Archive for July, 2010

Vegetable lessons

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

It was my initial intention to concentrate on our energy generation and building renovation this year, but the temptation to get started on growing our own food was irresistible and we dug over part of a couple of terraces in the Spring to create some temporary beds and plant a few vegetables.

The long-term plan is to create raised vegetable beds in a no-dig, minimal-rotation system of cultivation based on well mixed companion planting amongst the (eventual) forest garden, but the thick mat of nettle and bramble roots, mint and dock meant that initially the ground needed to be dug over to remove these very persistent plants and give the vegetables a chance. (The soil we’ve dug so far is good and deep, but needs a lot more organic matter and life in it. Very few worms.) We also opted for the conventional rows of vegetables, mainly for speed and convenience at this early stage. At least it would give us the chance to observe what works and what doesn’t.

Vegetable beds on the yurt terrace

Yurt vegetable beds


Renovation begins

Friday, July 9th, 2010

We’ve made a start on re-roofing the larger of the two buildings on the quinta. As luck would have it, Chris has a brother who’s a roofer, and he’s come to join us and help out with replacing the roofs on both buildings since neither in their present state are watertight. Welcome Michael!

Removing the large slabs of schist from the roof

Removing the large slabs of schist



Friday, July 9th, 2010

Can’t help but wax lyrical about this, but we’re really enjoying the experience of eating juicy warm sun-ripened fruit fresh off our own trees and bushes. There’s a vast difference between the vibrancy in a fresh ripe plum or peach that’s reached the peak of perfection while still being very much alive and attached to the tree, and the teetering-on-the-brink-of-decay ripeness (if you’re lucky enough to get it to ripen before it goes mouldy) of fruit purchased in your average supermarket.

Plums growing on the quinta