On Terra do Milho our farm products are fruit, dairy, eggs and vegetables. This covers most of our own food needs and more. We always have some surplus. This we sell on the local market, which brings in a little extra every month.
We are at the local market in Monchique every Friday from 10.00 till 11.30
We planted a large variety of fruit trees. The fruit trees are organic certified by Sativa, a Portuguese certification agent. We harvest fruit almost all year round.
In the Serra de Monchique where we are located, we have a special climate. In Monchique it rains more than in the more arid Algarve cost. It is a view degrees colder as well, so usually we get annual frost around February. It’s a mild frost during the night and normally disappears in the morning hours. this is why we can grow Mediterranean fruit, like lemons and oranges and northern European fruit, like apples and pears. To give you an impression about the varieties we have: feijoa, lemons, lime, figs, apples, pears, plums, nectarines, pomegranate, guajaba…
Because there is such a rich variety of fruit trees we harvest fruit almost the year round. For the periods that we do not have fruit and for some variety in our diet we juice and dry our fruit. So we are sorted the whole year. Our surplus we sell on the local market and occasionally to local shops.
On our land we also planted Medronho. This is the local name for “Strawberry tree” (Arbutus Unedo). The fruits that grow on the tree contain many sugars and some acids, and are ideal to make brandy of. The brandy (52%) is a local trade made by many farmers in the Serra de Monchique. The berries are harvested in October and November, to be distilled in early spring. At this moment we just distil for our own consumption and for presents. We make a lovely Limoncello with our Medronho liquor and peels of our lemons. We hope we will get around all the licenses that we need for producing and selling Medronho in the future.
At this moment we have two milking goats, 3 younger goats that will become our milking goats as well and two bucks. The milk we use partly in the household and from the rest which is about 2-3 litres a day, we make cheese and sometimes yogurt or kefir. From the way, that is left from the cheese making we make ricotta.
At this moment we are not allowed to sell the dairy products on the market, for this we need an official cheesery, which we plan to make. But we share cheeses with our family as sell some to members of an association we are part of. At this moment the production is not very high so that is okay.
We have about 10 chickens that give us a good 6-8 eggs a day. We use a part in the household and the rest we sell on the market.
The vegetables we produce are mainly for ourselves. For making money with vegetables you need quite some production. Our land is to small for these volumes. There is only one exception that we have made and that is asparagus. We grow them mainly for selling. It is still a small amount, about 50 kg in a season. It will for sure cover the costs for the vegetable garden and provide us with a bit extra to invest in the chicken and goat systems. And… we still have some surplus to sell on the market. There is always some we can sell after consuming and preserving for ourselves.