La Casa Abya Yala

Desarollando nuestro proyecto de permacultura en Paracotos, Venezuela, lo documentaremos acá para no repitir errores, para compartir nuestro progreso con amigos y familia, para difundir info a otros que emprenden un viaje semejante, y para promover la ecoagricultura, la auto-construcción y la vida de forma ecológicamente sustentable. Seguramente serán mencionados nuestros gatikos, algo de política, y lo que sea que nos parece adecuado en el momento. Bienvenid@s!

As we embark on our permaculture project in Paracotos, Venezuela, we will document it here so as not to repeat mistakes, to share our progress with friends and family, to pass along info to others who are embarking on a similar journey, and to promote eco-agriculture, natural building techniques and generally ecological, sustainable, groovy life choices. Our cats, some politics, and whatever else seems appropriate at the time will surely slip into the mix. Welcome!

~ Martes, Abril 1 ~
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mafesul preguntó: Muchas gracias, te avisare en cuanto comience ;) .. Comenzare comprando las semillas (Y).

:)


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mafesul preguntó: Quizás utilice mal la palabra reforestar con respecto a esa planta( jajaj), pero si llegan a quedar espacios donde se pudiera reforestar, aparte de recuperar grama, flores, y crear cerca vivas, etc. Lo haría.. Es algo que he querido hacer desde hace tiempo, pero no he tenido mucho apoyo, y realmente no me importa (así sea sola) sembrar una planta por semana con tal de recuperar las áreas verdes. Y bueno, me tope con tu blog y me parece tan informativo y tan motivador.

Gracias me encanta saber que a alguien le sirva de algo! Te recomiendo que entre las flores (a mi también me encantan las flores, de colores más vivos y vibrantes posibles! y que tengan perfume rico!) que siembres algo para comer - árboles frutales también son bellos y nos alimentan a la vez! Además muchas plantas leguminosas tienen flores espectaculares (investiga los árboles Cassias y la planta Caesalpinia pulcherrima) y son muy buenas para la tierra y las demás plantas. En la permacultura siempre queremos que cada elemento sirva para más de un fin, es decir, que sea multiuso. Especialmente si estás haciendo el trabajo sola, quieres que todos tus esfuerzos rindan la mayor cantidad de beneficios! Avísame cómo va el proyecto en desarollo. Mucha suerte y mil saludos!


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mafesul preguntó: Muchas gracias por responder.... Te cuento, vivo en una zona residencial, hay algunas canchas y ahí mismo están los "jardines" son relativamente grandes, había muchos arboles hermosos, entre esos había limoneros, el árbol donde da la flor de cayena, grama, etc. Pero gracias al descuido de las personas que habitan la zona, muchos arboles han muerto, las zonas donde había grama están desiertas. Quisiera recuperar esas áreas y entre eso colocar una cerca viva y también colocar flores, etc.

Ah ok ya entendí. Qué buena iniciativa. Pues los limoncillos sirven muy bien como cerca y una vez establecidos aguantan algo de sequía. Los nuestros han tardado en crecer, creo, por el descuido que les dimos al principio. Bueno, si los puedes cuidar durante su primer, digamos, año te servirán muy bien como cerca. Se siembran así (imagen gracias a http://cercasvivasdeswinglia.blogspot.com):

aunque de hecho creo que entre los nuestros hay 30cm, no 33cm. No sé cómo son el clima ni la tierra donde estás, pero te recomiendo que les des mucho mulch (materia orgánico), y para hacer eso es bueno tener otras plantas que se puedan podar y usar así. Los que hemos usado, el quinchoncho y la sesbania, ambos son muy buenos porque fijan nitrógeno en el suelo y se pueden podar bastante sin dañarse. En el post sobre la recuperación de nuestra cerca hablo de estas cosas: http://casaabyayala.tumblr.com/post/41804511278/un-carino-a-la-cerca-viva-some-lovin-for-the-living.


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mafesul preguntó: Hola, que tal? Me ha gustado mucho tu blog. Me gustaría saber sobre la cerca viva. Quisiera hacer un proyecto la zona donde vivo para reforestar con esa planta (Limoncillo) y me encataria saber que tips me das. Estoy por comprar las semillas, pero de semilla a planta (como para sembrar) cuanto tiempo tardaria en crecer? =)

Con gusto te puedo contar sobre nuestras experiencias con el limoncillo, pero quiero clarificar - quieres cercar el espacio donde vas a reforestar? O quieres usar el limoncillo para reforestar? Porque el limoncillo es excelente para cerca viva pero no lo usaría para reforestar (te puedo recomendar otras plantas para eso). Avísame cuál es el plan tuyo y te respondo de una. Saludos!


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~ Viernes, Marzo 28 ~
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Racism Sin Vergüenza in the Venezuelan Counter-Revolution

Article By ARLENE EISEN - VENEZUELANALYSIS.COMMarch 27th 2014 Original HERE with live links to notes and references.

It’s late morning in Caracas. February 12. From the restaurant inside the hotel around the corner from Plaza Venezuela we can hear chanting, but it’s too muffled to understand. Are they yelling “Maduro Salida” or “Maduro/burro Salida”[1] or something else? From the window, we can see people, almost all smiling white people, streaming down the street to join the first huge anti-government demonstration that signaled the onset of the current outrages in Venezuela.

