Monthly Archives: September 2020

September 2020 Scribble

It’s the end of the month and definitely the end of the summer. The temperature at night is pleasantly cool and it hasn’t been unbearably hot for more than five-six hours during daylight.

The end of September has been quite bereft of fruit for me. I only have a few apples that are ready now. As for vegetables, not doing so great either. A few tomatoes coming along and got the usual cabbage (Cove Galega) and potted lettuce. The Cove Galegas are dying off this year and I will have to replant next year by the look of it. The plants can last a few years if you take off the floral stems as they begin to grow.

I have planted some sweet potatoes and am planting more. Will have a dig next month to see what’s there from the first batch I planted. It apparently takes four months for the tubers to form.

Been in the Ria Formosa catching cockles about twice a week. Today was for the last time this year. For me anyway. I am not sure if there is a closed season for cockles in Portugal. According to this bulletin from the DGRM (not sure what this stands for but it covers the Portuguese Fisheries Department) there doesn’t seem to be a closed season.

And I managed to pick up this good size clam – I think it is an Ameijoa Boa 🙂

Over 5 cm in length and only the second one I have found. Also tested the electric trawling motor with the lithium ion battery pack. The worked well together. I haven’t been fishing as yet but I intend to as soon as I find some suitable bait.

Have got any olives of my own this year worth mentioning. But I have been picking up some decent sized ones off the trees of my Belgian neighbours as I prune along. I have managed to get a sufficient amount for pickling.

That’s about all for this month. I have mainly just been on my own property so haven’t been affected by the COV!D-19 restrictions as they are. I have a lot that needs to be done around the place so it’s fine. 🙂

A more relaxed 2020 summer

As the title says this summer has been pretty chilled out. These bees in the peach tree were stressed out looking for a new home. They left after 3 days.

We are now in September and still very hot. This about nine a.m, once the sun comes up. The nights are pleasantly cool.

Here’s what been going on in July and August. It’s generally been too hot to work outside during the day. You have to start very early to work comfortably in the field. Unfortunately I still can’t wake early enough. But it’s not been bad. I am okay with my performance :). I am also learning new stuff and looking for alternative types of work which I can do – part-time.

Starting with the Mango tree.

Mango, algarve, Belnonte, Kent variety, manga D'algarve
Kent variety

This had been growing promisingly in a pot for the last two years. It’s of the Kent variety. This year it gave me a mango which wasn’t bad. But then disaster. Suddenly the growing tips shriveled and died and now all the leaves have dropped off. I think I may have not irrigated it properly for a few days during this very hot summer. Fortunately, it seems to be recovering.

Grapes.

One of the vines planted back in 2017 finally gave me grapes. Good ones :). They are of the Italia variety.

Nashi pear.

nashi pear, nashi pera, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira

I have two of these. This year one of them has given me over a dozen good pears. The biggest was the size of a tennis ball. The are very sweet when sun ripened. Some type of insect seems fond of them too and I think it lays it eggs inside as the puncture leads to the core. I need to address this to increase next year’s yield.nashi pera, nashi pear, Belmonte, Algarve, Luz de Tavira

I have had about half a dozen tomato plants that grew well and gave me a couple good size tomatoes at the end of July.

sun rioened tomatoes, Belmonte, Juz de Tavira, algarve

Planted some more in August which are still quite small and only just beginning to flower. I have to be more pro active and really make more of an effort to grow more vegetables. I planted onions in August but they didn’t take.

I have sweet potato now given to me by a nice Swedish lady. We picked carobs and almonds together. This year the carobs have a good price backed by the Government initiative to support local producers. It was €12 for 15 kg. As good as almonds were last year.

carobs, alfaroba, Belnonte, Luz de Tavira

The dogs are well. Bonji is on heat so I have to keep her locked in. I let her have a week of fun. I plan on getting her spayed soon. I take Peeps with me when I go out including cockling. She likes the excursions :). cockle, berbigĂŁo, Fuseta, Torre de Aires, Ria Formosa, Algarve

The kayaking has been good for me this summer. I still haven’t been fishing due to lack of proper bait.

Olives.

oliveiras para vender, olive trees for sale, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira
Olive trees for sale

Irrigating the olives at the bottom via a hose pipe is time consuming but they have grown well. Some of them have even got a few olives on them. I hope to sell some of them and transplant the rest around my property.

Renewable energy, Solar PV, battery bank , lead acid, Algarve

My solar P.V. system is non functional at the moment. My lead acid battery bank is exhausted and was getting seriously over charged by the charge controller which is a simple PWM (pulse width modulation ) type. I didn’t realise that this type of charge controller dumps all the current from the solar panel array into the batteries! It depends on the battery voltage to cut-off. You cannot use it to charge an individual depleted battery from a large PV array. The battery boils, gets very hot and has a good chance of exploding. This is what was happening as the batteries aged and their capacity to store charge diminished. The charge controller continued put the now excessive amount of current into them causing the batteries to seriously overheat, the electrolyte evaporate and the plates to buckle . This leads to rapid complete battery failure.

So I am working on a replacement plan. That’s all for now. Until next time!