Latest news from the quintaOctober 24th, 2017. Post by Quinta do Vale
This blog tends to feature often lengthy and mostly fairly detailed descriptions of the work here. Shorter updates, anecdotes, comments, photos, links and more get posted to Facebook. Keep up with us directly on Facebook or via the feed below.
The banana lives!! ... See MoreSee Less
small yet vital. Life always finds the way 🧚♀️
Our land was destroyed in the fires along with the bananas, papayas and avocados we had on the front terrace but we're hoping for a similar miracle - so great to see this!!
It's a start! Other beautiful things will start growing again.
Good luck! Our thoughts and best wishes go with you.👍
So devastating for you, but glad you have hope x
Nature is incredible
So sad your loss, positive things will happen, sending my love ❤️❤️
A joy to see this beautiful plant in all the blackness <3
Strong banana, good banana, thanks for the message-banana! 😍
Some post-inferno images from the quinta. The most surprising things survived ... rolls of plastic water pipe and conduit right next to the burned out greenhouse. A chair amidst all the rubble of the wee house. There is still some green amidst the black and brown. It will be Spring before I know what trees will or won't survive. So much destruction to an already-fragile ecosystem it's heartbreaking ... ... See MoreSee Less
Heartbreaking to see the destruction of your beautiful space 💔
Thank you for posting and I am glad you survived, if in a somewhat bruised state. I think more will survive than you expect! Nature is tough but you have given build up some resilience with your activities. One of the big dangers will be erosion if it rains allot before the groundcover reestablishes itself. Wishing you the best from a cold wet Germany.
Such a devastating time. Hopefully you will be back on your feet very soon.
so heartbreaking Wendy but I am so pleased you are as ok as you could be... lots of love and best wishes xxx
I have been following you for a while now dreaming of having my own Quinta one day & watching the fantastic progress you have made - totally in awe of you, the love you put into the land, your gentle & wise approach... i am so sorry for all this destruction & send you all my best wishes & strength from the mountains in France💕
O goodness :( must've been pretty scary. Glad you're okay but sad looking at the pics of all your hard work frazzled.
I've also been following you (rather silently, I'm afraid) and have been amazed at all the great work you've done. I hope to goodness the government does something to stop all this destruction. I wish you luck, urge you not to give up because you have a lot to give and send you my very best wishes.
Thank you for this write up. I've been following your progress for a while and am so sorry for this destruction. But thanks again for the update. So much to learn.
I also follow quietly. The bones of the Quinta look strong! Although this is so very awful to look at, (and I imagine the smell is dreadful), your permaculture principles shine through.
so sorry to see this destruction. at least you have proof that your footprint is minimal! hope you find the will to re-build. sending love Kx
Another quiet follower here, so sorry for your loss, you guys were (and are) a big inspiration to a lot of us who dream to have there own quinta one day, unfortunately the ones who try to get closer to nature and natural way of life, get bitten by fire that resulted mostly by the ones who don't care about nature, climate change, industrial tree plantations and all other points you guys and the rest of us try to fight, but I am also sure you will get up again, just like a Phoenix out of the ashes!!! (after all, ashes are one of nature's way of regenerating the soil.)
Thanks for posting and sharing Wendy, heartbreaking and back breaking stuff. Hope your land is as resilient as you are
Everybody being threatened for their lives by the fires will be much more affected and traumatised by it than well kept natural surroundings. You have built so much soil and theres so much organic matter that i am convinced you will see your quinta resprout soonest and thrive once again. Heartbreaking to see the destruction to the dome and wee house but given time and spirit also these can and will be rebuild. Most important after this massive blow will be to care for yourself and the dear people around you. Celebrate life ! Abraço forte
Sorry to hear of what has happened to your wonderful place. I wish you all the best fortune for the future and hope that you can turn this tragedy around and into something even more beautiful.
