Monday, December 9, 2013

Hi all...

Brother John's asking "where's the Blog", you're letting it go...  no nooo! blog is a message for the present and a reminder of fun and folly of the past - have no fear, Blog is here and set to continue into the dizzying future.....  

I've been pretty-much hidden away in dusty place for the last several weeks - hence the lateness - making a new room in the rammed-earth building we built last year, for daughter Megan - it had to be ready in time for her coming back from her mum's on the first of December, as a 6th birthday present!

Anyway - here's the evidence that I've not just been twiddling my thumbs....   3 weeks ago....







.... to....













Winter's dry and cold so far - no rain for over a month and our Cerca river dry in parts - beautiful sunny days if you're just content to be alive.  Personally, give me few days of thunder and torrents coming down the hillside and I'll whoop (is that a word?) with the plants and fungi...

Geese have arrived - well, six little goslings, at home temporarily in a chicken-tractor, pending refurbishment of the big (150m perimeter) bird area around the "bird hotel" - all these things delayed by "the work" but all will come to pass....

  
.... turkeys next!

Meanwhile we shall be eating many hens - the stock are getting pretty old and we need more eggs and less money on feeding (cue titles for "Chicken Run 2 - Várzea strikes back!")   On a gentler note, here is Megan feeding the little darlings....


On the topic of arrivals, our good friends and neighbours, Miguel and Tiffi, had their third offspring squeeze into the world a week ago now - a girl called Yala, continuing the full-on baby boom in our valley, and good to have a Girl for a change - Megan had been registering her protest at the growing local gender imbalance in the new generation.

Garden is steadily getting re-planted with winter things, with fruit-bushes coming next month.  Tree-nursery getting bigger, with tetra-pack milk cartons finally getting some positive recycled use as seedling tree pots.

I´ve been planting acorns on the hills, though the oak varieties I want, for biodiversity and ecosystem restoration, are in short supply from the handful of local Portuguese Oak (as opposed to cork) I know of locally. Happily, I have been confidently informed that "Oresti the Greek"  will  be delivering a large bag of the little treasures on his bicycle en route to Morocco!     Prime time is now, and so take a handful of acorns from you nearest oak tree and, guerilla-garden-style, put them in nice places near your home and nurture them as the friends they are. Every oak is really the focus of a complex community of hundreds of animals and plants from fungi to birds.  Go create!







.... just add time......


See: you may spend a great deal of time and energy, not to mention money, making something fine (or not-so fine), and in a few years it's a memory, while you may plant a few acorns, for nothing, and in a part of an hour, and in 10 or 50 years the living form you have "created" is still developing it's beauty.   Oh, and if you really are up for this, try to put, with each planted acorn, some of the good earthy-leafy stuff from the ground under nice big oaks - it contains the fungi which will help the seedling establish itself.

Thursday nights in The Pit have been getting better and better, with superb music jamming with a whole variety of people, instruments and dancing rhythms!  Brilliant - here's a picture taken last week, though flash photography doesn't really get the atmosphere of fire and candle-light...



Dates are now announced for our 9th Permaculture Design Course - 17 to 27 April 2014 - tell anyone you think might be interested, it's always a great multi-national 10 days - see the page for details!  And the next "Peaceful Communication" course on the weekend of 18 - 19 January - I'm pretty sure we all know one or two people who could use that one!  More workshops for 2014 in the pipeline - keep checking the site!

Stop press... Tobias and Oresti arrived yesterday with a bucket full of acorns - I've already started..(70 planted today in the swales dug last year). Oresti works with Tobias in a splendid venture near Grândola, between here and Lisboa, clearing land and re-establishing native ecosystems. eco-interventions@gmail.com if you're interested.


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