Friday, November 17, 2017

Irrigation system is all up and running.

The irrigation system is all up and running.   I am trying to make it as simple as possible for our kids this winter.  First in the line is a float switch.  This will maintain the water level of the pools at a constant level, turning on and off automatically.  

the next stage is a siphon pipe that will keep the water levels in both pools the same, so as one fills so will the other. 

Next step is a pump and pressure  tank that pumps from the second pool and then is pipped around the two green houses to hoses.  The pump will come on and off automatically to maintain water pressure when watering.    I also have a second line that is a direct line that does not go trough the pools so we can buy pass and still water when there is now power. 

The next step will be tomorrow.   I have soaker hoses that will be strung up above the strawberries, so that half of the green house will get a slow gentle watering with warm nutrient rich water with the turn of a valve.  Tomorrow we will also add the floating plant beds on the top of the pools .  

We have located a supplier for carp.   We are going to pick them up on Monday.  We will start with 250 fish.  The fish will live under the floating pads.  they will put carbon dioxide into the green house and  also their waist will add nutrients to the water. 

Aigoola and Aiperi were in the city for back treatments today so I was on duty for lunch..   I had my hands full with the plumbing so lunch today consisted of a case of  ramma noodles of all flavors dumped out on the table.. It was actually a hit with the kids .. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Second Peter given from the farm

 Those of you flowing the blog know that I enjoy chickens.  As a boy I actually collected chickens of all different breads.   Now at the farm I have started collecting them again.  We have so many different and unique breads .. great big ones , very small ones  , chickens with just down and chickens that are bald, some with afros and some with beards.  Its not just unique chickens we have, we have chickens for eggs as well.  ducks and geese for meat , and a big turkey , just because he looks cool.   

We also raise chickens to the egg laying stage that we give to families in need.  Yesterday was a day that we were delivering some of these chickens.  9 hens and 1 rooster went to a family in need so that they could have a small income.  Here is the problem, how does one decide which of your pets to give away.  It was easier to decide on the hens but the roosters were a little harder.  many of them are strange breeds except for two .. one is my beautiful and gallant rooster named Peter, and the other his son who we refer to as  "Second Peter"  so I was trying to decide which to give.    I actually turned to second Peter and read a couple lines in
 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"
Second Peter is it then .. it just seems fitting 

2 Peter on his way to his new home
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

We loaded up the last of 100 tons of coal that we were  delivering that day.   Coal is at its highest price that any one can remember and many times is simply not available, yet this year we have been able to bump up our deliveries by 400%. 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

While delivering coal to Auxana and her family we had a chance to visit some of our friends from the farm that have moved to her house .. we were happy to learn  that Batman and his wife are expecting .   
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

The poultry have been expanding as well .. many new babies 
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

With the coal delivered, we have started delivering flour to orphanages and families in need ..  here we are bringing a load to the Red River orphanage.   Flour has started going up in price and availability will be a problem shortly due to border problems yet we are blessed to have a few tons in the store house. 
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you" 

While at the orphanage we met up with a young friend that we found living in the dump almost 10 years ago.  He was such a tormented sole.  He did not speak, could not be touched even looking at him would bring trauma to him ..  Now he sees us and comes running. What a blessing to see the peace that he is experiencing now.  
 "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

While with him he started telling me how excited he and his friends were that Christmas was coming and asked if  I will  be coming with our team to them this year .. They asked if we could bring popcorn and a movie to the party as well .. Christmas is 6 weeks away and only comes once a year, but has become such a highlight for these kids .. It is all because of the funds that come in through the pie challenge that we are able to have these parties..  In the next week we are hoping to raise $10000 to bring Christmas to 1000 kids I just have to have faith that it will all work out , and just remember,
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Next up was for a visit to a family that we know and help. They have 5 kids and live in a one room house that is about 12 x 20 feet.  Their work has now finished up the season.  We stopped to open up discussions about the possibility of them coming to live in one of our houses at the farm, and working on the farm when they do not have work available to them off the farm.   

We have done our part, now they just need to make the hard choices, but now they at least have choices.. they just need the peace, but we know that 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

At the farm today we were going to plumb in the irrigation in the green house but there was no electricity in the village, so we worked in the garden instead.  For my birthday yesterday Julie bought me 10 peach trees.  We planted two in the new fruit garden, and then eight along the front of the Guest house cafe and hostel .  