I hope the rain comes in abondance and takes away the burnt stink. Oh my. It looks aweful now. The rains will bring big change you will see
This is awful. So sorry to see the damage but be strong, rebuild and adapt. The world needs people like you more now than ever before. I won't be back in Portugal until spring but if you like, I could come by and lend a hand for a few days
Oh Wendy! After a previous post I thought the fires had stopped short of your quinta. Sooo sad. Our hearts are heavy seeing the destruction to our olive trees (just before what promised to be a bumper harvest too) and the vines but we know the majority of them will be back next year (though some will have been stunted of 50 to 100 years of growth). But there are benefits that have have followed the fires too: so much land that was overgrown and unworked is now clear and usable and although tube was burned all over the mountain we can now see the old lavadas and can relay the tubes where they run well and can be easily covered to protect them next time there is a fire. I hope you find some positives.
www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/quintadovale - mum I don't know if you're able to follow but people have donated £1405 so far ☺️ hopefully you can get some normality back soon xxxx
Sorry for your loss. Best of luck picking up the pieces... X
i'm a silent follower of your amazing project, i always find your post very inspiring, and this ones are not exception, as a quinta owner myself i feel inspired more than ever by your project <3
So sorry to hear this, so much work undone, at least your safe. good luck with rebuilding, if you need anything let us know. we are collecting clothes etc from people from our area and are delivering to your area in two weeks.
Two nights ago with the wind from the hurricane, the fires started up again. They came from two directions at the rim of the valleys and completely enclosed us. No way out. So we stayed. As the two fronts came to converge in Benfeita, we barricaded the children in the church while anyone who was able fought the fires in the streets. Several houses in the village burned. The whole of Central Portugal was burning. The bombeiros were stretched impossibly thin, so we fought the fire ourselves alongside the local people. Our two presidentes, incoming and outgoing, were unbelievable - constantly at the front line, back burning where they could, never stopping. We have no power, no phones, no internet, except at the very tops.
Some of us have lost everything. Some of us have lost some, but not all. Nobody is unaffected. The fires consumed everything.
At the quinta, I was able to water some areas down before we evacuated and set sprinklers on the yurt. Our exit was blocked by fire so I had to leave the car behind and we left on foot carrying the cats in baskets. The chickens and geese had to fend for themselves. At some hour of the night I sat in the village and watched the wee house burn. It and the geodome greenhouse are gone. The main building and the yurt survived unscathed. The cob bathroom is part burned where the woodstore next to it went up. Amazingly, the geese and chickens are OK and unbelievably the car survived with only slight melting of the rear lights and registration plate. Water lines are burned and electrical wiring melted but the solar equipment survived although some of the panels are toast. The entire landscape is black and smoking. Even after last night's rain, trees roots are still smouldering and the air is still smoky.
Last night we got together in the house of friends who's house and power system survived to charge phones and talk. One long-time resident, the first foreigners here, looked up from contemplating the total loss of everything he has, punched the air with his fist and said "We go on!" For me, that was the defining moment. We go on. ... See MoreSee Less
Corrine Bunty O'Brien #thismattersmore
My thoughts are with you and I admire your courage. After such a year I am so sorry to hear that the fires reached you.
Pffff. Heavy stuff. Lots of respect!! Was Benfeita itself and fraga da pena hurt by the fires??
What a risk, escaping on foot! I am so glad that you are all safe. I can only imagine the heartbreak. Stay strong.
Dear Wendy, thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to all of you there..so sad about all that was lost..But if nature teaches us one lesson it is resilience. Be strong and coureageous as all you up there are in your community. You will resprout, you will rebuild. Força ! Lots of love
omg, all the best
Heartbreaking losses 💔 your gracious attitude speaks volumes ❤️ best of intentions sent your way 🌱
I am so sorry and sad for you. But fortunately not all your farm is lost and you will and can go on! I remember fighting to save our farm - it was very intense - we were very fortunate - it was a big life lesson. Take very good care of yourselves!
My heart is with you and all the others. Wish you can recover from this tragedy soon. Peace.
A courageous battle....keep your spirits up!
I love you to the moon and back mum 😍 we'll have you on your feet as soon as possible ❤️ strongest wendy lady I ever did know 🙌
All the best..carry on!
so, so sorry :(
Oh my, my heart is with you all. Very sad, but at least you, the furies & feathers are OK.
