April 2018 farm updates
Wild boar on the land
We found some really bad damages on the land from the wild boar. It seems that they are with quite a group. After some talk with the neighbours we know they are not only making havoc on our land, but in the whole neighborhood.
Ideal would be if we could put an electric fence around our terraced orchard where the wild boar have been digging around. But we are too busy clearing the land at the moment. So we used some other means that are simpler to apply straight away.
We dug out our old radios and placed them strategically so the wild boar would think there are humans around. Did a whee here and there in the field, so there was even the smell of the humans. They stayed away for awhile. But then they changed their route to come into the orchard. After that we on our side changed the position of a radio. They have not been here since. Lets hope they will stay away for some time.
Spring has started
Most of the fruit trees blossom this month. It is a beautiful view to see the plums, apples and cherries trees in blossom. After that the trees started to get their fresh green leaves. Some of the trees like the alder trees are already full in their leaves.
Not only the trees have flowers. There are many herbs having flowers as well. Giving our land a very colorful appearance.
Since it has been raining a lot the herbs and grasses on the orchard terraces are growing like mad. It is about hip high now. It’s time to get the strimmer out and scythe the grass so we can then dry it for hey for the goats.
Goats and cheese making
Last month April we had some guests at the goat front. Our friends goat and sheep were here for almost a month. I had never milked a sheep before so that was quite an experience. It also meant we had some extra milk at the end of the day. Which I used for making some hard cheeses and to try out another blue cheese recipe. We already tasted the Pecorino and the Caerphilly I made. It is always a joy to experience these pure cheese tastes. Especially when it’s your own homemade cheese.
Emma our little goat that was born from our goat Kimberly, during the heavy storms we had the past months, is doing very well.
Vegetable garden and land clearing
Because we were so busy land clearing it was very hard to keep up the garden. Still some things got planted and harvested. We mainly lived from asparagus, leek and Swiss chard greens. Now the onions can be added. Because the temperature stayed low for a long time and then went up very fast, the onions we planted in November are all going into flower. Now we need to harvested them at once. I hope the weather will be good enough to dry them outside. Good we have it dryer in the house too. When it keeps on raining we can still dry the onions. We can also pickle some.
After the many oranges we had in February we are now having our grapefruit. There are also still many lemons on the trees. I still have to make a lot of lemonade..
Office and blog
On the office front we work very hard at the moment. The website has been updated were needed and still needs some more. Some high contend blogs have been added. Something we want to keep on doing. Our Facebook has been very active as well. Plenty, plenty to do and learn still.
Land on fire
One afternoon I was working in town and suddenly got a phone call from a very worried Tom. He was telling me that he was burning wood from the land clearing and that the fire got out of hand. He had already called the Bombeiros (fire brigade). So I rushed home. At home he told me the story. In Portugal we have to call the fire brigade to ask for permission to make a fire, so he did. It seemed okay. But when he started his very tiny fire a small branch sparked on the land that he already had strimmed, out of reach from where he was. The twigs on the ground caught fire and it quickly spread up the mountain. Then he realised he couldn’t stop it and called the fire brigade. Some bushes were burned, but other than that nothing was destroyed by the fire. Thanks to our excellent fire brigade of Monchique. Chapeau! Later we saw on the site fogos.pt that there were many small fires in Portugal that day, over a hundred…