In the green house things are coming along great .. the leaf lettuce is now about 3 or 4 inches high. We are having a big party at the farm on Sunday afternoon. just think fresh strawberries and lettuce salad in the middle of November, the first of the season. 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Aiperi has taken on a real burden for this little baby we first introduced you to last week.  She collected up some baby clothes and bought a winter snowsuit for him.   With the new formula he has really started to thrive, starting to get some colour.  He was expected to go though one tin of formula every 2 weeks, and s
he has gone through the first can in just over a week .. this means that it will be about $50 a month for his food.  He was at the hospital for tests this week, and they have found that he has two small holes in his heart.  We are waiting to see if they will grow in on  their own or if there will be treatment needed.  If their is an operation needed we may be relying on some of you to make it happen .. looking for Grace 

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

If you are viewing this post from your computer or the web version on your phone, you will see the pie challenge fund raising thermometer and donate button on the top right side of the blog.  For every $10, we are able to add one more child to the list for a party and a gift, like the ones below celebrating with Bubbles the clown.   

together we can do this...  

2 peter 1:2  "Grace and peace be multiplied to you"

Monday, November 13, 2017

filling the pools

Its a funny time of year to be filling a pool, but not when you are in a green house.  We are now at the stage of setting up the irrigation system. this will include two fish ponds with floating plant beds on the top.  We will start with carp, a very popular fish here to eat, and one that will give a lot of fertilizer into the water.  The plants we will start with are bok choy and Chinese cabbage two other popular food items .  I wanted to plant romaine lettuce but can not find the seeds here.  I have ordered them through a local supplier but they will not get here for a while so we will get one harvest in before we plant them.   Eventually we will be growing tolopia rather then carp.  I have experience breading and raising them so we will be able to produce our own fry. I still have not found them live here, and do not want to be the one to introduce a new species so until we can source locally we will stick to carp.  

The water system will be tied to this so that we will be watering with warm high nutrient water pumped strait from the pools.   I have a float switch set up so that as we draw off the old water the tank will refill with fresh water maintaining a constant level we also have air pumps to keep the water oxygenated. 

Next we have soaker hoses that will be strung through the strawberry pots. this will give them a slow gentle watering and then drip through to the lettuce bellow. 

By this time next week we may even be eating our first pick of lettuce. 

Up at the yurts, we have put a protective canvas on the yurts.  This will keep them dry for the winter, and keep the cold winds out.  We will also be able to extend the season for the yurts by a couple months spring and fall. 

 Vlady came to the farm today with the plum trees for the new fuit garden where the chicken pen was .  We have 9 new plum trees of three different variety's, and tomorrow I will pick up to peach trees as well.  Then this spot will be the summer home of the strawberries from the green house.   We hope to put up a tapchan ( picnic shelter ) here as well.  

This truck below is the last of 100 tons of coal (220 000 lbs) we will be receiving.  Already coal has gone up by 60% and has no sign of slowing down.  Half the truck was dropped at the farm and the other half dropped at a friends who will help to deliver it to 5 families in need.  The coal at the farm has been bagged up and we will deliver,  some of  it tomorrow to another family in need, and the rest the next day to two more.   

 It has been such a blessing to be able to be a part of helping so many this season.  That said I am sure the boys will be happy that its over.  The poor guys have worked soooo hard. I think when this is over we should have some special little treat for them.   Not once have they grumbled or complained, or even shown any sign of displeasure.  They really are great kids.  

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

It's only mine to give.

Over the last few weeks we have been blessed with some incredible support for coal for families in need.  As we have delivered we have been met with such gratitude.  I tell them that this is a gift from our friends who wanted them to know that someone cares .. Others need the coal and are torn, they are not used to being given anything in life and are concerned that they are not able to repay us.  I am able to tell them "Its only mine to give. "  

Kurts goat going to a new home 

We have literally given out thousands of dollars of coal this fall.  and we are not done yet.  Now I am a generous guy , but it is so much easier to give when I come at it from the angle of "Its only mine to give."  

How much less stress in life would there be if everything we had we took that approach with ."It's only mine to give. "   As bazaar as this might sound, I think that is the way it should be.  

The last few months have been difficult for us.  We have had a family living at the farm that has been steeling.  absolutely every area of the farm was effected .  The more grace we would show the worse it would get.  It got to the point that 6 members of the family were all steeling, and some how they were able to justify it in their minds as being ok.  Finally we had to put a stop to it and asked them to leave.  They then came back for more .. It has been difficult to say the least.  

Again every thing they took was only " mine to give", but still I feel a responsibility to make sure that it goes to where it can do the greatest good.  But in the end, they did not steel from us they stole from God.  

What we need to do is not allow this to hinder what we do.  We need to continue to help people in need , we need to continue to be open to step in to help in times of need.  And as crazy as it sounds we need to continue to keep an ear open for this family so that we can help them in the future as things start to unravel for them ..       (actually I am not spiritual enough for that at this moment, but Julie is so I will follow her lead.)  

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Looking for pie challengers Nov 14 / Nov 22

We are so excited that it is that time of year again .  
In just one week  ( Nov 14 ) we will begin the pie challenge for this year. .  

Over this next week we will be looking for 20 names of people that are willing to let their names stand .  A reminder of how it works for those who might be considering letting their name stand .   

