Compost 2.0

In a book, that I recently read, I learned very much about composting and how important it is to have a good compost for your garden. Until now we had just a big bucket for our compost and when it was full, we tipped it out on a small space, where it could rot more a little.

But of course, that’s not the best solution to grow a compost.

Now we have our compost 2.0:

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I used an old pallet and turned it around, so that the compost is protected from big animals at the bottom. But there are of course still the gaps between the boards at the bottom, so that small animals like worms and insects can reach the compost.

On this pallet I fixed some wooden sticks and the rest of a chicken wire. I tried to have the ends of the wire at a front corner, so when it’s full and I have to open it, it’s easier.

I hope, it works good and I hope, the compost worms will find their way. I think, the biggest problem here in the Algarve is to keep it humid, so we will have to water it regularly. Let’s see how it works out 🙂

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Stay flexible :)

One week after our loam construction workshop… well, it didn’t take place. We didn’t have enough participants, so unfortunately we had to cancel it. But we will offer another workhop in the end of summer and the good thing is: It is already prepared 😀

So, what did we do instead?

To be honest, there was so much work in the last weeks, that I’m a little relieved, that the workshop didn’t take place. We planted different vegetables like tomatoes, cabbage, pumpkin, eggplant and sowed corn, fava beans, more beans, sunflowers and chickpeas.

On the other hand we harvest now every day salads and some vegetables and it’s just amazing to cook your meal with what you just harvested a few minutes ago.

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We are still improving the soil by watering, mulching and keeping stones and we had to cut so much grass by hand! Now it dries, so that we can use it as mulch, too.20180522_153747.jpg

The land has changed so much since the beginning! You can see more and more small structures and spaces now instead of one big area of uncultivated land.

Besides this we got a beautiful present of my aunt: she told me she would pay a tree for me and I decided to get a apricot tree. So we went to the next local market and bought this beautiful new arrival here:

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I hope it likes its new home at Kohlcabana 🙂

But all of this work wouldn’t be possible to do alone and we’re very grateful to have volunteers here from time to time to help us out. It’s a exciting and new experience and we have so much to learn from each other!

Free places for the Workshop!

We still have some free places for our Loam Construction Workshop on Pentecost. This is your chance to see and experience how to build with loam and at the same time visit our beautiful place and be our guest 🙂

So don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re looking forward to meeting you!

Flyer Pentecost

Decoration for the loam house

Maybe you’ve already seen, that we used some bottles to decorate our first walls. Today I want to explain, how we prepared them.

We decided, that we don’t want to use brown and green bottles, because they are too dark and we couldn’t imagine, that they would give a beautiful light. So we found beautiful blue bottles… with tasty white wine inside 🙂

So every day we had to drink one bottle of wine…

Well, maybe not exactly. We got many bottles from a restaurant near us, that sells this white wine.

In 2016 we used the bottles just the way they were and fixed them in the wall:

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So you can see the small top of the bottles. They are open and there is not very much sunlight shining through.

The problem was, that we didn’t know how to cut them. There is a technique with cold water and fire and you can find some videos in the internet about it, but we found it a little dangerous and we didn’t like it.

But then Nuno had an idea: As he had been working before as a stone mason, he still had a machine to cut stones. So we tried it out and: it worked!

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So we cut about 80 bottles, washed them a little to remove the small bits of broken glass and then sticked them together with normal tape. And I just cut me once while doing this work! 🙂

We didn’t remove the labels, because you won’t see them afterwards in the wall.

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For the front wall of our loam house we’re planning a circle of bottles and we’ve already sticked them in their positions between the reed sticks. So when we fixed the reed sticks, we tried to always keep enough distance between, that a bottle would fit in.

There are just three spaces, where it will be difficult to put the bottles, because the space is not big enough or because the wood sticks are in the way. It was already and will be a little difficult to get a perfect circle, it still looks too long upright. Besides this we had to cut the wire a little, but that’s no problem for the wall.
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And Zorro was helping too, of course…

Spring is near!

Since a few days we have a really funny weather: Sun, wind, rain, cold, hot,… everything almost at the same time.

But spring is coming:

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Our first strawberries here in the Algarve and they are really tasty. We hope to get many layers to reproduce and multiply the plants.

Besides that we harvested our first Fava-beans and they’re also very good. But it’s difficult to plan how many beans you can eat now and how many you have to leave to have seeds again next year.

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Raindrops falling on my head…

Finally we had some rain… pretty much rain! 🙂

Since last spring there was almost no rain and the little water, that came down in the last months was not enough to let any plants grow. We were a little bit worried about that, as the draught of last year was really hard for nature and agriculture. Here we really understand the importance of life-giving water.

But for the last 3 weeks it was raining! And raining, and raining… And now nature awakes and everything is getting green.

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You can see some potatoes, salads, onions and fava beans in our garden and it looks great 🙂

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Also our lake, that is still not finished, is full of water. The picture is not very clear, but you can see, that the lake is almost full. Of course, the water will seep away over a short time, because the ground is not waterproof, but at least the water already knows, where it should be 😀

For now it’s enough rain and it already has stopped to rain for now. Now nature needs time for its revival and it would be perfect, if we get more a little rain in April and May before the heat and drought of the summer come back. But we’re optimistic 🙂