And I am really happy that after a long time I can post to this category.
So summer is well under way itâs very hot and it’s âo tempo do berbigĂŁoâ although I havenât yet indulged đ
I had to make an concerted effort to get my boat to the water, being challenged for transport.
I have an electric bicycle type scooter and a small excellent trailer that I got from On the Rocks Bike shop in OlhĂŁo. I had to modify the connecting bar in order to get the canoe to fit. I replaced the connecting bar with a interchangeable standard 50mm diameter by 3 metre galvanized hollow steel rod.The ground clearance I ended up with is quite low, about 4 inches but I made the journey to Pinheiro including traversing speed bumps without incidence.
Prior planning and preparation.
I decided to moor the kayak/canoe in the Ria Formosa. So I had to first secure a bit of chain to the river bed to which I attached a home made bouy. The camera passed the underwater test. I also made a shroud of standard plastic shade screen which works quite well. I also made rollers of black irrigation pipe to help move the canoe over the ground.
Yesterday we made the crossing with Bonji to Praia ParĂoso beach from Torre de Aires. We went out as the tide was coming in. So it was hard work paddling out. A bit windy too but there werenât any waves to make the journey a bumpy ride. The Critter2, an open plastic 2 man kayak, is a river kayak/canoe and has quite a flat bottom. Bonji was very relaxed . Coming back was easier as the current was with us. I lost some time by taking a wrong channel and so had to double back. There were a lot of mullet and perch native to the Ria Formosa, leaping out of the water. They seemed to be having fun. đ .
After beaching the
canoe we walked across the dune, about 250 m to the beach with the
real ocean. The beach goes on for miles and was deserted.
At the Ria Formosa not far from home with Bonji and Peeps.
It has been very hot this week and we have had some proper mid summer nights. Very warm and humid. I have just been camped at home but itâs fine as I have enough to do. The dogs keep me busy as well.
I don’t usually bang on about Permaculture and sustainability.
I like to think I do what I can but I donât think it is possible to be anywhere near 100% self-sustainable. We can make a difference to our daily lives if we make an effort to grow our own. Here is what goes into my oatmeal porridge. Almonds which I have from last year and physallis peruviana berries. This is also known as the Cape gooseberry. It is truly a permaculture plant â with a bit of compost and a decent supply of water it produces berries 8-9 months of the year and provides me with fruit when there is nothing else. Thank you Martin Maracapino for the seeds that started me off. Now the plants self-seed so all I have to do is transplant the seedlings regularly.
I have half a dozen plum trees. This year my heaviest cropper the Roxo (purple), is doing poorly. It was attacked by plum curl (a fungus) and an insect that ate all the leaves. This pest only appeared last year. It deposits eggs which hatch into tiny white larvae things which I assume eat the leaves. Look at the state of the leaves.. . Iâd really like to know what this pest is actually called.
used some pesticide for the first time. It smells a bit like the
stuff we used to use back in Kenya for cockroaches. I am really happy
that there are no cockroaches worth mentioning here :). They are
horrid things! I mixed the pesticide with soapy water and vegetable
oil. It proved to be effective but it was too late for the fruit
whose growth were severely stunted.
Back to the plum trees. This year, I have just the two trees bearing fruit. A red variety and a yellow/green variety. Both varieties are very good.
grapes are coming along.
The pumpkins are growing slowly and some are struggling. I put them in heavy clay soil that bakes rock hard due to a current lack compost. Most have flowered but I am still waiting to see an actual pumpkin develop. I have a few tomatoes growing well. I should have really planted more in this spot. I put some elsewhere where the compost and water were insufficient and this turned out to be a mistake.
Oh apricots! In early June I had a good number of apricots. Made some jam â tastes fine :). The flowers are osteospermum. They grow very well here and are pervasive.
I made my first apricot cake and preserved some apricots for the winter. I have been busy đ
The battery bank that supports my solar P.V system is exhausted. The batteries are not holding charge so I donât even have solar powered lights once the sun goes down. The batteries are of the flooded lead acid variety and I used them hard so it was to be expected after 5 years. They paid for their cost but are now junk O_O. I have to come up with a replacement plan but I am not keen on more lead acid which I will have to scrap eventually. Nickel Iron batteries appeal to me even though they drain current characteristics is much lower than that of lead acid batteries. Lithium ion are good but expensive â and will have to be replaced in 10 to 15 years.
Well, thatâs all from the eastern Algarve, Portugal. Hoping to push the canoe out soon!
I have been
recovering from the Covid-19 virus this month and been taking it
This week I have been making an effort to clear grass and weeds that have regrown. We are required by law to do this by the end of this month to help reduce the risk of fires. Summer is definitely here with inside temperatures of about 27Âșc max. Here the dogs Bonji and PG are cooling down inside.
To help me I have
been using some light machinery. I donât have a tractor and donât
really need one now.
I use a strimmer to get to the difficult places and to cut over the irrigation pipes.
Been using this battery operated 36V Black and Decker strimmer quite a bit all over the property.
It cuts really well for what it is. It has 2Ah battery and runs for about 20 mins at full tilt. I really need another spare battery. The motorâs power is quite minuscule. Itâs not rated. But if it runs for 20 mins.
Then (20mins/60 mins) x 2Ah = 0.667 Amps Hence the power of the motor is given by I Amps x V volts 0.667Amps x36 Volts= 24 Watts .
