all the magic.
All the while, the corn is growing. In six months, we have planted six plots of corn and have had two harvests. Two plantings were lost to the three days of hurricane rains that passed over the Yucatan Peninsula in May. One just seeded and one just sprouting, both were washed out by the storms that didn’t really stop for 72 hours. Two more survived those storms and were recently harvested, producing more indigenous seeds of the corn that we trust. Our fifth and largest cornfield is growing strong with a month and a half left until harvest. We recently planted our sixth with seeds harvested from our first. This crop is growing steadily, despite invasive weeds and a recent uninvited visit from the neighbor’s hungry sheep.
Our tilapia are getting bigger and reproducing happily in the natural lake we have established at the edge of our land. We love watching this water ecosystem grow in it’s complexity and are dreaming up our next moves to expand the lake by integrating more filtering, water-friendly plants and building a natural stream to direct rainwater to the lake and irrigate our crops.
In the nursery, we are busy seeding flowers to diversify our gardens and attract more pollinators to the farm. Perennial herbs will be seeded and planted to reduce the spread of weeds in our gardens, increase our soil’s water retention, and of course to give us more to cook, eat, and enjoy.
The projects never end here and as soon as one is completed, we are beginning to tackle the next ten. We are working hard to continue creating a place that sustains itself and us. Every seed, plant, and animal plays a role and contributes to the whole of The Republic of Corn. Each day we learn about sustainable farming and what it takes to preserve these seeds and grow our project.
If you would like to visit the Republic of Corn and experience our work for yourself, there are many ways to do so. We are now accepting volunteers interested in learning more about ecological agriculture, Mayan culture and cooking, building with natural materials, and preserving ancient corn. As well, our tree house and cabana are available to rent on Air BnB and Booking if you would like to visit our farm as guests to escape and refresh in nature.
If you are interested in supporting our work, please consider becoming a patron, even the smallest of contributions goes far on our farm. For more information or to get in contact, please visit our website www.therepublicofcorn.com or find us on instagram.
MUCHAS GRACIAS Y IN CORN WE TRUST!
-Victor & Lexie, Guardianos del Maíz