Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Finally... the spring blog!!

Over 4 months since my last blog, and while there have been reasons of crazy busyness and headfulls of stuff, the time has flown away.

Just now coming back to a level of calm after our six-week permaculture internship, with 7 participants, and a big learning experience of how to keep the flow and enthusiasm while dealing with a diverse group of students.  Fun, but mentally demanding - it went well, and also with valuable lessons for the next internship   Here are the group; Willem (the only male), Elena, Tranquillity, Helena, Juliet, Lisa.... hang on, where's Marieke?? (that's our Chaym - eco-garden guru - sitting at the front)


I don't intend a long blog, but want to give a picture of the spring which passed.  Winter finished early and the spring was dry and from the end of April also pretty hot.  Maybe a long hot summer this year...

In early May, I moved into my yurt . a whole new living space...


The skeleton




while my house is now rented long-term to now good friends, Alex and Nicky and their 2 boys, Theo and Phoenix, 6 and 4 years old and close friend with Megan, now 7 - they came last August for a vacation and this year are here to stay through the summer then next winter too - a total pleasure to have them share the Várzea.

And in March, emigrating from Isreal came Chaym and Petra, with their 2 daughters Jaya, 6, and Ayla, 3.

Anyway, here they all are, with a couple of friends thrown in..... (and me)...........


Left to right, big people - Alex, friends Ollie and Alice, Nicky, Chaym, Petra and me, and littluns, Theo, Pheonix, Ayla and Jaya.

So you get the picture of a pretty lively energy about the place.  Chaym is a genius in the garden, with seemingly unlimited enthusiasm and energy, working with worms and "effective micro-organisms" to make a garden which was pretty low-key before, look like this....






The geese and chickens and rabbits are now all-together in their summer quarters near the out-door kitchen, though with the cantankerous geese excluded from the chickens' area, with the rabbits free to roam in the whole section.  The rabbits are super-cool and completely ignore the goosey threats, who then don't know what to do so carry on doing what they were doing before.  And the goose-pond water goes every day with the smelly stuff to feed a new wormery bed for the garden

All the trees are looking good this year, and starting to give a pretty good crop of fruit, especially peaches, plums, apples and pears, grapes, as well as some almonds - and lots of figs.  Still waiting for the first walnuts, but the many trees are looking well.


... actually it's not so easy to take a picture of 250-odd trees which are on the bottom land, and it will still take a few years before a birds-eye view from up the hill will reveal an orchard-like landscape, but they are there and slowly will take up their natural role as custodians of the land.

Meanwhile here are a couple of shady microclimates which I have been developing around the wild vines....




Good to see many little oaks on the hillside swales too - I had thought that little animals had had nearly all of them, but there are still a fair few, getting through their first summer, with watering about once a month.  Conditions are hard without the shade of the mother trees to protect the babies, so it is essential to give water for the first year, preferably two, and to have the microclimates of the swales helping to keep the moisture in the soil -to help them start the slow process of claiming back the hills they used to cover, two or three generations ago.

I'm signing this one off now, with humble apology for slowness and promise of regularity of blogging, and another pic of the veg garden, just because it's so pretty...


Até breve,  amigos...

1 comment:

  1. We made it onto the blog! Very happy to read your musings Chris, i like your style of writing. I hopw you guys are are all well and happy there at the beautiful Varzea, we'll get a sneak peak of Nicky and Alex over the festive period while they are back i hope. Lots of love to you xx Alice xx

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