Archive for January, 2010

Pruning vines

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

With all the time lost in December and january to the torrential rains and getting our basic living accommodation in a habitable state, I’ve been keen to get on with pruning the large number of vines on the quinta. Last year we were only here for 2 weeks in January and I was only able to spur prune a handful of vines without really much of a clue as to what I was doing. I didn’t kill them though, so armed with that knowledge and a few techniques learned at a recent garden open-day in Barril de Alva, we’ve set about tackling the vines in earnest before the warming weather starts the sap rising.

With so many vines to do, it’s not really been possible to adhere to the bio-dynamic calendar, so we have just been proceeding on a daily basis for the last week. In any case, I’m not sure what days vine pruning should be done on. Most people say fruit days, but to my way of thinking, you’d want the vine’s energy concentrated in its roots if you’re going to be hacking large chunks off it above ground, so I’d be inclined to prune on a root day.

Double Guyot vine pruning

Double Guyot vine pruning

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Welcome to our first WWOOFers

Sunday, January 31st, 2010

Thanks to Matt and Kirsten over at Quinta das Abelhas lending us their beautiful Dodge truck conversion when our prospective caravan fell through, we’ve been able to welcome our first WWOOFers to the quinta. Helen and Pepe joined us 5 days ago from a long stay at Quinta das Abelhas and have already made a huge difference to the amount of work we’ve been able to get done.

The Dodge

The Dodge

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A simple life | Uma vida simples

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Stove installed in yurt

Or is it?

It depends on what you mean by ‘simple’. The trouble is that simple (leaving aside simple-minded for a minute) can mean both uncomplicated, and humble, lowly, basic. The two are not necessarily the same.

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You! Work!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

At last, thanks to a load of firewood, I’ve been able to move over to the quinta. The yurt is drying out nicely, the accommodation organised for efficient and comfortable living, and the little Lange stove is performing superbly. It’s so good to be here!

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