Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Blog is Back!

Whoa! Where went the months,,,   I've had something of a blogger's block since the spring, and I think I am emerging from the tunnel...  Of course this is a tunnel for you, loyal readers, though not for me, because I have been here all the time, even if from your version of quantum reality, nothing at all happened here. Kind of a Schrodinger's Cat situation.  But really, real things have been moving along as they do, spring's become summer, and....

I'll summarise.  Very dry spring followed by heat-wave in early June. Even 7-year-old walnuts suffered. Well level plummeted (actually pretty critical right now...)    San Pedro cactus flowered for the first time...



A blissfully cool 3 weeks followed, now warm again, nature works it all out, but when creating a food-forest from scratch, my role is to be the mother and nurturer of the nascient system. Like parenting, it is not so easy to know the right balance between giving a harder challenge to the trees and bushes to better equip them for their future life, or to promote their strength by giving conditions to develop their potentials?  Of course, the trees have their own strengths and strategies and natures and already know in what conditions they will thrive.  So my role, again, is to empathise. That is a worthy challenge!

The Várzea in our summer guest-house sequence. Families coming from many destinations, staying a week or two and heading back home. I am always happy when, as is nearly always the case, the families who come here for their holidays come here because they see not just a vacation in the country near the sea, but are interested in seeing and learning a little of how we live here, what it involves, and  how life in the "wild" can be creative and fulfilling.  There is without a doubt a growing movement towards re-connecting with the source, ie nature.

Doing stuff:  Diogo Ferraz...



...one of the students on Chaym's gardening course in April, returned to volunteer for most of the summer, which has been a great boost to me, helping with irrigation and planting, and development of the food-forest plan.  I have, with Diogo's help, completely re-designed the tree-watering network for the 280 or so treeson the varzea (flood-plain) area. So instead of the out-of-control branching spaghetti of tubes, we now have 2 main arteries going north and south, feeding 20-odd branches, each controlled by individual taps, and each a snaking line, without branches.  Here Diogo is helping renewing one of the canals of the channel-irrigation system.

What this new system does is supply adjustable drips to the individual trees.  The result is not just an easily operable system, but a reflected order in the brain.

 Oh man, don't get me started on the brain, or it could go anywhere....    




One good place is in that Diogo is Portuguese, and of a very pleasant disposition to helping me learn, after 10 years and more of faltering and laziness, the lingo of my adopted country.  It is perfect timing, as oft happens with things whose time has come, because the logic has recently hit me that:  I have not been back to UK in over 10 years, apart for one visit of necessity for 2 days a few years ago. I never intend going "back".   

I love this country, and really like the people, their quiet wise natures and uncomplicated mentality, so it is clear that I have a crucial need to complete the circle by knowing the language.  My daughter Megan is fluent already, having attended the local Aljezur school for 3 years, and is also well-equipped to help my learning.  Enough said.  So next summer we shall both be applying for naturalisation - ie Portuguese nationality.  For her it's easy, especially having been born here.  All I have to do is speak the native language....

Back to home...  Chaym's garden's in great shape and giving lots of GOOD FOOD!....



... and the geese have a new summer residence - they spend the green months on the north várzea, grazing fresh grass, fertilising as they go, and so reducing the summer fire-hazard. Then in the summer they come to the "badlands", where they can eat fresh re-sprouting "cana", the bamboo-like grass which taps into the water-table, as well as being fed wheat grain.




They also have a daily-replenished pond to wash and preen in, as well as shitting copious quantities into it!  So then, the richly fertilised water is run out of the high point, down irrigation canals through the (in this location) impoverishes soil.  The benefits will be apparent in the wet season, when these canals will be the planting zones of trees and perennial vegetables.

Mostly I've taken things pretty easily this summer, having had a chest problem, which is now better, and mostly irrigating and going to the beach.   I'm kind-of a single dad these days, and it is summer holidays (they last over 3 months in Portugal!).  Yes, we even do things like going to "Slide and Splash!"



Just recently I made a little pond/water-feature under the fig tree in front of the houses....



... currently making the sundial - see next blog - in a couple of WEEKS - promise!  

I am going to leave you with a favourite quote from Albert Einstein.  I realise I am fond of quoting this great man, I appreciate how he positively demonstrates that it is possible to connect scientific genius with spiritual wisdom - things that are often considered irreconcilable....

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "The Universe", a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts, and his feelings as something separated from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and affections of a few people nearest us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison, by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.  Nobody can achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself. a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.

Até já, amigos!


























































































   




No comments:

Post a Comment