Olga, the restaurant’s manager, has tan skin, died blond hair and brown eyes. She is one of the 42% of Venezuelans who self-identified as white in the latest Census.[2]  From behind the counter, she usually greets people without a smile. She barks orders to the Indigenous woman in the kitchen. Today she is laughing as she glances at a cartoon in one of Caracas’ many virulently anti-government newspapers. I ask her if there are any interesting stories in the paper. She shrugs but the question unleashes a tirade about how she hates Chavismo. 

“Why?” I try to sound neutral.

Olga explains that Chavismo has brought the “riff raff, brutes, thugs and criminals into the city.” She is emphatic. “Caracas is now flooded with uncultured animals who make life miserable for civilized people.” She concludes,  “Afterall, look at the crime, the insecurity, the murders!” It’s likely that Olga is one of the many Venezuelans influenced by cartoons like this one by Kiko Rodriguez. It is one of the more repulsive depictions of Chavez that not only expresses time-worn racist contempt for people of African descent, but it also foments fear and hatred.

The title is “Miko Mandante”, meaning “Ape Commander” to mock the affectionate title “Mi Comandante” used by masses of Venezuelan people.[3]

During her rant, Olga never mentioned the race of Venezuela’s poor, or the extreme poor, who in 2003 were 30% of the population and by 2011 were only 6.8%.[4] Chavismo’s accomplishments, especially in reducing poverty, are significant because of the near total correlation between class and race in Venezuela. That is, nearly all the wealthy and bourgeois people are phenotypically European, while nearly all those in poverty who live in the countryside or shacks on the sides of hills in the city are Black and Brown. Demonization, animalization  and criminalization of people of African and Indigenous descent are themes both deeply embedded and flagrantly visible in the culture and institutions of Venezuelan society. White supremacy endures in Venezuela often resembling the United States and other settler colonial countries founded on conquest and slavery. [5]

Revolution against Racism

While the roots of white supremacy run deep,  the Bolivarian Revolution has seriously improved the lives of Venezuela’s majority—who are people of color. [6] Unlike the days of Venezuela’s dictatorships who served Standard Oil and the U.S. State Department, since 2001, voter registration is 97%. An array of legal tools—including Land Reform, a new Constitution written by a Constituent Assembly, the Organic Law Against Racial Discrimination—chip away at discrimination and promote mass participation in government, and in the various communes, councils, collectives and cooperatives. These are the structures of peoples’ power—including some 30,000 communal councils[7]—designed to ensure that once-marginalized people become the protagonists of their futures and nurture their dignity.

A significant share of the country’s patrimony, income from oil, is no longer siphoned off to the U.S. or to the old white Venezuelan elite. Between 1997 and 2011 the portion of Venezuela’s wealth going to the richest 20% decreased from 53% to 44%[8]— a statistic that indicates more about the elite’s loss of power than impoverishment. At the end of 2013, the Guardian reported that the poverty rate had dropped by 20% , the largest decline in poverty in the Americas for 2012, and one of the largest in the world.[9] Oil revenues pay for new homes for the poor, schools where every primary student gets a free laptop, new universities with open admission, health clinics, and jobs. It also funds programs against domestic violence and transgenic seeds and a host of other campaigns for social justice.

Venezuela’s oil money also has financed infrastructure designed to end the physical isolation and marginalization of African Descendants and Indigenous people. Set your search engine to “MetroCable San Agustín” to find photos and details of how Chavez’ revolutionary government spent $300 million to build a futuristic funicular. It eliminates hours of climbing on foot up and down treacherous mountain sides to reach jobs, schools, health clinics and other vital destinations. For tens of thousands of shack dwellers of San Agustin—most of whom are African descendants– MetroCable and new housing construction on the hill demonstrate that the Bolivarian revolution will incorporate them.

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela’s first President with African and Indigenous ancestors, spoke proudly about his thick lips and kinky hair. His refusal to follow the traditional path for Venezuela’s “morenos” towards enblanquemiento[10]continues to evoke endless mockery and contempt from the white and white-influenced establishment. Rayma, a well-known cartoonist who is featured daily inEl Universal, published on July 18, 2013, another cartoon designed to evoke the same contempt and hatred as the one by Kiko Rodriguez shown above.

She too wins mass circulation and international prizes for her racist caricatures. The Cartoonists for Peace, Sampsonia Way, Humanitarian News and most significantly Freedom House have supported her. A visit to the Freedom House website informs the public that the organization has an annual budget of $46 million, some of which comes from the U.S. State Department. Its Board of Directors includes a number with close ties to the State Department, USAID, AIPAC, Morgan Stanley and other imperialist entities.[11]

In spite of the mockery, Chavez’ embrace of  Venezuelans’ African and Indigenous heritage included more than symbolism. He practiced solidarity with Black and Brown people on a world scale by leading an anti-imperialist struggle for self-determination of Southern nations. He also provided material aid with no strings attached to Black and Indigenous people in the United States, Haiti and Columbia and many other countries. For example, in 2011, a joint Cuban-Venezuelan project saw the opening of the first high school in Western Sahara’s refugee camps. More recently, Venezuela and Cuba extended Miracle Mission International to the West Bank, Palestine to provide free eye surgery.[12]

The Counter-Revolution—Four Dimensions of Racism

In Venezuela, the revolutionary struggle to end white supremacy and for self-determination is a slow slog, complicated by two forces: One, the white elites, backed by U.S. imperialism, and many of the middle class who support them, cling tenaciously to their power and privilege. Two, the denial by whites, “morenos”[13], and nearly everyone else that racism persists. As a result, galvanizing a mass movement against white supremacy has been difficult. On the other hand, the current counter-revolutionary movement in the streets has become the darling of the corporate press both inside and outside Venezuela. None of the coverage mentions that the racism pervading this movement could rival that found in the Ku Klux Klan or any other of the white supremacist formations that pepper U.S. history. Yet racism is one of the main engines and expression of the counter-revolution.

