Here at the Ranch the year long apprentices have various roles and functions that support the Ranch community. By taking on responsibilities and managing certain areas we the chance to learn and experience those areas on a deeper level . Part of the educational model created by the ranch team is a monthly rotation of these so called life skills. Each apprentice transitions their life skill to the next apprentice, passing on all of the relevant information to their colleague in order to complete the various tasks associated with each life skill.
Organic gardeners and farmers understand the need to cultivate and protect soil microorganism life. The strategies to do this involve mulching, composting, and avoiding soil disturbance as much as possible. We know that these strategies, in addition to many others, encourage a healthy soil-food-web.
Poop. Shit. Mierda. Caca. Crap. Boñiga. Excrement. Feces. Dung. There are countless ways to say what comes out of an animal’s body as solid waste. As most visitors to the Ranch realize soon after their arrival to Mastatal, we talk about poop more than the average learning center or household, and it’s not uncommon for it to be the center of a meal conversation.
Soil, the ever fascinating topic to any garden guru or green thumb. Here at the Ranch it's all about topsoil, which is basically non-existent. The little soil that is present has a high clay content making it particularly susceptible to compaction. It is also highly acidic. The combination of the two means that without any additives it would be challenging to grow anything at all. So we've devised a number of methods to build up the topsoil, break up the clay and raise the pH throughout our orchard and garden spaces. These methods can be used anywhere in the world to improve your soil.