Tag Archives: quinta portugal

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

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

smack

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.

Quick general update and Merry Christmas!

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Hello, everyone!

The official results for our olive oil harvest is here *grinning*

696 kg amounted to 85 litres of extra virgin olive oil which was way, way more than we expected. I’m extremely pleased!

Second batch of olive oil also is less spicy and peppery and much sweeter because we had more big black olives to press into oil.

My oil perfume is still in the process of making. Alex, whose nose is far more sensitive than mine, says that I put too much peppermint in it, and that smell overpowers the rest, but I still can smell cumquat loquat (got the right name for the tree now) quite strongly. I’ll report the end result next year.

Alex and Shaun have been finishing small jobs on the land – fencing, clearing, and they also almost made their first hugelkultur raised bed while I was finishing pruning the last olive trees and doing housework.

When the first raised bed is properly done I’ll post some photos of the process.

We had 2-3 days of rain and now it’s all sunny but still pretty cold. It’s a mild winter in Portugal with much less wind and rain than we expected but it’s still winter.

Right now, I’ve decorated the caravan for Christmas and we are celebrating Christmas and New Year with our friends in the next few days.

I’m also sorting out our seeds to plan what we are planting soon and where. I’ll need to buy a big calendar and draw a map of our gardens when I finish with current task.

Overall, we are still busy, but I personally slowed down on backbreaking jobs in the last week because it’s time to relax a little. It’s been 3 months since we arrived, and we’ve done a lot.

I wish you all a fantastic and very merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!

May all you dearest wishes come true!

Expect me back in January with much needed posts about

– buying land in Portugal;

– getting here;

– getting a postal address and a post box.

As always, ask any questions you like and I’ll try to answer them in the next few posts.

Over and out,

Karina

What Are The Goals?

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I remember that in the last post I promised to talk about our plans or goals for this property.

Strategy

We would like to put 10 years of hard work into establishing a system which is as self-sufficient as possible. Which means that what we can’t produce ourselves we want to barter for within a community of like-minded friends and neighbors.

We want our fruit and veg, olive oil, eggs and poultry from chickens and ducks, cheese and milk from sheep, fish from our fish ponds. We want to build our house. We want honey from our bees. Wax and olive oil as basis for organic creams, soaps, shampoos and conditioners. We want medicinal herb garden to make tinctures and remedies and we want some sort of mushroom production.

Our friends grow their own wheat for making bread and I’m not sure if they grow rice as well but they might. So there is a possibility for bartering.

Tactics

Our quinta is a natural water line, so before the planting season starts in January we would like to dig out 3 fish ponds,

top terrace for the 1st pond. No olive trees will be affected, there is more space than the pic shows

middle terrace for the 2nd pond

3rd pond in the meadow

convert the existing unfinished water tank into a fish tank for breeding fish (tilapia mostly),

it just needs bottom and re-enforced walls

build a green house and start to germinate seeds into seedlings to give them a better surviving chance in our first year of planting,

create raised beds for our fruit and veg.

These goals are a MUST in the first year.

The ongoing projects are retiling the existing shed roof,

the existing tiles are really brittle

and building a big communal kitchen and bathroom.

Existing walls for future kitchen and bathroom

In April we’ll also be able to get bees, and as soon as we can spare our attention, we would like to build a chicken coop and buy a few chickens.

By spring we would need to get a bore hole and get a bigger inverter and extra batteries for solar system, so we can run non-sensitive equipment like fridge/freezer and washing machine through them.

We also need to build a root cellar.

The house is in the works, but we won’t start anything until the planting finishes next year.

So as you can see, our hands are full right now. There are also extra challenges every day, but we are loving it all.

In the next post I’ll start talking about what’s been done to the land so far.

Tchau!