Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

1 2 3 testing, testing …

This post is the first from Quinta do Vale itself, courtesy of TMN banda larga pré-paga (PAYG 3G mobile broadband) which I’ve brought up here to test. It’s lightning fast. Yeay hey!! Almost as good as our wired service in Scotland. Things are looking better and better.

The terraces were cleaned yesterday. We have terraces we didn’t even know were there! The place looks twice the size and wonderful, even if covered in frost and in shade.

The terraces before and after cleaning



This gave us a real lift after our first visit this trip revealed a large growth of giant fungus on the floor of the bigger schist building after December’s heavy rains brought water in through the back wall … and prompted a jings-have-I-bitten-off-more-than-I-can-chew? moment. I reminded the two younger children, who were seeing the place for the first time, that this was probably the worst state they would see it in, but I think that was more for my benefit than theirs.


All the various waterfalls where the stream runs through the terraces are full of icicles. The weather in Portugal has been unusually cold since we arrived here. There was snow in the Algarve yesterday and half an hour of the evening news devoted to reports of how much had fallen country-wide. Not a lot in comparison to the average Scottish snow fall, but in a country unused to it it’s a major event. Where we are seems to have been one of the few areas to escape the snow, despite around 2-3 inches falling in Viseu which is only around 30 miles away. It’s been cold and icy, but lovely in the sun.

Being here around midday, we’ve also been able to discover that the sun just kisses the larger building for an hour or so at this time of year, so though the quinta, being north-east to north-west facing, is mostly in shadow, it’s not entirely so. Room yet for a passive solar design?

Winter sun at 1.30pm

All is on track for the escritura (deed signing and formal completion of purchase) next week.

Right … exploring to do, measurements to take …

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