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. My heart goes out to you.
Glad you're safe. It must be heart breaking to see flames take hold of your home, land and hard work. We were evacuated last year during fires in Spain and it was scary but fortunately the fires managed to be controlled. If/when you need help rebuilding I'd be glad to visit. Take care and keep going xx
I can't tell you how sorry I am, but please go on, please don't give up. <3
What a terrifying and yet unifying experience. I am sad to know of your loss having read your adventures for some time. I look forward to reading many more.
I discovered your blog and later your facebook page when I was considering a move to Portugal to set up and do as you have done. Although those plans fell through, your example has been inspiring. I am sure that you are all devastated by the losses incurred in these horrendous fires but please know that as useless it may be, people all over the world are thinking of you. I hope that you do go on. I hope that your example can continue to give inspiration to those who find you. The land will grow again. Walls and doors can be replaced. Take care of yourself and your community. It is a wonderful thing you all have in each other. "The problem is the solution." - Mr. Mollison. I am not sure how that is going to help here, but I greatly look forward to reading your posts on how you overcame the great fire of 2017. Best wishes from S. Korea. Andy Wright (Watson for FB purposes)
Wendy, so sorry for what you and everyone in Benfeita have gone through, just devastating.
Go on!!! Please!!!!
Très émue mais heureuse que vous et vos compagnons soyez saufs.Vous ne manquez pas de courage, organisez la solidarité pour ceux qui ont tout perdu et n'ont pas d'assurance.
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are these tree seeds on your property? i've been working on a tree seed bank for the last couple of months, was hoping to make connections with others for seed swapping ,,,,,,, hoping to grow a food forest in the future
Chestnuts endangered here. Criminal offense to mess with one. Even to collect fruit.
The ridge line last night. The recent fire which started at 23:20 Friday evening near Fajão and made it over the ridge into these valleys on Saturday night is finally out. Now we are patrolling for reignitions. ... See MoreSee Less
Que não se reacenda e que venha depressa a chuva!!
So so pleased to hear that the fire is out. I'm now familiar with the mental and physical exhaustion that sets in when on constant fire watch. Sending strength x
That's very sad to see. I hope not too many animsls lost their lives. Unfortunately these fires are becoming more frequent world wide. Here in Australia we are on watch as we head into what is going to be a hot summer. Fires have begun already.
Good to hear the fire is out.
Constructing a raised wooden floor in the greenhouse to allow for the creation of the worm farm below. The floor of the worm farm will be concreted, shaped, sloped and waterproofed so exudates run into a collecting pot and can then be used as a foliar feed for vegetables growing in the aquaponics tanks. The floorboards aren't fixed, so simply lift up to feed the worms. ... See MoreSee Less
Already?!! Everything is at least a month early this year! ... See MoreSee Less
When do you know they're ready? First year harvest for us. Thanks.
Apart from Autumn...
Same here in Northern Spain, seems almost 2 months early. Most of our olives are black and we've also just noticed a scary amount of processional caterpillar nests in the pine trees. They're not usually around this early.
I gonna start next week!!!
Ours are still mostly green at both houses. Not sure about the other house. Going to have a look later! The year before last, ours were done and dusted now.
Goodness let's get ffs schedule provisionally organized for olive picking..I'm away Oct 14-28 suspect it will be an immediate necessity when I get back. I've just a few turning black. I noticed in France the olive trees were already turning and abundant! I've got loads this year too after 2 years of sparsity.
Wow! I might actually be there at the right time to harvest them for once 😁
Hi! Those olives look great. Do you have any tips for curing the olives? Most of our olives seem to be infested with some pest bugs, so we dont have enough good ones to make much oil and I am picking them just for curing. First time! Does it have to be 10% salt brine or is using less salt possible? Thanks! :)
The olives are falling off withered and black. No rain...
Oh I would love olive trees.
Olives for all, even those of us who's wells have dried up first time in my own 11 years here. 😅
Mine are also ready for picking and the lagar in this area will open for pressing next week. Some people have already started harvesting as they are said to be okay being kept in bags for two weeks provided the bags are closed airtight and in a cool/shadowy place