1. Destroying progress made by African Descendants and Indigenous People

The counter-revolutionary movement[14] that has been in the streets since early February has demonstrated that one of its main objectives is to restore unbridled white privilege to Venezuela. Cartoons, editorials, posters, graffiti continuously blame Venezuela’s economic problems—both real and distorted—on the government’s “squandering” the nation’s oil resources on the “rabble” both inside and outside Venezuela. Roberto Weil published this cartoon in one of Caracas’ major dailies, Tal Cual on March 8.

It not only falsely implies that masses of Venezuelans are starving. It also implies that the government prioritizes arming “criminals” on motorcycles and corrupt army officers over feeding people. It encapsulates the narrative of the counter-revolutionary forces in the battle for the minds of most Venezuelan people who currently reject their message. More importantly, it manufactures a “justification” for more decisive U.S. intervention.

Here’s a photoshopped depiction retweeted with #SOSVenezuela that recycles the trope of incompetent animals in government positions who are manipulated by crafty (white) Cuban leaders out to steal Venezuela’s wealth. 

Repeatedly, the privately-owned anti-government media has reflected and reenforced disregard and contempt for Venezuela’s Black and Brown people. For example, two years ago, the major daily, Tal Qual, ran a cartoon, again by Roberto Weil.

The man with the beret, presumably a Chavista, declares, “Enough of white supremacy, now we have Afrodescendant water.” The cartoon ridicules and trivializes the campaign against white supremacy led by the Network of Afrodescendants in Venezuela and supported by the government. It also mocks and undermines public support for the government’s program of bringing clean water to the barrios that previously had none.

Congressman Modesto Ruiz[15], an African Descendant,  was one of the main authors of the Law against Racial Discrimination. He, as well as members of African Descendant civil society organizations and other officials urged that Weil and Tal Qual’s publisher be charged in court with violating the law.  Yet, to date, the newspaper continues with it’s virulent anti-government drumbeat and Weil proceeds as one of Venezuela’s most widely reproduced cartoonists. His twitter account claims 155,000 followers and floods the twitter sphere with militant support for Maria Corina Machado (a right-wing extremist leader reminiscent of Sarah Palin) and the rest of the extremists promoting anti-government lies, racism and violence.[16]

2. Anti-communism, Xenophobia and Racism in an anti-Cuban Stew

Graffiti, the twitter sphere, television and print media perpetuate a concoction of racist, anti-communist and xenophobic lies that Black Cubans have invaded Venezuela to consolidate Raul Castro’s control over the Venezuelan government and economy. Posters at right-wing demonstrations and photos of Black people in military uniform are retweeted thousands of times to arouse and manipulate fear of Black people, especially foreign (Cuban) Black people. On March 16, 2014, a woman named Alexandra Misel tweeted this photo with the caption, “Are these pure Afrodescendants from Barlovento (region of Venezuela with high concentration of African Descendants) or are they from Havana?” 

 

The next day, March 17,  she tweeted the same photo, but with a new, more alarmist caption, “Invading troops dressed like National Guard.”

Then, on March 23 a tweeter with the name “Alexgonzalezlu” pasted Misel’s photo to another one that manipulates white people’s fear of Black (Cuban) people attacking “our white youth.” This image is reminiscent of the notorious trope of the white damsel in distress, threatened with rape by a Black man. 

 

For centuries, fear of Black men as rapists and Black people as killers has been stoked time and time again to rationalize lynching, racist repression and other genocidal campaigns.

The photos below of mock lynchings by anti-government thugs follow in this horribly familiar white supremacist tradition. They were taken in the heart of the wealthy Chacao municipality of Caracas and posted March 5, 2014 byNews24.com

 

 

Maria Corina Machado fans these flames by repeating the lament that Venezuelans have lost their dignity to the “Cuban occupation.” They must be expelled.

It is also important to note that white supremacist attempts to motivate and mobilize the overthrow of a legal government are far from consistent. They manipulate fear by raising the specter of the Black Cuban invaders. But if that trope isn’t enough, they also call on the traditional slave masters’ narrative of the “lazy” Black man, who is “good for nothing and might as well be dead.” On March 16, the caption on this unidentified photo was tweeted by politicon@politicono 

It claimed, “The main activity of Cubans in their towns is hanging out.”

From the comments under these tweets, it is obvious that these Venezuelan white supremacists have no way of distinguishing an African descendant who is Cuban from one who is Venezuelan. Although they sometimes claim their violent, possibly genocidal intentions, are aimed at Cubans, their practice of decapitating motorcyclists and shooting their Bolivarian “enemies” indicates that the same racism that fuels anti-Cuban threats is also harnessed to galvanize their fascist putchist terror campaign against Chavistas.

