It seems even the farm isn’t spared from personnel turnovers. Today was our first day with the new Andres. Maurico has effectively taken over as resident gardener and is now in charge of taking the farm in a direction of his choosing.

Maurico seems nice enough: He owns a farm down the road where he grows medicinal plants. (Speaking of medicinal, Paola says he also smokes a lot of weed.) Andres, similarly, lived about three hours from Amaga (which isn’t that shocking because getting anywhere takes at least an hour due to poor road conditions) and also owned his own farm of quinoa and goji berries.

But where Andres was bonkers for bokashi – a Japanese recipe for creating soil – plus carving terraces throughout the garden to create interconnected beds, Maurico has exhibited a slower approach, telling us to cover up the exposed soil that Andres hacked out. Maurico, not so much a bokashi believer, had us rake the bamboo forest floor today to fill bags with fallen dried leaves.

Both Andres and Maurico have stressed the importance of soil remediation because Paola’s land is almost completely composed of clay. Turns out Amaga is a great place for making bricks because of all the free clay just waiting to be dug up. But for gardening, the hard, acidic soil presents a challenge. Where Andres was going for organized beauty topped off with bokashi, I think Maurico is going to want several dozen more bags of leaves to cover up the garden wounds he’s inherited.

February 3, 2014