Saturday, May 22, 2010
All in all it’s been a fascinating experience for me and I intend with Mario to do it again. Next month we are thinking of sowing wheat – its great stuff this farming lark. Course I realize the idea is to make money but I am confident we will get there. Watch this space to see what we eventually get for our soya - at the moment it’s tucked up safe and sound in Azul in the silos.
This is David Cummings alias the English Gaucho of to see what the price of soya is today – up I hope!
Posted by The English Gaucho at 8:43 AM
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Now, for sure, there is no doubt about it, bus fares here must be the cheapest in the world – it costs just AR$1.25 pesos (about 12 pence) to go anywhere in the capital – that is not just a bargain it is a steal. Not only are they cheap but there are loads of them. I used to wait hours for the 216 I seem to remember - I don’t think I have ever had to wait more than 5 minutes for a famous 152 Chacarita to La Boca to come roaring along and believe me there is no trundling here - roaring up with all noise screaming is the way it’s done in BA – it’s not for sissies!
It is a wonderful public transport system here, however, with some flaws. Most tourists that come here miss out on a unique experience by not using it – or do they? . If you come here you should try it just to see how long you can survive! I swear, sometimes it feels like a BA bus must be the same as one those bucking broncos! How long can I stay on without being unceremoniously thrown off ?. No doubt about it the drivers are trained to kill here and if you get in their way while crossing the road too bad you had better be quick. Now here is an odd thing and maybe some of you other ex- pats who live here can answer this. When a driver roars up to a bus stop and the people start to pile in, all the driver wants to do is get away as fast as he can even without the passengers. Often, he does just that ,leaving passengers fuming at the bus stop !. The drivers can’t wait to get away so they will shut the door in your face and drive off – now why is that? – are they docked money for every second they are late getting back to the terminal? – are they all on a promise? – are they all in a bad mood? I just can’t answer it! I can just say that it happens all the time. And god forbid if you are 80 and a little dodgy on your feet – they will take that as an opportunity to slam on the brakes as hard as they can so sending a number of grannies into orbit every now and then with the words of David Bowies when are you gonna come down ringing in their ears.
Posted by The English Gaucho at 7:24 AM
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
As some of you may have read in my previous blogs last October we decided with a partner Mario a farmer in Tapalque to plant soya bean. It was a bit of a risk to say the least. The previous year this area had experienced the worst drought of recent times. In fact Mario ( in the photos with me ) who had planted soya and wheat during that fateful year lost the lot. Normally in farming he explained one can recoup the initial investment - ok the work investment part is lost but at least you get to fight the next year. That year he and many others lost their entire investment - it was that bad. With this knowledge as you can imagine it was a tough decision to decide whether to plant or not – many decided not to. Call us stupid but we decided to go ahead and be dammed. The long range forecast for El Nino was good - the prediction was for lots of rain. Course lots of rain could mean too much rain and the same results as the drought year happening i.e. everything down the drain if you excuse the pun. As it happened the rain came the sun came the rain came the sun came the rain well you get it. It was a perfect year for growing soya – it is a record harvest and Mario who suffered a nervous six months with his daily look at the weather forecast is a happy farmer. We started to harvest our 500 acres last week – we have a week more to go and then it will all be in the silos in Azul. Our decision then will be do we sell immediately or do we play the market- blimy I never had these decisions when I played the guitar for a living. Me I think I will sell we are just in the process of purchasing 100 cows so we could use the cash. The question is how much will be get per ton on the day we decide to sell. It’s my first time I have ever done this so it’s an excitingly nervous time- did we make money? – did we break e even or god forbid did we lose? Although it was a record year prices for the land we rented rose in price per acre since it was fixed to the price of meat here which rose steeply in price also (still a good steak in Argentina is a lot lot less than it is in the UK thank goodness) and so did the prices of fertilizers etc. It will soon be time to do the numbers – keep a look out how we fared - all will be revealed within the next few weeks. Once we have all the info we have to make a decision of what to do next year – plant or not to plant – watch this space we live in interesting times on La Margarita and for sure sometimes it feels like a long way from the South of France where I used to live in the nineties playing and singing – probably cos it is I guess!
David Cummings alias the English Gaucho in Tapalque Argentina
Posted by The English Gaucho at 4:25 PM