3. Criminalizing African Descendants,  Indigenous People and their Organizations

White peoples’ criminalization and fear of Black and Brown people date back to the first rebellions by Indigenous and enslaved people in the 1500’s. For the last decades, African Descendants  and Indigenous people have been invisible to the viewers of privately-owned TV stations, except when they appear as servants or criminals.  The Bolivarian government disbanded local police forces that used to racially profile, murder and harass African Descendants. Yet a struggle against some racial profiling continues, including that which is a product of endo-racism among African Descendants. The Bolivarian government has also taken steps to reform prisons and establish alternatives to incarceration and mobilize local communities to prevent crime.[17]  However, from the echo chamber of Venezuela’s privately-owned media and the U.S. corporate press, we hear that fear of crime and the government’s “inaction” in the face of crime motivates thousands of people to demand that Maduro resign. Given the virulence of racism in Venezuela, it is likely that many people, especially middle class whites, will continue to link crime (and laziness) with Blackness. The prolific  alexgonzalezlu, tweeted this photo on March 11 to dramatize the man’s supposed criminality and laziness.  

 

In addition, today’s counter-revolutionary narrative manipulates racist white and middle class fear by directing it against the “colectivos”. They claim that Chavista grassroots collectives—the organizations that provide a space and structure for previously marginalized people to lead and participate in political education, cultural work and sports—are actually paramilitary arms of the “Maduro Dictatorship.” This racist myth accomplishes two counter-revolutionary objectives. First, it undermines a revolutionary institution, the communal council, that, for the first time, gives people of color a voice in politics and how resources will be spent. The second counter-revolutionary objective inverts reality. It blames the “colectivos” for intimidation and violence, rather than the middle class youth who build and maintain barricades, vandalize public property and universities and kill those who try to cross or dismantle barricades.[18]

4. Distortion and Glorification of Gochismo

During the 1930’s, when white Venezuelan intellectuals promoted a white supremacist ideology that led to exclusion of all but European immigrants, they pointed to the Andes and Mérida as “The grand reservoir of the white race for the Republic.” [19] For some, Gocho identity as hard-working mountaineers emerged in direct contrast to the perceived laziness of coastal slaves and their pride was never fully separate from caste superiority. In the 20th century, seven of Venezuela’s presidents (including dictators) came from the Gocho region.[20]  The epitome of these white supremacist presidents was nicknamed “El Gocho”. He was Carlos Andres Pérez who imposed the 1989 neo-liberal program that forced 70% of Venezuelans into poverty and the subsequent insurrection that eventually brought Chavez to power.

To clarify: all residents of the Andean states of Mérida and Tachira are sometimes referred to as Gochos. However, the counter-revolutionary Gochos are concentrated in the cities of San Cristobal and Mérida while rural residents form the majority of the states’ voters and have elected Chavista governors.

Yet images of macho white people, outfitted with makeshift rifles, pistols, Molotov cocktails, slingshots and other military equipment fill the screens of thousands of tweeters.  The captions brag. For example, under a photo of a muscular, military-styled white man wearing pants from a uniform and a white t-shirt and holding an automatic rifle, the caption reads, “Get back, I am Gocho” (#S.O.S.Venezuela@Alexgonzalezlu, Feb 23) Others feature flaming bulky barricades with captions like, “Caracas copying the Gocho model.”And “Release the Gocho inside you.”

Ciccariello implies that the superiority complex of the mythic Gochos fuels the putchist actions we see today at the barricades in Mérida and Tachira.  It is also likely that right-wing extremists like Maria Corina Machado have hyped the violent courage of the Gochos for their own political purposes. At rallies and press conferences, she never fails to associate herself with the heroism of the Gochos of San Cristobal and Merida—the first barricaders and most persistently violent of the counter-revolutionary movement. Her poster features her wearing a signature white t-shirt claiming “we are all Tachira”. It labels her, “The Lady of Iron”—the woman who aims to overthrow the government and expel all Cubans from Venezuela so that real (white) Venezuelans may recover their dignity.[21]

Solidarity with African Descendants, Indigenous People and the Bolivarian Revolution

One resident of the working class zone of El Valle in southern Caracas told Ciccariello that those who burn barricades live “in the tall apartment blocks that line the main avenue and think they are better than the barrio.” They act with total disregard for the lives of poor and working class Black and Brown people by charging tolls at barricades, making it impossible for people to travel to work, school, hospital and by destroying public facilities that poor people rely on.

So far, the vast majority of Venezuelan people—especially African Descendants and Indigenous people, have rejected both the politics and strategy of the counter-revolutionary movement. It is not just that the anti-government forces are “out of touch”. They do not hide their racist agenda. A Bloomberg News article reported a bus driver’s observation, “It’s rich people trying to get back lost economic perks. The slums won’t join them.”[22] 

But lack of popular support has never stopped the United States from intervening on the side of cooperative right-wing elites and white supremacists. The prevailing mass deception perpetrated by corporate media both here and in Venezuela has been much too effective. In the U.S., they have largely succeeded in putting a democratic face on the racist, essentially fascist, movement in the streets of Venezuela.  Traditionally anti-racist coalitions have ignored Venezuela. It is time we stand in solidarity with the majority of people in Venezuela and voice strong opposition to U.S. –sponsored coups or any intervention on the side of the counter-revolution. 


