Latest news from the quintaJanuary 18th, 2018. 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 worms finally in their new home.
The fire got into the tank enclosure thanks to the water supply pipe running along the back which caught light and took the fire inside. Then the waste pipe burned and then the tank itself caught fire, burning as far as the worm compost and collapsing in on it. The worms survived though. We dug them out and put them in a temporary open container while we installed the new tank, but when we came to put them back we found a lot of them had escaped in search of fresh food. So today I got a bucketful of worms from a neighbour's tank I'd supplied from this one. Finally we can start using the flush toilet again!
It was gratifying to see and smell nothing but lovely compost when we dug out the tank.
Next job is to encase the water supply pipe in cob to stop the same thing happening again. ... See MoreSee Less
Small steps in the right direction? The conversation still needs to be widened but this was an interesting event to attend. (With Laura Williams, Manuel Trindade Correia Marques, Maria Ana Botelho Neves)Decorreu no espaço multiusos do complexo turístico Loural Village a conferência “O que fazer agora para evitar a tragédia de amanhã”, que contou no painel de oradores com a presença da Presidente do Município de Góis, Drª. Maria de Lurdes de Oliveira Castanheira, do Prof. Dr. Henrique Pereira dos Santos (Arquiteto Paisagista), Prof. Dr. Pedro Bingre (Instituto Superior Técnico de Coimbra) do Amaral, do Eng. Henk Feith (Diretor de Produção da Altri Florestal).
Participaram na conferência cerca de uma centena de pessoas, onde foram apresentadas e debatidas estratégias que auxiliem a autodefesa da população das aldeias inseridas em áreas florestais, estratégias de prevenção sustentáveis a médio/longo prazo, nomeadamente na manutenção das faixas de proteção aos aglomerados populacionais, a possível utilização de fogo controlado para garantir a manutenção anual destas faixas, a baixo custo, de forma sustentável, bem como um modelo de incentivos que permita trazer o pastoreio de novo para o mundo rural, ajudando a fixar nova população nestas áreas, reinvenção do mundo rural, com base na inovação e na sustentabilidade destas práticas.
Outra proposta amplamente debatida, foi a necessidade de preparar as populações locais para a ocorrência dos incêndios florestais e para a necessidade de estas saberem como agir aquando da ocorrência de um incêndio. Devem estar preparadas para se autodefenderem até à chegada de meios de socorro. ... See MoreSee Less
There is a continuing conversation on the event's page. Worth following ... www.facebook.com/events/381037062347046/?active_tab=discussion
Us and some of the very excellent people who've come by to lend a hand at various times. Very little of what's been achieved here would have been possible without them. A great big "thank you" to all! ... See MoreSee Less
Merry Christmas to all! ... See MoreSee Less
Today I took a 1-hour trip through the mountains. This is the first time I've ventured this way since the fires. Part of me wanted to see how bad it was. Part of me wanted to keep hold of the memory of them as they were, even in such a degraded state it frequently broke my heart.
But this is beyond heartbreaking. The devastation is on such an enormous scale it defies belief. Kilometre after kilometre, ridgeline after ridgeline, endless blackness, utter desolation. Where do you even begin to address such monumental destruction?!
Yet on the return journey in the gathering darkness, we rounded a bend and surprised a group of roe deer crossing the road. Life! So I close my eyes and there is a vision of these hills covered in native woodland. Of oaks and chestnuts, birch, rowan, cherry, medronheiro, elm. There are rich pastures amongst the trees and the sounds of sheep bells and running water everywhere. There is lushness and abundance and the smell of moist rotting leaves. There are the sounds of children's voices echoing in the valleys. Is this vision from a long-ago past? Or is it the dream of these hills yet to be?
I know what I'm working for ... ... See MoreSee Less
So sad to see 😂
I've been through a few forest fires, two of which monstrous and been back the next year. The rebirth is breathtaking, against all reason. Patience...
IT WILL BE <3
We have 5 hectares not that far from you and that was our goal even before the fire but more determined now. There are positive changes taking place even with some of the local family run businesses who lost a great deal back in October - they tell us enough is enough and they will be removing eucalyptus from their land and replacing with something less destructive to the environment. They seemed particularly surprised at how quickly all their wells replenished after the fire.
It shall be!!
I join you in that vision. And not only for Portugal, but for every forest in the world.
So sad, the ecosystem is trashed
FFS - our regular work crew (minus Heather Roberts and Caroline Rodger but plus Duncan Saunders and the resident Aussies) log damming the quinta's burnt forest land to stabilise the slopes, catch soil as it washes down in the rains and infiltrate water.Us and some of the very excellent people who've come by to lend a hand at various times. Very little of what's been achieved here would have been possible without them. A great big "thank you" to all! ... See MoreSee Less
The effects of the fires are unfortunately a long long way from being over. In some ways, this is just the beginning. This is a photo of (what was) the stream channel one side of the track above Quinta do Vale following the torrential rain brought by storm 'Ana' which came through on Sunday night. About where the puddle at the back (just right of centre) is, there's a pipe about a metre down going under the track. Filling the channel to overflowing is what ought to be on the hillsides - the topsoil to grow new vegetation. ... See MoreSee Less
Tough to know what to wish for as the country needs a lot more rain but images like this are... frustrating (not the right word but can't think of a better one; wish there was a word for shaking your fist at the skies while thanking them for the rain!)
Sad, but expected. Drought and fire are a very dangerous combination.
Even after the heavy rains I find that the top 2 cms of soil are damp but underneath it is like dry powder. Not too sure how much rain water reaches newly planted trees either
Would sowing grass in your area help ?
I feel for you it is a hellova challenge. Can i ask did you put in swales? i am not asking this to be a clever arse after the event just curious because so many people put great store by them
Get a tree schredder, create mulch at the same time you get rid of dead trees ?