Saturday, December 20, 2014

Winter solstice 2014

Winter solstice 2014

I like very much the diary aspect of these blogs, and hope to see the themes and thoughts develop. Feel free to give feedback - ok, everyone has such a busy time with facebook etc, and Várzea blog's just another bit of stuff to squeeze into to the Sargasso Sea of the temporal lobe, but maybe just a thought... (-:

Things moving sweetly this autumn. We have a nice bunch of people working together with good spirit, energy and fun.  We have - of course - been gouging away at the hillsides making the life-promoting swales...


Asa from Sweden, has been here a few weeks already and is staying a few more. Rubin, an old friend (here wielding his enxada), is here for (hopefully) a good spell, and Douwe is already away back to Netherlands, and Ian, from Brazil (out of picture) is here for a while.

We are now starting on the main east hillside. The whole of south slopes are now done and filled with a layer of horse manure, and seeded with oats, developing fertility. Here, the green lines are last year's diggings, now acorn-planted and covered with oats, and lupines to fix nitrogen...


...just missed the early evening sun - I will update the photo tomorrow and it will be much prettier|

                                  Chickens (and geese) have been moved
 to green heaven....


The goose eggs I mentioned a while back never made it to goslings, sadly, though, when we had the potential mum sitting on 15 eggs for a week we had many of our neighbours down on the list of fosterers.

Rain came, and despite a nice nest and dry roof, she decided it wasn't to be. Huge, tasty eggs though. Here is "Beaky" - Megan's favourite since he was a ball of fluff - the beak was like this from birth, but he has always been the leader of the group...  


We have been peppering the "badlands" with chestnuts and walnuts. This area was badly eroded in the years before we arrived here by floods rampaging accross the land when the river channel was not kept clear of riperian growth - mainly the densely and fast-growing bamboo-lookalike "canna". Here are Rubin and Asa again, preparing the planting sites, supervised by Cornelia.


The children at the Thursday "tipi-day" little school have prepared ground - here in full action...



... and planted wheat (the idea is to have a loaf of bread after next year's harvest, "little red hen" style!)

Meanwhile, as mentioned in the last blog, work is afoot making good one of the ruins behind the houses, to make a house for the rabbits, our future meat source. It's an area neglected since we kept the chickens here a few years ago, and it is fitting that rabbits were kept here 60 years ago in the days so different.  Here we are building up the walls which were pretty close to collapsing...

 
... and a view from the other side...


.... this whole area is being developed and landscaped, with many funky ideas flying around. Wait and see...

Time to sign this one off.... BOAS FESTAS to all Blog fans around the world!




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