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~ Lunes, Febrero 24 ~
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~ Sábado, Febrero 8 ~
Enlace permanente Etiquetas: TransgénicosMatan ley de semillas
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~ Lunes, Febrero 3 ~
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Y Llegó Pacha / And Then There Was Pacha
Pacha fue encontrada en Petare hambrienta y con la pata delantera gravemente fracturada y los incansables miembros del Colectivo Nevado de Petare la rescataron. Subieron una foto de ella en Facebook pidiendo ayuda para llevarla al veterinario y me pegó en el pecho tanto que le pedí a Daniel que fuera a hacerlo con nuestra camionetika. Habíamos dicho que íbamos a tener uno o dos perros cuando vivamos en Paracotos pero en Caracas es imposible, así que no estábamos pendientes de adoptar ahora. Pero…cuando Daniel la cargó porque ella no puede caminar bien él se enamoró de ella de una vez. Amor de primera vista, pues; Daniel cuadró con su familia en Petare que la cuide ahí hasta que la podamos llevar a Paracotos. Pacha (la llamamos Pacha por la Pachamama, o madre tierra) es un amor, más cariñosa y encantadora imposible. Ya tiene 5 o 6 años, suponemos que la abandonaron cuando parió y luego la atropellaron, fracturándole la pata, o la abandonaron cuando la atropellaron porque no podrían pagar el veterinario. Es imposible imaginar ser capaz de abandonar a Pacha bajo ninguna circunstancia – simplemente me pasma la falta de alma que se requiere para poder dejar sola en la calle a este ser tan maravilloso. Si pudieras ver a Pacha corriendo en su pata fracturada cuando se emociona seguramente tu corazón se derretiría como los nuestros lo han hecho.
Así que de la nada tenemos una perra. Seis gatos y una perra. Y esta perra necesita una operación muy complicada y costosa para repararle la pata. Vamos a rifar una pieza de cARTón – muebles ecológicos la que puedes ver en la imagen abajo (o en la página “Tienda” en el sitio de cARTón) y con lo que logremos recoger así más una generosa donación hecha por mi tía ojalá podamos cubrir los costos de la cirugía, hospitalización, y medicamentos. 
Si no te encuentras en Venezuela pero quieres participar es posible! Un boleto cuesta $5 y si ganas tendrás que pagar la entrega de la pieza, la cual sería alrededor de $35 depende de dónde estés. Puede ser por transferencia bancaria o Paypal. Contáctanos por esta vía y cuadramos. GRACIAS!!
Pacha was found starving and with a badly broken front leg by the tireless animal activists of Colectivo Nevado de Petare. They put a photo of her on Facebook asking for help taking her to the vet for x-rays and I saw it and it hit me so hard I asked Daniel to go take her in our car. We’d said that when we live in Paracotos we would have a dog or two, but in Caracas it’s impossible so we were not looking to adopt now. But…when Daniel picked her up to put her in the car he fell in love with her. Boom. So he arranged for her to stay with his family in Petare until we can take her to Paracotos. Pacha (we named her Pacha for the Pachamama, or mother earth) is just the sweetest most loving and happy dog imaginable, despite her terrible injury. She’s already 5 or 6 years old, we think she was abandoned right after having puppies and then was hit by a car, or she was hit by a car first and abandoned because her owners couldn’t deal with the injury - both are equally possible and equally horrible. I can’t even imagine being capable of abandoning this beautiful dog under any circumstances. If you could see Pacha running on her broken leg when she’s excited i know your heart would melt like ours did. 
So now out of nowhere we have a dog. Six cats and a dog. And this dog needs a very complicated and expensive operation to fix her broken leg. We’re raffling off a piece of my cardboard work which you can see in the image above (or on the Store page at carton-mueblesecologicos.net) and hopefully with what we manage to collect through the raffle plus a very generous donation from my aunt we’ll be able to cover the costs of her surgery, hospitalization, and medicines. If you’d like to participate in the raffle from outside Venezuela, tickets are $5 each and you’d have to pay to ship the piece if you win, which will cost about $35 depending on where you are. You can either do a bank transfer or use Paypal. Send us a message here and we’ll work out the details. THANK YOU!

Y Llegó Pacha / And Then There Was Pacha

Pacha fue encontrada en Petare hambrienta y con la pata delantera gravemente fracturada y los incansables miembros del Colectivo Nevado de Petare la rescataron. Subieron una foto de ella en Facebook pidiendo ayuda para llevarla al veterinario y me pegó en el pecho tanto que le pedí a Daniel que fuera a hacerlo con nuestra camionetika. Habíamos dicho que íbamos a tener uno o dos perros cuando vivamos en Paracotos pero en Caracas es imposible, así que no estábamos pendientes de adoptar ahora. Pero…cuando Daniel la cargó porque ella no puede caminar bien él se enamoró de ella de una vez. Amor de primera vista, pues; Daniel cuadró con su familia en Petare que la cuide ahí hasta que la podamos llevar a Paracotos. Pacha (la llamamos Pacha por la Pachamama, o madre tierra) es un amor, más cariñosa y encantadora imposible. Ya tiene 5 o 6 años, suponemos que la abandonaron cuando parió y luego la atropellaron, fracturándole la pata, o la abandonaron cuando la atropellaron porque no podrían pagar el veterinario. Es imposible imaginar ser capaz de abandonar a Pacha bajo ninguna circunstancia – simplemente me pasma la falta de alma que se requiere para poder dejar sola en la calle a este ser tan maravilloso. Si pudieras ver a Pacha corriendo en su pata fracturada cuando se emociona seguramente tu corazón se derretiría como los nuestros lo han hecho.

