We’re back again after three weeks in Portugal! It was really shocking for me to see all the burned forests of the many fires this year in the north of Portugal. It’s a big difference, if you see it somewhere in TV or if you drive through these endless burned landscapes.
But this also assured me, that our project is right and important. Our site becomes livelier and also a little bit greener. Our trees are growing: some of them are almost as tall as I now 🙂
So, what did we do besides swimming in the Sea and making Siesta? 😉
First the “bad” news: We didn’t go on with the loam house 😦 I hoped, that we could build the second wall this year, but we want to build it with rammed earth and this is a tiring and boring work and we just had a few helpers, so we decided to leave the house like it is for now and concentrated on the soil.
Before the soil was full of big and smaller stones, dry, condensed and damaged of erosion. This is how all the site looked in the beginning, before we began to work in August 2015:
Of course, it already had changed very much in the last two years, but this year we really wanted to push it forward a little and kind of defibrilate the soil^^ So, first we ploughed it with our small tractor. Although afterwards we hope, we don’t need this, in the beginning, we think, it is quite important to plough. So He was driving the tractor and I was picking stones and stones and more stones out of the soil. Then we watered the soil, put some straw and cow dung on it, ploughed it again, picked out stones, water, stones, straw, stones… I think, you can imagine 😉
Besides this: Some of the straw we kept directly of the oat, that we sowed the last time. A nice side effect is, that we have now many birds on the site 🙂
Back to the soil: After all of this work it looks like this now: The soil is amazing! It’s really soft and rich and there are many useful insects and animals like earth worms in there. After we finished working on the soil, we spread a mixture of different seeds like cereals, peas, sunflowers, fava beans and lupines and watered and covered them with soil. All in all we worked on the four upper terraces of the site, which is quite a lot.
On the right side of the picture you also can see the wall to the next terrace and this is where we put all the collected stones. So the stones will help to keep the terraces stabil and we didn’t have to carry the stones very far away 😉
On the left side of the picture you see the other big task, that we had this summer: to close our tank waterproof. He used different things like waterproof masses, different fabrics out of waterproof materials, concrete and everything else, what He could find.All in all we needed about three days of working, testing, drying, working,… Here you can see the different layers we used to close the tank:
And finally: we made it! 🙂 But as His family renamed our tank almost immediately to “the pool”, we had to adapt a little. For a real pool you need some space to relax around and as we had a small rest of sand of last year, we decided to create a beach, so we could go swimming and enjoy our work after a long day 🙂Of course, there were more works during these three weeks, like planting 11 new fruit trees, adapting and extending the water system, caring for the herb garden and my beautiful mushroom, but that would be too long for today 🙂