Monthly Archives: May 2014

April Update, Part 2

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I forgot to tell that George (our cockerel) injured his leg by attacking Alex’s dad. Silly sod! For the last month he’s been hopping about on one leg and mostly sitting near the caravan while chickens wander around lost without their beloved leader.

He doesn’t walk them around, so they munched on all the grass near the caravan instead. The only nice thing about it? George is nice as pie to us. In the morning we call for him to hop next to the door of chicken coop so we can carry him up the steps and in the evening he is patiently waiting for us to take him back down. Poor thing!

All the trees we bought on Fundao market – pear Rocha, Conference pear and a Sharon fruit are doing really well.

This is pear rocha, further down in the field are conference pear and sharon fruit

Our blueberry bushes have the most beautiful flowers on them!

blueberry

red currant

a flat bed of onions before mulching – 360 of them

Now these are our plants after the growth spurt and especially that blood red full moon. I’m sure that made everything grow even faster!

peas, mangetout and carrots

Peas in flower!

yummy coriander

the same bed as in previous post 2.5 weeks later!

Another bed which was barely visible 3 weeks before now is sporting kale, brussel sprouts, marigolds and beetroot among garlic and onions

beets are on the rise!

And look at these tomatoes and a first marigold opening!

I’ve planted borage (borago officinalis) at the bottom of my peppers as a companion plant and it’s looking very healthy.

borage

thyme is growing between tomatoes

courgettes survived the frosts and are finally growing well

first strawberries

It’s crazy how different kale and cabbages look by the end of April!

lettuce has exploded!

so as potatoes!

We are eating our beautiful rainbow chard now!

We had a massive barbeque on the 16th of April, and our Portuguese neighbor Manuela gave us an avocado tree!

BTW, 25 people at the barbeque? Hard work! Phew… However we met so many new wonderful people from around here. I am absolutely chuffed that we are surrounded by great like-minded and good-natured folks.

One of the couples we met, Chris and Di, are building their strawbale house, so we have to visit them and see how it looks, because surely it won’t be that much different from a cob house?

Another couple, Pam & Mark just had their glamping site featured in a newspaper, so we can’t wait to see what they made on their land! Anyone fancy staying in a tipi? Here is their site Tipping Tipis!

At last, two more pics and my update for April is done.

Our rose bush started producing beautifully fragrant roses that I used in one of my perfumes last year (it came out wonderfully).

and while I was having a girls day off last Monday of April, baking a sinfully sweet Russian cake and drinking mojitos, Alex sneaked out and brought home a surprise for me…

Meet Rach & Sage!

We’ve got sheep!

They are 3 months old, both female and cost us 42.50 euros each, but Alex had to catch them himself 🙂 They are absolutely adorable and very intelligent.

This is it for April, tchau!

April update, and it’s heating up! Part 1

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Yes, yes, smack me, I’m late with the update! 🙂

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We’ve been very busy, and I kept choosing doing other things instead of blogging, but now I’ve bought a notepad and the update for the blog was on the list for today tasks.

First of all, in the beginning of April right on Alex’s birthday, Shaun left us to go back to England. Thank you for all your hard work, Shaun, and hope you enjoyed your time with us!

Me and Al had a glorious, quiet week to ourselves where we just worked from morning till night and then went to bed whenever we wanted. After 6 months of living with someone else this was a luxury. Then Alex’s dad came back to hopefully buy the land from our neighbors, so he can live close to us, and the holiday ended.

We had another few beans dying on us, because April still brought us a couple of mild frosts, so if you want to plant in Portugal anything sensitive like corn or beans, keep it in the greenhouse until end of April or beginning of May just to be sure!

The temperature heated up massively in the second half of April, and everything started growing like mad.

We moved the caravan in the new spot, and it’s a massive improvement in views and in shade as we are now partly shaded by two olive trees.

Morning view from the caravan in the first few days of April

This is how everything looked in the beginning of the month before the heat wave 🙂

nicely weeded potatoes, leeks, carrots and peas

Beets popping up and garlic is looking healthy

more potatoes

Lettuce and onions are starting to grow

cabbages are perking up

more cabbages

a nice path in the orchard

There are so many beautiful new flowers in the meadow, and they actually change every month.

Blue, yellow and white lupines

false foxgloves and legumes

campions

Quince in bloom

hawthorn

Blue scarlet pimpernel

daisies

The field is full of sunflowers, corn, beans, pumpkins, peanuts, chickpeas, watermelons, melons and potatoes. The field you saw Alex and Shaun start on in the last post, that is.

The smaller field is my quinoa

quinoa

Walnut tree is looking healthy as well!

I’m splitting the post in two parts so it’s not too massive, but if you want to have quicker updates, folks, like us on Facebook! We have a page for our quinta now under Olives and Acorns.