Así que de la nada tenemos una perra. Seis gatos y una perra. Y esta perra necesita una operación muy complicada y costosa para repararle la pata. Vamos a rifar una pieza de cARTón – muebles ecológicos la que puedes ver en la imagen abajo (o en la página “Tienda” en el sitio de cARTón) y con lo que logremos recoger así más una generosa donación hecha por mi tía ojalá podamos cubrir los costos de la cirugía, hospitalización, y medicamentos. 

Si no te encuentras en Venezuela pero quieres participar es posible! Un boleto cuesta $5 y si ganas tendrás que pagar la entrega de la pieza, la cual sería alrededor de $35 depende de dónde estés. Puede ser por transferencia bancaria o Paypal. Contáctanos por esta vía y cuadramos. GRACIAS!!

Pacha was found starving and with a badly broken front leg by the tireless animal activists of Colectivo Nevado de Petare. They put a photo of her on Facebook asking for help taking her to the vet for x-rays and I saw it and it hit me so hard I asked Daniel to go take her in our car. We’d said that when we live in Paracotos we would have a dog or two, but in Caracas it’s impossible so we were not looking to adopt now. But…when Daniel picked her up to put her in the car he fell in love with her. Boom. So he arranged for her to stay with his family in Petare until we can take her to Paracotos. Pacha (we named her Pacha for the Pachamama, or mother earth) is just the sweetest most loving and happy dog imaginable, despite her terrible injury. She’s already 5 or 6 years old, we think she was abandoned right after having puppies and then was hit by a car, or she was hit by a car first and abandoned because her owners couldn’t deal with the injury - both are equally possible and equally horrible. I can’t even imagine being capable of abandoning this beautiful dog under any circumstances. If you could see Pacha running on her broken leg when she’s excited i know your heart would melt like ours did. 

So now out of nowhere we have a dog. Six cats and a dog. And this dog needs a very complicated and expensive operation to fix her broken leg. We’re raffling off a piece of my cardboard work which you can see in the image above (or on the Store page at carton-mueblesecologicos.net) and hopefully with what we manage to collect through the raffle plus a very generous donation from my aunt we’ll be able to cover the costs of her surgery, hospitalization, and medicines. If you’d like to participate in the raffle from outside Venezuela, tickets are $5 each and you’d have to pay to ship the piece if you win, which will cost about $35 depending on where you are. You can either do a bank transfer or use Paypal. Send us a message here and we’ll work out the details. THANK YOU!


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~ Miércoles, Enero 22 ~
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La Crisis de la Comida Para Gatos Parte 4: 2014, A Liberarnos de la Gatarina!

Nuevo interés, debido al costo aún más especulativo y además una escasez (sea genuina o sea artificial nos afecta por igual) de la gatarina en Venezuela, ha surgido sobre la opción de alimentar a nuestros queridos gatikos con comida entera y cruda. He compartido mis posts sobre este tema (La Crisis de la Comida Para Gatos Parte 1, Parte 2, Parte 3, y una actualización aquí) con varias personas que están sufriendo con sus animalitos felinos estos resultados de la guerra económica, y en el proceso he leído de nuevo lo que escribí. Con la esperanza que le ayude a alguien, quiero agregar un poquito más información.

Cuando hablo de la comida cruda, la primera reacción es que no puede ser buena porque lleva bacterias que pueden enfermar al animal. Hasta la gran mayoría de los veterinarios dicen eso. La industria de alimentos para animales ha trabajado durante décadas para convencernos a todos, incluso a los profesionales, que solo ellos pueden alimentar nuestros mascotas bien, que nosotros no somos capaces, que ellos tienen el bien estar de nuestros animales como su primera prioridad. Esta industria es parte de la misma industria alimentaria que nos dice que no podemos sembrar nuestra propia comida, que los agrotóxicos son buenos y no nos están matando, que la agricultura orgánica no puede alimentar al mundo, que las semillas transgénicas son un milagro y no una maldición, que la comida procesada es mejor que la comida entera, que la fórmula para bebes es mejor que la leche materna, etc. Su prioridad son sus ganancias, punto. Pero su marketing ha sido muy efectivo, especialmente en un país que padece mucho de la cultura impuesta por el imperio que dice que todo criollo no vale tanto como lo importado o, por lo menos, procesado, empaquetado y de marca. Bueno, regresando al asunto de las bacterias, la verdad es: los gatos tienen un sistema de digestión muy corto, así que la comida pasa por ellos muy rápido. Las bacterias que la carne cruda podría llevar que a nosotros nos enfermarían pasan tan rápido por el sistema de un gato que no tiene chance de hacerle daño. Sus sistemas están diseñados para procesar carne cruda – son cazadores por naturaleza. En dos años de darles a nuestros 5, y ahora 6 gatos nada más que carne cruda hemos tenido 0 casos de enfermedad, y un solo caso de parásitos intestinales. Drito contrajo un parásito porque el sigue cazando ratoncitos de vez en cuando y uno debe haber tenido el parásito, no por la comida que le damos (si hubiera sido la comida nuestra, todos los gatos habrían contraído el parásito).

En fin, es importante reconocer que los gatos y los seres humanos somos muy distintos, a pesar de cuanto nos parezcan nuestra familia y a pesar de cuanto nuestros gatos intenten de convencernos de lo contrario ;). Los peligros para nosotros no necesariamente son peligros para ellos, y visa versa. La comida que nosotros necesitamos no es nada semejante a la que ellos requieren para ser sanos. Si nosotros comiéramos carne cruda entre poco nos enfermaríamos, pero para ellos la carne cruda es la dieta ideal. Lo que compartimos es que a ambos nos daña la comida de mala calidad, procesada a tal punto que no lleva ningún elemento nutritivo, full de químicos y colorantes, sin relación a comida real. Si no comes comida chatarra, no le des a tus amados gatikos su equivalente felino que es la gatarina.

