It has been a difficult few months since we lost our home, but I am happy to report my brother and I are no longer roofless.
We didn't go on welfare, we didn't receive government support or assistance of any kind, and we didn't go begging.
We slept in the car for a few weeks, mixed with some couchsurfing, said couches provided by loving friends whose help we tried hard not to abuse.
We lost much in the process: treasured mementos, valuable things, emotional security...too much, too hurtful, and too pointless to list.
Kind members of ATS spontaneously donated small sums online to help us out, and those small sums are what provided the means for our resurrection as
visible members of society again by providing just enough to allow us to buy a cellphone (our first ever) that enabled us to maintain communications
with the world. It allowed us to post on Craigslist our need for a new home, and to search for one. One of my posts there finally elicited the kind of
response we needed, and we are now living on a large property in a small community some 30 miles or so from our previous address. The lady from whom
we rent a sort of granny flat desperately needed help to keep her property from being foreclosed and what we offered was the answer to her prayers:
not just the money, but the gardens I can create with my labor, skills, ideas, and seed stocks.
Without your help, ATS, it wouldn't have been possible.
We would have spiralled down into a much worse situation. Every government agency to which I turned for help, every charitable organization all turned
out to have the same problem: they were broke. They had already spent every dime of funding they had allocated towards helping those in need like us,
and were sympathetic, but powerless to aid us.
ATS members worldwide pitched in and selflessly gave without being asked, without demanding conditions, without asking a return. What was given was
crucial element in our recovery, and I cannot thank you guys enough. Besides the money,the emotional support was invaluable.
We now reside on what some might call a ranch. It is a large property with a couple of horses and lots of space. Not a working ranch, just a large
property set in the midst of the hills surrounded by small vineyards and emerging wineries with roads with names like Cloudy Moon Drive, Shady Oaks,
Oak Grove and the like. The landlady has agreed to let me create a new garden along the lines I have always dreamed about and we are far along
The garden I am creating is a translation of the Mesoamerican chinampa system to the high semi-desert environment. So far I have dug a space about 20'
by 25' by 4' deep, much thanks to a neighbor who loaned the use of a power hammer and skiploader for a few days. As soon as I can afford to, I will
buy the wire mesh I need to line it to keep the rodents out, and the weedstop cloth to keep the bugs out. I am gathering the local rocks, of which
there is an abundance, to line the canal that will surround and feed the garden with water and nutrients. The canal will support an aquaculture that
will provide fish and nutrient rich water and mud, and turtles and frogs for pest control. The canal will be fed water from the existing well and
maintained by an airwell and rainwater cachement system I will construct after the garden is started. Based on the average humidity here, if I design
and build it properly it should generate somewhere between 20 and 50 gallons of water a day, plenty to maintain the canal.
With luck and hard work I should have it completed by the spring, and will be able to provide food, medicine, and fiber in abundance next year.
If any are interested in watching our progress we should have a website up over the next month or so to share our experiment and knowledge. As soon as
it is up I will let you know.
Without you guys and the help you so selflessly provided, we would still be homeless on the street.
You have our most profound thanks, and my personal pledge to pass it on as soon and as often as I am able to.
It's great to be back, and I'll be contributing as much as I can to the discussions again.
edit on 9-10-2011 by apacheman because: (no reason