Searching for wood and finding a "quebrada"; More weeding
Last Sunday afternoon I took Toby for a ride to explore this part of the mountain where from a distance you can see quite a lot of trees. I was hoping to find a few trees with construction wood. The area has been pasture before and is now mostly overgrown. From a distance a dead Nispero tree can be spotted to the left (look for the white trunk). It has burn marks due to the fire the former user of this land used to clear it. I can say I’m still mad at him for wasting all that good wood.
Nispero is a very strong wood and it is resistant to fungi and insect attacks. You can cut poles from it and stick them into the ground. They will last for more than 20 years without any treatment or protection.
The next picture shows what I found after going up the hill. In the lower half you can see two barb wires and a stretch of pasture on the other side. This is kind of a plateau and there the former user created a subsection with that fence. Due to that I could not pass so next time I have to figure out a way to get on the other side without cutting the fence. We want to use as much as possible of what’s currently there and improve later after more of the area has been weeded. Either by machete or by the cattle feeding on it.
Up on the mountain I cut myself with the machete a path of about 20m through a lot of brushwood. Sorry - no pictures of me swinging the machete. I was there alone.
What I found is that all these trees grow on the edge of a quebrada. Somewhere in there water flows out of the mountain and downhill. This has to be the same water that passes by the rancho. Down at the rancho the water is a bit muddy but up there it has to be crystal clear and fresh. Maybe we can take it from there and build a few bebederos in that section. A bebedero is kind of a tub with a roof on it. You add something to store salt and minerals and that’s where cattle should go to lick on the salt stone and drink water. We don’t want our cattle to make the long trip down to the river.
Speaking of the river. After we were done up there on the mountain Toby and I went to the river so he can drink water. I also wanted to see the flat pasture area next to it.
The river flows around an edge and forms a nice swimming pool. I don’t know whether Toby was thinking about taking a bath ;-)
When I got back I found Rigu cutting down brushwood. It’s important to cut down all those little trees that have grown in about four years so that the pasture gets light and nutrients to grow.
Around the corner Luis was doing the same. Our plan is to clean the pasture of all the brushwood but leave enough young trees for shade. There are areas where fruit trees have been seeded by birds and cattle in the past. Those are very important. Not only for the shade but for their fruits. Cattle likes some sweets once in a while as well.
Weeding manually with the machete takes some time. We can’t do it all ourselves so our plan is to hire local guys to help us with that. That area left and right of the quebrada should be cleaned so that we know how the terrain looks like. I have the feeling that we should fence off the steep slope that we certainly will discover there. Cattle likes to roam but we don’t want to loose any due to accidents.
Actually one of our neighbors, Chano, lost a cow that way. The animal walked into the wrong place, slipped and then could not get up anymore. So the blood circulation in its legs got cut off and it was too late once they found it. In that case there is no other way than to kill it. Chano was quite sad about the unnecessary loss. It was a cow and would have given him a few calves over the years. They killed it and butchered the animal right there. The meat got loaded onto the back of a 4WD pickup truck and by the time we left Buenos Aires we saw people in taxis going up to buy the meat.
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