Tree-Huggers Delight

King Carob
King Carob Tree (restored), on the monte

One of my favorite winter activities (and i’m sure some of you tree-huggers out there can relate) is: hacking into the jungle that has grown up around a great-but-neglected old tree, and restoring the throne to its proper owner.

Of course i’m speaking figuratively, but in the case of this old carob tree pictured above, which stands atop the rocky outcrop that caps our “monte,” the purple prose is perhaps justified.
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WaterWise Garden Tour

During last Saturday’s “Festa do Sol” (Sun Festival), i was assisted in giving a tour of our garden by its designer: landscape architect Marilyn Ribeiro (website, Facebook), who came out of maternity leave just in time for the event.

It was great to have her there because -though i did play a role in its design, especially w/r/t greywater system and rainwater harvesting earthworks– my knowledge of the plants is still pretty skimpy.

Fortunately Marilyn is like a walking field-guide to Mediterranean plants… So she was able to answer questions from visitors, even while toting a baby and instructing me in ongoing maintenance.

As it turns out, maintenance is less of a chore than i had expected -especially now as roots (planted in March) are established, and we are cutting back on spot-irrigation regime, even now that peak summer heat is on.

Come the first rains of autumn, i expect to be putting my hose away for good -and come Harvest Festival time (September 16)- these garden beds should be pretty well filled-out. I look forward to another public showing then!

As Ovelhas da Quinta Vale da Lama

As ovelhas da Quinta têm uma casa nova junto à Casa Vale da Lama. Apesar de nos continuarem a ajudar no processo de regeneração dos solos e o pastoreio ter lugar em várias zonas da quinta, as ovelhas regressam à sua casa sempre que os pastos estiverem mais secos e com pouco alimento; para que possam descansar à sombra, beber água e alimentarem-se com a regularidade necessária. Estas tarefas foram integradas no dia-a-dia das tarefas da quinta e são partilhadas pela nossa equipa. Continuar a ler “As Ovelhas da Quinta Vale da Lama”

Poda no Olival

Este ano tivemos o privilégio de ter connosco um grande sabedor de árvores, Peter Zinn, a cuidar da oliveiras da área noroeste da Quinta. O olival que já era bonito pela imponência das antigas árvores, tornou-se ainda mais bonito, agora mais acessível, e potencialmente mais produtivo quando chegar a colheita da azeitona, esperamos nós. E aprendemos tanto com a presença deste senhor e a sua ligação às árvores.
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WaterWise Dryland Regeneration, 2017

As foretold in an earlier post, we’ve been busy this past fall/winter applying our Water-Wise Dryland Strategy to the south slope of our farm’s monte, improving access, water conservation and ecosystem regeneration all at the same time.  Long story short, our evaluation of project results at this point is: a great success, worthy of continuing wherever such conditions and needs exist.

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