Apr 19, 2014

Spring Time

Preparing the land

Spring is here with all it´s beauty. Birds are singing their wonderful tunes. Days are getting longer. Plants and trees are growing, flowers of different colours and smells are everywhere.

It´s also the time to get plants in the ground so they will be well established before the intensive summer sun comes. 

Some of the tasks in the last weeks were to prepare the ground, sowing seeds and planting seedlings, building a hügelkultur bed and setting up the irrigation system.

to read more see below


Lots of plants are already in the ground and seeds germinated. Emma sowed carrots, parsnips, beetroot, coriander, mustard, peppers, tomatoes and much more. See some pictures below of our garden.

 Marcia planted Sunflowers next to our compost toilet

Xico is not only a help as a lawn mower, he also carried lots of wood in his cart for our Hügelkultur bed

Planting potatoes and later preparing trenches for flood irrigation


Last year in spring we started with the help of friends to build two Hügelkultur beds. To see more about the principle in the previous article, click here.

This year we worked on another one. One reason it is placed to protect the garden from the strong north wind. 

First we dug out a hole and filled it with old pieces of wood.

In a way it is a spring clean, as we have quite a lot of cuttings of wood laying around on the land. 

We don´t like the idea of burning the wood. We prefere to make a log bed and use the organic matter to feed future plants and trees. 

Layers of bigger and smaller branches were added, pieces of broom filled in the gaps until in the end our little hill could be piled up with earth.

With the help of our guests Nina and Shane we brought top soil from the paths we are making in our forest to top up the hill. It needs a lot of water to to make the earth stick to it and it helps the organic matter in the bed to decompose. More photos in the future of what we grow in the bed......

The way of Christ

On the weekend before Palm Sunday Marcia, Emma and me (Eric) visited the village with our dogs and the donkey to participate in the ceremony of the 'Via Sacra'.

We walked around the village with the church community and stopped on certain places to remember the way of Christ.

Spring blossom

It is a really good time now to collect flowers and leaves of medicinal herbs to dry them for teas or to infuse them in oil. Or to "just" to enjoy their beauty and their smell.

Wild Lavender and calendula infused in olive oil. Left in the sun for about 6 weeks.

Nettle drying in the straw bale house.
I (eric) drink a lot of it at the moment. Research show that regular drunk as a tea it can prevent prostata cancer. 

And besides this it seems to work as anti allergic as well as I am not suffer so much any more of pollen allergy.

We have herbs such as thyme, mint, sage, mellisa and rosemary in our garden. Everything else like nettle, chamomile or wild lavender we find on fields in or next to the land.

The oats we planted last year are growing alot. The field is right next to Xico's house. I hope he can stand the temptation and doesn't jump over the fence one day!

Home made Drip Irrigation

To water the garden we use this year a mix of different technics. Emma made several trenches and beds to be watered by flood irrigation. Our raised beds we will water with a self made drip by drip system.

We use old hoses and made two holes every couple of centimeters. Later we mulch them (cover them) so that they are protected from the sun.

If it works as we hope it will, we will be saved a lot of time and work in the summer. It is also obviously cheaper than a bought one. Watch this space to see how we get on with the homemade 'drip by drip' system.

We wish every one a blessed Easter time. Thank you all for your regular support and your love.

Much love from Portugal
Eric, Marcia, Emma, Baba, the animals, plants and trees!

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