Apr 15, 2015

It really feels like Spring

A busy but beautiful and joyful month lies behind us.
The garden got finally prepared for the crops, we opened our season for visitors and helpers and all around us, life started to blossom. 

If you want to read more about whom we hosted and what we were up to, please click below.


The first visitors of our new season were Richard and Bernadette, Basti and Lukas.
It was a good timing for their arrival as we needed to repair our water tower. With lots of hands we managed to fix it in one day.


Many thanks to all of you.
Especially to Bernadette and Richard who helped us so much preparing the beds in the garden, weeding and planting. 

We worked the ground in the whole garden with spade and hoe and without help our backs would be wrecked for sure.

This year we decided to 
mainly water by flooding and self made drip-by-drip. So we created already the beds in the way it suites the irrigation best. We are still learning about irrigation but we are getting better every year in shaping the garden.


We chopped the last wood of last year and hope it doesn't get so cold any more that we use it completely.

But definitely we need to have a wood mission before the next winter comes.

Bernadette and Richard leaving - we hope to see you another time!

Dane & Jillie

One of the purposes of the Mount of Oaks is to provide a safe place and environment.

Some months ago Dane and Jillie got in contact with us to ask if it would be possible to stay at the land during this Spring. They have lived here before and thought it would be a nice place for the birth of their first baby.

Monsanto ruins

Now they are here with us, preparing for the birth in May, sharing life and work. They already received their first visit: Willy, who spended some days with us and joined us in a little trip to Monsanto and Idanha-a-Nova.

The spirit of Spring

All around us life starts to awaken more and more. Nature has been dormant and suddenly life starts to blossom.

We are so blessed living close to nature. We wake up with the songs of the birds and we fall to sleep with the sweet smell of the tree blossom.

It gives us so much life every day to observe these
little things. Like birds playing in the bramble bushes or leaves and flowers popping out of the buds.


On our time off we enjoyed the sun and our animals joined us.

Also for the chicken it starts the time of spring and fertility. 

First Matilde started to sit on eggs and some time
later our youngest chicken Pedra decided to give her company.

Now both are sitting next to each other and with some luck we will have soon little chicks.

Future Fruits and Fruits of the past

So many things are already in the ground.
We planted Tomatoes, Pumpkins, Beans, Carrots, Onions, Sweet Corn, Lettuce, Cabbage, red and black currant.... Also there are the first herbs coming up like Parsley, Coriander, Lemon balm...
Our neigbour Tia Adelina gaves us so many seedlings as well!

We are thankful for the things that were put in the ground along time ago and we can still harvest.
We have an abundance of Oranges and Tangerines and the cabbage also never seems to come to end.

We did a little experiment with some of the potatoes.
As potatoes shouldn't be planted on the same spot until there has been a 8 year absence of potatoes, we are running out of places in the kitchen garden to grow them.

We planted some potatoes in our former compost bin and when ever the shoots show up we add earth.
We read about planting potatoes in barrels or big bags so why not trying it in a bin. It saves time and space and gives hopefully a bigger yield... let us see!

Dane created some raised beds mulched with chickweed.

Here are the pumpkins and squash growing who will be part of next years soup ;)

In the picture below you can see sunked beds for flooding, filled with lettuce and cabbage 


Jillie and Marcia preserved the olives of last year.  The olives were soaked in water for half a year and needed now salt, water and herbs to finish the process. Since last year we didn't had a great harvest, we only have 10 jars. We'll save them for special ocasions.

Many wild herbs are in flower at the moment. 

We collected wild lavender, calendula and rosemary to make infused oils.
Nettle and Camomile for tea.


Easter Celebration

Like last year we enjoyed some Easter traditions, good food and nice company.


We got 3 german visitors for the Easter week, Hoai, Meryem and Tinka.


We dyed eggs together, a german tradition.

Later Marcia and the girls went to Church on Sunday in the village of Povoa de Atalaia. 

Many thanks to the three of you for all the help and your nice company. Thanks for being so joyful while weeding!





Baba said...

well done !!! I´m so proud of you two, Marcia and Eric... I love all the things you´ve been up to... the garden looks great, the beds and irrigation, I loved the potatoes in the compost bins, GREAT !!! wow... I´m so looking forward to go back and be there :-) soooooon !!! :-)

Unknown said...

thank you so much for this fantastic post! It is great to see how things are progressing - the people, plants and produce!!1 well done Eric and Marcia and all the helpers too. Loved the animal pictures - very grateful to see Goofy looking so well. Looking forward to coming back soon(ish) ...... THANK YOU!!! x

Unknown said...

We miss you Baba and Emma! We are all (animals and the rest included) looking forward to see you soon*

Anonymous said...

hello guys, i must send you some photos of the chilli forest i cultivated in our apt in odessa, it is not quite the same scale.

your friend and mentor, michael