Nuestos gatos están comiendo muy felizmente en estos días:

Carne de muslos de pollo (los huesos grandes van a hacer caldo para nosotros, las costillas y la cola los gatos comen. A Panda le encantan las costillas.)

Alitas de pollo con sus huesos. Cada gato con su parte preferida: Drito come el hueso más grande, Bambusa el más pequeño, y Pétion la puntika. Los huesos son muy importantes como su fuente de cálcio para sus huesos y el mantenimiento de sus dientes y los músculos de sus mandíbulas. OJO: NUNCA, pero NUNCA le des a un gato hueso de pollo cocinado, porque se astillan y fácilmente pueden perforar la garganta del gato y matarlo.

Hígado y corazón de pollo. Si pudieran comer hígado más nada lo harían. Pero no es suficiente y puede hacer daño si se come demasiado. Los corazones, por otro lado, cuentan como carne.

Corazón de res. Excelente fuente de proteína y de taurina, lo que los gatos necesitan para mantener la vista. A unos es un favorito, a otros no tanto. Lupita es la única que no come nada de res (no sé, no me preguntes) así que aseguro que ella coma el corazón de pollo.

Bofe, riñón, y pajarilla de res. El bofe cuenta más o menos como carne (lleva mucha grasa así que no se debe dar solo sin otras fuentes como pollo y corazón). El riñón y la pajarilla son órganos más como el hígado y se deben controlar sus proporciones.

Con esta dieta nuestros gatos son sumamente sanos y bellos, y hasta con los precios especulativos de todos estos productos estamos pagando la mitad o mucho menos por kilo de comida de lo que estaríamos pagando por la gatarina.

Cualquier pregunta no dudes en hacérmela! Estoy a la orden para que más personas rompan las cadenas de la gatarina!

Etiquetas: agrotóxicosMatan comida cruda para gatos TransgénicosMatan
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Kimchi!

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Tal cual como se prometió, un post sobre el kimchi. Este segundo intento lo hice con repollo morado, ajo y cebollín, sin zanahoria. Salió rico y que color más bello! Me encanta comer el kimchi con huevos revueltos con arroz (arroz integral mejor) – no agregues nada de sal a los huevos porque el kimchi lleva bastante.

Hay un montón de recetas de kimchi en internet y no usé ninguna, una vez que leí varias tuve la idea e improvisé. Especialmente porque no uso el picante coreano tradicional sino ají picante fresco, y la mayoría de las recetas no hablan de esa opción. Lo que hago:

Pico los vegetales (repollo, zanahoria, cebollín y ajo hasta ahora, pero cualquier hoja con cuerpo como col sería bueno, y otros vegetales como pepino, cauliflor, brócoli y remolacha están en mi lista para probar) en trozos y los remojo por 5 o 6 horas en agua con bastante sal de mar. No uses sal con yodo porque el yodo impide la fermentación. Las recetas te dirán las proporciones de agua y sal, pero yo uso sal suficiente que cuando pruebo el agua sabe fuertemente, no suavemente, a sal. Hasta que los vegetales den algo de su agua y se compacten, es necesario poner un peso encima para que se queden sumergidos en el agua – yo uso dos platos grandes de cerámica.

En algún momento durante el reposo, pico jengibre y ají picante hasta que no puedo picarlos más, casi llegando a ser una pasta. Si quieres puedes hacer esto en una licuadora o un procesador de alimentos. Si lo haces así puedes echarle a la mezcla la salsa de pescado y el papelón o azucar moreno que yo le echo al final. Puedes agregar a la mezcla ajo (yo uso el ajo entero porque no me cae muy bien y así tengo el sabor sin comerlo, pero mucha gente incluye ajo en el aliño) y/o cebollín. Para dos repollos verdes pequeños y unas zanahorias usé 6 ají picante rojo de tamaño de mi pulgar más o menos, y para dos repollos morados grandotes usé 5 ají picante anaranjado de un pulgar y medio. Ambos salieron bien picante como nos gusta – tendrás que experimentar con lo que tienes.

Reservo una cantidad de esa agua salada, digamos 1 o 2 litros, y boto el resto dejando los vegetales que ahora están más blandos y compactos. Los mezclo con el aliño y los pongo en una jarra grande que tenemos. No es el envase ideal porque su boca es angosta lo que complica bastante el sacar el kimchi para ponerlo en jarritas pequeñas que caben en la nevera, pero es lo que tenemos. Si tienes un cántaro u otro envase cilíndrico sería ideal. Bueno, ahora le echo un poquito de papelón (puedes usar azucar moreno o miel, o nada) y salsa de pescado (también opcional). Sobre todo echo el agua salada que reservé, dejando espacio – no debe estar full. Es importante dejarle un espacio vacío antes de la tapa para que los gases de fermentación puedan expandir sin explotar el envase. También no hace falta cerrar la tapa muy duro. (Yo no pensé en eso y es solo porque la tapa de la jarra que tenemos no cierra perfectamente que no tuvimos kimchi y esquirlas de vidrio por toda la casa.) Ahora, muchas recetas dicen que hay que poner un peso en los vegetales durante la fermentación para que se quede debajo del líquido (en un envase cilíndrico sería sencillo hacer), pero no he hecho eso y no ha sido un problema. Y estamos haciéndolo en una temperatura calurosa así que si fuéramos a tener problemas con hongos o lo que sea lo habría pasado, digo yo. Un par de veces al día le doy vuelta a la jarra para que el líquido tenga contacto con todos los vegetales y está bien. Si tuviera un envase cilíndrico movería los vegetales y eso sería mejor aún.