As your family and friends make donations toward your $500 goal here on the blog, I keep a running total on the top right hand side of the blog.   Then when you reach your target of $500 you get someone to throw  a pie in your face and post it on face book... and that is where the fun begins.. from there the funds will provide Christmas for 50 orphans and kids from families in need ...    This will also cover the extra baggage costs of bringing the vitamins over that we distribute throughout the year .  

If you are up for the challenge , please let me know and I will add your name to the list . 

Saturday, November 04, 2017

What HOPE looks like.

The last few days we had unusually nice weather  here, so we were able to take advantage and spend a little more time at the yurt.  The kids came up and helped clean u and cut some weeds.  One night we had Dustan stay over with us and he next night , Aigoola, Aiperi and Sammy stayed over with Julie.  

We have been busy with coal deliveries the past couple weeks.  It has been harder and harder to get coal due to problems at the border.  

This year we have been blessed with some incredible sponsors who have all chipped in to provide coal for us to give over the winter as needed.  We have a greater buying power now and have been able to get coal at a good price and in large quantities.  Since we purchased our coal,  there have been major shut downs and delays at the border. It has been taking as much as 10 days to get across.  This has meant a severe shortage of coal i the area.  

Yesterday we had a neighbor come to the farm.  She  was so discouraged.  They had worked so hard to raise the money for their coal and when they went to purchase it, there was no coal to be had, and they were told that when it does come it will be almost twice the price.   They have no idea what they are going to do .  We sat having lunch together with her and all the farm family.  I was overwhelmed with the situation.  I look around at all God has done and His provision.  We purchased more then twice the amount of coal we normally give out,  not knowing about the shortage at the time, and here we are in a position to be able to help.   I am sure that God knew, and that is why he put this need on to the hearts of so many people to send donations for this coal. 

After a nice lunch, we loaded up a few bags of coal and brought them over to their house.  We will be able to help take the edge off things for them until things work out.   This next picture is what HOPE looks like today 

  I spoke with one of our supporters  about the possibility of purchasing some extra flour for the winter so that we could give it out over the winter.    It was agreed that this would be a good idea.  
That afternoon I went down to our supplier and negotiated a good price and placed an order for a couple tons of flour packed in several different size packs 5 kg 10 kg 25 kg and 50 kg packs. 

That night I got word that flour was added to the list of items that will be delayed at the border.  This means that the same crisis that people are facing now with coal will be the issue with flour in a few weeks.... Once again we are one step ahead.   

We left the last 50 kg bag on the truck when we unloaded, then made one more stop at the home of the Babushka we brought coal too a little earlier .. "Exceedingly and Abundantly more then you could ask or Imagine"  

 We moved the fence back on the chicken run so that we have a place to plant some more fruit trees and strawberries. We will set this up as a park setting with some benches along the fence to view the poultry run. 

In this photo if you look at the back of the garden you will see a big white  building.  This building is the local hospital.   We went over there to introduce ourselves and to see if there are any needs.  

The hospital is very clean and well kept.  Everything that can be done to make things better with out spending money had been done.   What we did find is that the windows in all  the rooms are in very bad shape . Even when closed you can see huge gaps in the frames.  The windows are only single pane and many of them are broken and missing pieces.   There are a total of 30 big windows that need to be replaced.  

We have some money designated for medical needs so we have decided to take a step and begin this project.   Of the 30 windows we chose the 10 worst windows and will start replacing them in the next couple weeks . We are basically looking at $100 a window installed .  with the next 20 windows we will replace them two or three at a time as designated funds for this project come in.  

This is our window man and the hospital director at the cafe as we place the order and put a deposit on the windows 

At the kitchen we had this large step that was difficult to go up and down with your arms full.  We poured a couple new steps to make the steps smaller and easier to go up and down. 

this next photo goes into the category of  " HOW IN THE WORLD ?"

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Count your blessings

New calf at the farm . 

|After supper Nuric came running back into the house to give us all the great news. 

Today we were busy delivering coal.  It was all hands on deck. we visited several of the families that we have worked with over the years.

One of our stops was to a family that we worked with for many years.  They had a young son that had cerebral palsy.  They were on our list every fall for coal.  This summer their son had passed away. We showed up at the house with A load of coal. they must have assumed that since the boy had passed away we would stop helping them.  Loosing a child is not something that they would just get over, especially one that took so much care over the years.  When we started to unload the coal the daughter phoned her mother. Mother had started working .. she was to depressed to be at home and was hoping that getting out would help.   The daughter was grinning from ear to ear as she was telling her mom about the coal.. It was so much more then just a load of coal.. it was recognition that they had a great loss and at the same time it let them know that someone cared.   It is so hard to explain the impact that this had on them , and me.  We have had a particularly difficult few weeks on the farm, but today we are reminded to be thankful for the things that we have.  Family, friends, and all that we have been blessed with .   Just today we were able to spread that blessing with at least a dozen families.  

and look at this, strawberries in the green house .