Permaculturing in Portugal

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


This quinta has an amazing abundance of fruit. When we first saw the property back in November, the trees were mostly bare and it was hard to identify precisely what was here apart from olives, vines (both grape and kiwi), and the evergreen loquats with their distinctive foliage. January wasn’t much better, though by then it was possible to see what citrus fruits we had growing, and the persimmons (Sharon fruit) were ripe. Now with everything bursting into life, it’s becoming a lot easier to figure out everything else.

I intended to spend a good half day mapping out the terraces and noting what was growing where, taking photos of the trees so I could identify what they were later if I couldn’t at the time. But as is the way of these things, the camera batteries died on me after only a few trees’ worth and I hadn’t brought spares this time.

Here are some that I did capture though.

Young almonds


Young tangerines


Young damsons


Young apples


Chestnut leaves


Kiwi fruit vine

The kiwi fruit vines have grown a lot already this spring, and the strawberries are flowering, though yet to set fruit. Andy & Sophie over at Quinta das Abelhas are harvesting theirs already. The difference between a south-facing slope at 250m elevation and an east-facing slope at 400m?


There are many cherry trees, also quinces, pears, and probably plums and peaches (not sure of those yet).

For the most part the trees and vines all seem quite healthy, though some of the smaller ones which have had to compete with the bracken on the lower terraces have clearly struggled to develop. Some have peach leaf curl and the citrus trees are all a bit yellowish, probably thanks to the winter frosts.

The vines are prolific. A local friend who walked the terraces with me on Sunday reckoned we probably have around 1,500 litres of wine growing here. And even here, the local predilection for stone is still evident — here is a support post for the vines made from schist.

Vine support made from schist

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