Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Edition - come and get it!

Ok what's going on?  Either the blog is getting rubbish, predictable, too infrequent, or the fickle public.... anyway, last month's stats were diabolical!  I guess the title "Harmony" is pretty boring - I should be concentrating on things like our psychotic drunken German neighbour and stuff like that - the trouble is that there really isn't much BAD stuff to entertain. So I guess I'll just have to keep the positive things going and telling about how damn GOOD it is here.  No doctrine, no attitudes, no dogmas, not enough structure, but plenty of balance. Way it goes....

Here are a couple of areas I've been working on recently, the wild vines enclave...

...and the new sugar-canes lagoons, with good help from Anthony (yes the little family is still here!)...

 - at last some proper bamboo sprouting too (don't try them from cuttings by the way, you need roots - they are a very different animal to our rampant canna by the rivers).

Garden's looking NICE! and this is just the beginning of the new system, which is amazing. Here's Dan....

....our neighbour across the river, a marvellous gardener and original thinker, who devised the method - not saying he's the first to invent it but he worked out the system without any guidance - sunken compost trenches, fantastic!     Perhaps I should elaborate...   You start with a normal bed, either raised or flat, and you dig two trenches, about half a metre apart, centre to centre, and 10 to 15 cm deep, which you fill with compost or manure.  Then you will have 3 beds for planting, one in the middle and one on either side of the trenches.  These are where you water - they stay humid for a long time and so watering is low, and the life of the bed multiplies, with worms, fungi, bacteria, and other beneficial life, making the soil rich and vital.

Here's a latest snapshot of the veg garden - though photos of veg gardens never really show the story...

We had our Open Day not so long ago, which was a great multi-cultural day - the west Algarve is melting pot of nationalities and cultures, in general on the alternative side of living but in general also with very much a practical edge.

There were lots of activities for kids, and some nice workshops for grown-ups, films and good info and idea exchanges.

Neighbour Ruben did capoeira games,
 ... and we made adobe bricks..

Our resident anthropologist Alex did a great slide-show and talk on the Nishi people in the Himalayas, with whom he lived for 3 years.

Tours and treasure hunts. a nice after-party till early hours.

All good stuff.

Parking was limited, but we got by....


August's always a time of taking it easy, the one month where there is a de-focussing, and then getting some perspective on the future.

Here is a nice picture of our long-term guests, just sadly departed, who gave so much wholehearted, honest spirit to the Várzea for the last two months...

... from left, Alex (as already been mentioned on the bit about Open Day), Phoenix, Nicky, and Theo - with, on the right, Megan and mum Kris - now back at Várzea after a year's sojourn to the Serra d'Estrella.   The best news (apart from that Kris is back to stay) is that these splendid people are coming back in February for several months!

Daphna masterminded the new earthen floor of the Pit...   from collecting the clay at the local barragem.... (honest!) to mixing and applying...   can't seem to get these pics where I want them, but I'm sure you can work out the sequence...  (thanks to our guest Jarmila for the photos)

The autumn Permaculture Internship is open for entries, and we have two signed up already, with a target of 5 or 6.      I see these Internships as s great springboard for the future of the Várzea, and a win-win scenario for the place and the participants.  Anybody interested, please check out the web-page - it will be a good one! (hey, I'm not a salesman, just telling)

The relaxed mood of August is a good time for putting plans together.  This is a nice discipline, a motive to properly focus on designs for the Várzea for the coming years, putting ideas into sharp focus and developing them coherently.  Fun!

Nature doesn't do harmony, it is harmony.

feel free to comment..

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