Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rising From the Ashes

About this time last month, we shared the details when the lots down the lane from us were set on fire to clear the land and how the flames then jumped the lane to scorch the vegetation opposite our house.

While the event was a bit too close for comfort to our liking, it's been interesting to see what's been going on with those parcels between then and now.

This is what the grounds across from our house looked like after the fire:

We figured it would just look this way for some time until the bush and trees grew back. But much to our surprise, a crew showed up about two weeks ago and started clearing out the debris. Using only their machetes, they hacked away at all the dead brush and tree saplings. 

Cleared lot

Once the ground was cleared, they started planting -- old school style. Using a couple of the sticks they chopped down, they sharpened the ends with their machetes. Then the guys would poke the sharpened end into the ground, about four inches deep. Reaching into pouches they had around their waists, they would drop in a few seeds of corn or beans.

The granules of dirt that covered the beans when they were dropped in the hole was all the covering the seeds needed. We found out that the reason they plant the seeds so deep, but without much dirt covering, is that by the time the seeds sprout and make their way to the surface, the stems are thick enough and the roots established enough that birds can't pull them  out of the ground. 

Here's what the area looks like now:

Rows of corn

Believe it or not, It only takes about two months for the corn and beans to mature and be ready for harvest. Back in the States, you would be looking at around a four to five month growing time. Must be something in the soil here.

It's great not having to look out and see a burned lot, but it is a little weird seeing the back of the house on the opposite lane. Apparently, this place started to be built around five years ago, but has never been finished and not occupied (or even visited that we know of).

An interesting tidbit about building down here. There really aren't any zoning laws. For the most part, if you buy land you can pretty much build or place whatever type of structure that you want. It also means that you could have anything from a trailer, small house, McMansion, or gated community next door to a commercial establishment or landfill. It will be interesting to see, as the area builds up over the coming years, if there will be any push to get some type of laws enacted.

In the meantime, life has returned to its quiet pace here on our lane, and we are keeping an eye on the corn and bean crop. 

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