Another tiny… project

At the moment we don’t work that much on our project and the plans for Portugal, as we have another quite tiny project in progress now, that we want to finish until the end of this year. Maybe you can imagine, what it is, but we will write about it more detailed in another article.

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Nevertheless in the beginning of November we will drive down to Portugal again and especially sow seeds of different vegetables for next year and maybe also get the first animals there 🙂

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Water filters and plastic waste

We decided to delete the page about the water filters, as we don’t want to sell them more. It’s not rentabel for us.

But nevertheless we think, it is a good idea using water filters instead of plastic bottles. This year in August we really saw the difference, when His whole family lived with us for a month in the holiday house and did NOT use plastic bottles! 🙂 (At least not as much as before, because I refilled them every day with filtered tab water^^)bild-wasserfilter.jpgIn Portugal the tab water normally is potable, but it tastes not good, because it’s chlorinated. So most of the people buy big plastic bottles of drinking water, which is a really big amount of plastic waste coming together every day. For us this was not acceptable so we looked for water filters. We installed it in January 2017 in the holiday house in Portugal and it’s working really good for now. It was easy to install, the taste of the water is amazing and we’re really happy that we are able to live without plastic bottles.

To buy water filters is for sure not the solution of the problem of unpotable water. It’s quite frightening to see that there is more and more water unpotable because of all the pollution. This is the real problem, that should be solved. And of course, the filter is made out of plastic, too…

But we think, it’s still a better solution than using a big amount of plastic bottles EVERY DAY ending up in the trash.

Besides this: Maybe you already heard about the “Great Pacific garbage pack”? It is a area of concentrated plastic garbage with roughly the size of Europe swimming in the Pacific Ocean… Maybe you remember this the next time you’re thinking about buying water in plastic bottles.

Just because we don’t see it, it doesn’t mean, it’s not there.

 

Rolling stones…

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? 😉

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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 2015:20150809_091651.jpg

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: 20170823_111119.jpgThe 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.20170803_194114.jpgAll 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:20170809_093756.jpg

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 🙂20170814_192115.jpgOf 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 🙂

On the road again

We had quite a lot of work in the last weeks, so there was not very much time left to work on our project. But now we have holidays and we just packed our things and left again to Portugal.

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We will be there now until the end of August and go on with our plans 🙂 I think, there will be very much to write about when we’re back home.

If you’re in the Algarve the next days or weeks and want to visit us, just contact us. We’re looking forward to learn to know you 🙂

Back from Flower Paradise

We’re back and we were very happy to see everything growing and developing in Portugal. The flower and colour variety is quite astonishing. Here are some pictures we made of our site:

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But we didn’t just enjoy the flowers, we also worked. Our neighbour made some beautiful steps on the side of the water tank and also finished the walls for the showers.

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Last January we made the fundament of the showers, so our neighbour could go on to build the walls. It’s amazing as all of these stones are of our site and he had really much work to keep them, to bring them up, to break them if needed and to build the wall with them… We’re so grateful for his help! 🙂

Unfortunately the tank is not completely waterproof, but as some of the stones have quite big holes, this was not a big surprise. Now we will have to find a solution to close it completely. 20170524_200818.jpg

We also reconnected the water system for the trees as it is getting really hot now.

I had a lot of work in the herb garden, as it was really difficult to find the herbs between all of the wild plants. I used the weed to cover the herb beds.

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Besides this we harvested some kind of Portuguese beans (favas) and made the vegetable garden together with His father so we and His family will be able to eat our own vegetables again in August. His father will care for this garden until August.20170524_1236572.jpg

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That’s it for now 🙂

We made as much as possible what we could do in these few days and we’re quite pleased with our work.

Now we’re looking forward to August while we finish our compost toilets.

Portugal in t – 6 days

Next week we will visit our terrain in Portugal again. As we just have one week of holidays we will have to fly. But we’re very excited to see, what’s growing on the site and how it develops.

The last weeks were quite busy, but we worked on our compost toilet, which we will install in August on the site. All the wood is recycled and we used a pallet to build the toilet on. The walls are separated, so we can put them in the car and just connect them afterwards in Portugal. Unfortunately they are a little bit too big to carry them in the plane…^^

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The toilet is not finished yet. The toilet lid is just laid on the wood and we have to make the box under it. But the outer side is ready. As you maybe can see, He cut the wood in order that the rain water will not be able to seep inside.

Here are some more pictures of the process:

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We also worked on our car to change it to a small camper, but this you will see in another article 🙂

Besides this we still have free places for August! So if you’re interested, just contact us 🙂 We’re looking forward to it!