Ya eso es todo. Déjalo a fermentar durante 2 días y pruébalo. Tres días han sido suficiente en nuestra casa calurosa, si tu casa es más fresca puedes dejarlo por más tiempo. También recuerda que sigue fermentando, aunque lento, en la nevera, así que si no vas a comértelo todo rápido vas a querer dejarlo un espacio para fermentar más sin pasar el punto de que es demasiado fermentado para ti. 

Sugiero que hagas tu propio kimchi porque es fácil, sano, barato y rico – qué más quieres? Es verdad que si no has comido muchas comidas fermentadas hay que acostumbrarte – Daniel se está acostumbrando poco a poco comiéndolo con huevos y arroz y otras cosas familiares. Si lo cocinas los sabores se ponen más suaves para los principiantes, pero pierdes algo de los beneficios nutritivos. Bueno, se valiente y abre la mente y la boca a cosas nuevas – no te vas a arrepentir!

As promised, a post about kimchi. I made this second batch with purple cabbage, garlic and green onions, no carrot. It came out great and wow what a color. I love to eat it with scrambled eggs and rice (brown rice is better, or a different more nutritious grain-like food better still) - don’t add any salt to the eggs because the kimchi has plenty.

There’s a ton of kimchi recipes on the net and I didn’t use any of them, once I read several I had the idea and improvised. Especially because I’m not using the traditional Korean chilli powder but rather fresh hot peppers, and most of the recipes don’t talk about that option. This is what I do:

I cut the vegetables (til now cabbage, carrot, garlic, green onions but any substantial leaf vegetable like kale would be great, and other veggies like cucumbers, beets, cauliflower and broccoli are on my list to try) into bite-sized or big bite-sized pieces and I soak them in salt water for 5 or 6 hours. Use sea or kosher salt, not salt with iodine because the iodine inhibits fermentation. The recipes you’ll find will give you good proportions of salt to water, but I’ve been feeling it out using enough salt so that when I taste the water it tastes distinctly salty. Until the vegetables soften and compact a bit you have to weight them down so they stay under the brine - I use two heavy ceramic plates.

At some point during the brining time, I mince ginger and hot peppers until I can’t mince them any finer, as close to a paste as possible. You can use a blender or a food processor for this, in which case the raw brown sugar and fish sauce that I add later should go in now to help the ginger and the peppers liquefy. You can also add garlic to this mix (I use the garlic whole with the vegetables because it doesn’t really agree with me and that way I can have the flavor without actually eating the garlic, but many people have garlic as part of this paste), and green onion if you want. For two small green cabbages and a few carrots I used 6 red hot peppers about the size of my thumb, and for two big purple cabbages I used 5 orange hot peppers about the size of my thumb and a half. I think the orange are a lot hotter than the red, because both kimchis came out plenty hot, the way we like it - you’ll have to experiment with what you’ve got.

I reserve some of the brine, say 1 or 2 liters which is what - 4 to 8 cups right? Then I drain the vegetables, now a lot softer and more compact than they started, and mix them with the spice paste, then put them in a big glass jar we have. It’s not the best container for this because it has a narrow opening, which definitely complicates moving the fermented kimchi to smaller jars that fit in the fridge, but it’s what we have. If you have a big crock or other cylindrical container that would be a lot better. Now I add the raw brown sugar (you could use honey, or nothing) and the fish sauce (also optional). Over everything I pour the reserved brine but not all the way to the top - you want to leave some space for the fermentation gasses to do their thing without blowing up the jar. It’s also not necessary to put the cap on tightly, if you’re using a jar. (I didn’t really think about that and it’s only because our jar lid doesn’t seal too great that we didn’t end up with purple kimchi and shards of glass all over the house.) Now, many recipes say you have to weight your kimchi down while it ferments as well, so it stays under the liquid. In a cylindrical crock that would be fairly easy to do. But I haven’t done it and it hasn’t been a problem, and our house is pretty warm so I’d think if there were going to be mold problems it would have happened here and it didn’t, so I don’t think that’s such a big deal. I do turn the jar over a couple of times a day so the liquid comes into contact with the vegetables on top. If I had a cylindrical crock I’d probably just stir it and I think that would work too.

So that’s it. Leave it for a couple of days and try it. Three days has been good enough in our warm house, if your house is cool it will probably take longer. Remember that it will keep fermenting, though slowly, in the fridge so if you won’t eat it all pretty fast you want to leave it a little room to ferment more and still be to your liking.

Making your own kimchi is easy, healthy, cheap and delicious - what more do you want? Of course, if you’re not used to eating fermented foods it might take some getting used to - Daniel is adjusting to the taste of kimchi by eating with eggs and rice and other familiar things. If you cook it the flavors mellow for beginners, although you lose a lot of the nutrient content so try eating it raw little by little. Anyway, be brave and open your mind and mouth to new things - you won’t regret it!

Etiquetas: Kimchi kimchee homemade kimchi hacer kimchi en casa
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