Our invitation for summer 2018

This year we want to invite again people to help us and to spend their holidays in Portugal. So here is our invitation for you! If you’re interested, just contact us for mor information.

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Our new member of Kohlcabana…

We’re back in Portugal since New Year’s Eve and working hard in the garden. We bought more young onions, leek, potatoes, garlic and cabbage and planted everything in the garden. He wanted to try another method by using plastic to cover the soil. The plastic warms the soil and doesn’t let the wild herbs grow. We’ll see how it works.

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Besides this, we work now again on the loam house! 🙂 This year we want to build up as much as possible and we’re preparing it now. We’ll invite you again for summer this year to join and help us. At the moment we prepare the windows, the door and the reed for the walls. It starts to look like a house, not just like a wall with some more wood on the side…

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And this year we’ll have somebody new helping us! Let me introduce: Zorro.

Although he is still small, he considers himself already to be a big and strong dog. One day, he will be right about this, but maybe not that soon 🙂

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Hot and dry November

Finally I have time to write about the last three weeks in Portugal. Normally it should be raining in November, but it didn’t. As this summer was really hot and the fires in Portugal were horrible and destructive, the rain would have been so important for the nature and the people… But the weather forecast for the next days looks good.

We’re lucky because of our source and the water system, but we can not water all our site. You can see the areas watered, and the dry areas.

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While at least in the north and the centre of Portugal the rain has come, the Algarve is still waiting. In the news we heard everyday about the big draught and the problems about the missing water supply.

Still hoping for water and trusting our water source we began to plant and seed: onions, garlic, different species of cabbage, beetroot, carrots, radish, faba-beans, and more.

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Besides this I weeded my herb garden, which looks pretty good now 🙂

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Our main work this time was to clear the fields of big stones and to plough the part of the soil, that hadn’t been used for many years. For some big rocks we had to use our machine, but still it was quite a lot of work. We will not plough more, we just had to break the big cloths of earth, because it would have been impossible to use them like that and we don’t have enough mulch yet to work just on top of this soil.

So this is before: 20171108_093558.jpg

And after:

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I think, the difference is clear 🙂

After cleaning, ploughing and watering we sowed fava-beans, lupines and peas to cover the soil, to provide nutrients for the next sowings and to harvest them in spring/summer.

The pomegranate that we planted in 2016, had also its four first really big fruits and mixed together with fresh juice of orange, the juice was really tasty 🙂20171103_153632.jpg20171113_172810.jpg

And last but not least, the olive trees also had many fruits this year, which we collected and pickled. We were just a little late, as some of them already began to dry out. But I think, we got enough for now 🙂

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He will be on our site now for a longer time and will care for our plants and trees. I will just travel down again on New Year’s Eve and I’m excited, how it will change until then 🙂

Our Tiny house will also travel down in the next weeks and then we will show you all the building steps and how it looks like. So, don’t miss the next articles 😉

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 🙂

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 🙂