Latest news from the quintaOctober 17th, 2017. Post by Quinta do Vale
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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 :(
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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.
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
Medlars (Mespilus germanica). ... See MoreSee Less
nice when soft
One-day vermicomposting toilet workshop! Another chance to take part in the installation of a vermicomposting flush toilet system and learn how to construct one for yourself. This one is being installed at another Quinta do Vale in Anseriz, near Vila Cova de Alva.
Vermicomposting Toilet Workshop
The outline plan for the workshop is as follows …
10-11:00am Tea/Coffee on arrival.
Informal get together and exchange of ideas/information about your individual projects and reasons for attending the workshop.
11:00-12:30am The Theory.
Why vermicomposting? Where and how is vermicomposting being used in sewerage systems and bioremediation projects worldwide? How does this system work? What’s its history? How is it constructed? What maintenance is involved? How does the system regulate itself? What are the environmental advantages?
Questions are encouraged throughout the session, whether in relation to your own project (planned or potential) or to the science in general, but please try to keep these appropriate to the general focus and flow of the session.
1:30-3:30pm The Practice.
Hands-on installation of the system. The system does take a bit longer than 2 hours to construct and install, but preparatory work will have been done in such a way that you’ll be able to see all parts of the system clearly and take part in the final stages of installation. Bring working gloves and wear suitable clothes.
Informal get together and summing up of the project. Any remaining questions.
COURSE LIMITED TO 10 PARTICIPANTS - BOOK EARLY!
Wendy Howard modified Anna Edey’s original open source design for a vermicomposting flush toilet system and installed it on her own quinta. Together with local architect Filipa Ripley, she has been the driving force behind the enthusiastic adoption of vermicomposting sewerage systems by the municipality of Arganil in Central Portugal. The first of these small-scale systems has now been installed in a local village and more are to follow. She hopes to work with other local councils to encourage its widespread adoption throughout the country and help improve the water quality of Portugal’s streams and rivers.
COURSE FEE: 35 euros including lunch and refreshments
Overnight accommodation is available at extra charge.
MORE INFO / BOOKINGS: email@example.com
VERMICOMPOSTING TOILETS WEBSITE & FORUM
www.vermicompostingtoilets.net ... See MoreSee Less