It seems an awful long time since I last posted to the blog. Well it is. It was 2019! In fact, there haven’t been more than a handful of posts since the fires in October 2017. But it most certainly hasn’t been for lack of things to post about as anyone who follows us on social media will know. We have been literally full-on non-stop ever since reconstructing, recuperating, reclaiming, regenerating the land and buildings from that disastrous event and the damage it caused, both on the quinta itself and further afield within the wider area.
Finally, 4 years later, it seems the light at the end of the tunnel is finally shining strong, though some areas – like the geodome greenhouse – remain pretty much as the fire left them still.
So now, with the help of EU disaster relief funding through the Portuguese government, many generous friends and many brilliant volunteers and course participants …
- The wee house, completely burnt out in the fires, has been rebuilt
- The burnt roof and window to the cob bathroom have been rebuilt and replaced and a new window added for good measure
- Water supplies and electrical generating capacity, both photovoltaic and hydro, have been restored
- The one surviving caravan has had its melted windows and burned shade structure repaired and is back in use
- The main building kitchen has been completed and has now been in operation for 2 years
- Two new worm toilets and a new shower room have been built
- Two additional camping terraces on the quinta’s north-facing slopes were created using cages from burnt-out IBC tanks for gabions
- Hundreds of burnt and dead trees and shrubs have been cut and cleared, saving as much wood as possible for building.
- Hundreds of new native and fruit trees have been planted
- Growing areas have been recuperated and new irrigation installed
- A shaded patio with fire pit has been created next to the main building
- A completely new kitchen has been built at the wee house, immortalising some of the quinta’s trees which burnt in the fires
- A new outside ‘chill and grill‘ area with barbecue and pizza oven has been built at the wee house by course students
All while the normal annual planting, growing, harvesting and clearing cycles on the land continue, albeit to a somewhat reduced extent.
In the midst of this, we’ve successfully run 3 Permaculture Design Certificate courses in partnership with Circle Permaculture, 3 Post-PDC Practicals, a Foraging & Fermentation course, a Natural Building course and a Vermicomposting Toilet workshop. (It would have been more were it not for CoViD-based government restrictions forcing the cancellation of everything in 2020, but the less said about that the better …)
This slideshow captures some of those moments and achievements.
So you can see we’ve been a bit busy.
And now, with a week’s rain in prospect, I finally have an opportunity to sit down and do some catching up!