I am quite shocked. I am surprised at how small the motor is in terms of power has because it does an outstanding job! It cuts through some tough weeds. I changed the standard 1.5mm gauge line to 2.4 mm. It doesnât auto feed with this but helps me cut through the thicker weeds. I bought it on amazon.co.uk who shipped it over. I bought the battery separately and modified so that I can use an external battery pack if I need to. I tried 12V 2.5 Ah lead acid batteries x3. Still quite heavy on your back at around 6kg. The machine Black and Decker Model GLC3630LB-XJ weighs just 3 Kg (with the lithium ion battery ) and is a delight to use.
Correction: Those lead acid batteries are 5Ah and weigh 5.4kg on your back. I had to press them into service today after the lithium ion battery charger gave up the ghost. 6/062020
The real work horse has been the Italian made BNF 502, motorized scythe. The american built Briggs and Stratton 190cc petrol engine. It now takes me about 8 hours to clear my property with it. Look at the teeth. đ I grease and oil the blade before making a run. Shame to have had to cut all those wild flowers.
On the growing front. Harvested the fava beans this month. I get a handful of Physalis peruviana (Cape gooseberry) berries every other day. And now I have some sun ripened apricots which are very good. No worms so far.
Still growing my lettuce in pots which as you see works well for
me. I need to plant another batch soon.
The irrigation pipe to the young olives on the western border was a good investment. It saves me and didnât cost the earth. I have palnted a few pumpkins next to thes young olive trees. We have to see how then get on.
Audience: Ubuntu Desktop and Server users. Tested on 18.04
Steps to follow to setup a local development WordPress installation.
1) Copy your entire
live WordPress directory to your local LAMP server.
Do this by means of
FTP using and FTP Client such as Filezilla.
This should include your wp-admin, wp-includes , wp-admin and all the files in the root directory in which these reside. This is where the wp-config.php, wp-login.php, .htaccess files etc reside.
2) On your LAMP
server these should be placed in the
directory. It is advisable to create a folder under the html
directory where these files will go if you are hosting more than one
test site. e.g var/www/html/testsite
3) Backup the MySql database related to your WordPress live site. It is easiest to do this using PHPMyAdmin provided by your control panel of your hosting site. This is the only way have done it so far. Accept defaults and export the database. You will be given the option to save the file as a *.sql file.
4) On your LAMP server create a MySql database and database user. You can use PHPMyAdmin. However I have had problems, with PHPMyAdmin throwing up errors and not importing the database correctly or granting user privileges correctly. I have had to do it via command line like this. I strongly advise this method, as command line rules. đ
Log into mysql as root
create database db_name;
mysql> source backup-file.sql;
Create a user and grant privileges
GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON mydb.sql TO myuser@localhost IDENTIFIED BY "mypassword";
your WordPress wp-config.php ensuring that the database name,
username and user password match the ones created.
6) Update your tables to ensure your links work but running the following 3 command line MySql queries on the following tables. You can do this by logging into mysql as root via command line.
wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value,
'http://www.example.com', 'http://localhost/test-site') WHERE
option_name = 'home'OR
option_name = 'siteurl';
wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content,
will replace references
to your live siteâs URL from database with the localhost URL.
7) Lastly, an mostly importantly this pertains to the Ubuntu operating system environment. Apache here is installed differently from a native install for security reasons. In order to get your development WordPress running, you must do the following otherwise none of the symlinks ( symbolic links) to other pages on your site will work.
Note: nano is a text editor thatâs pre-installed on Ubuntu
In /etc/apache2/apache2.conf, edit AllowOverride
None for /var/www/ to AllowOverride All
To edit use
sudo nano /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
Press CTRL + W and search for â<Directory /var/www/>â
Change here AllowOverride None to AllowOverride All
Save file and exit. (Press CTRL + X, press Y and then press
Type in the following command to enable mod_rewrite for
sudo a2enmod rewrite
Restart your apache server:
sudo service apache2 restart
Finally make sure you have a .htaccess file in the root
directory where WordPress is installed.
It should contain code similar to this:
# BEGIN WordPress
/your_directory index.php [L]
# END WordPress
Thatâs about it for now! Coming soon, a Control Panel App for a local LAMP install.
You should see the following page with a message saying that it work
can check your PHP by executing any PHP file from within /var/www/.
you can execute the following command, which will make PHP run the
code without the need for creating a file .
php -r ‘echo “Your
PHP installation is working\n”;’
yourself on the back and take a break. Congratulations! You have just
successfully installed a LAMP server on Apache.
As a reward install and play Chromium BSU.
you have an internet connection then open Terminal.
sudo apt install chromium-bsu
This should download and install this excellent arcade game which you can play for 5 minutes to have a break :). I tried downloading it from the Ubuntu Snap store but it didnât install correctly from there.
LAMP to run as a local WordPress and Web Hosting Test Environment.
installs Apache in modules and splits the configuration files which
is different from the standard install.
Mysql server installs with the Ubuntu user as root for
authentication. WordPress and other applications use native mysql
Here ishow to enable native root user authenticationand change the mysql root user password.
$ sudo service mysql stop
to stop the current server before
performing the steps. Only one server can run at a time.)
$ sudo mkdir /var/run/mysqld; sudo chown mysql /var/run/mysqld
$sudo mysqld_safe âskip-grant-tables&
You should see sonething like this if it runs successfully
2020-04-29T20:36:42.126862Z mysqld_safe Logging to syslog.
mysqld_safe Logging to ‘/var/log/mysql/error.log’.
mysqld_safe Starting mysqld daemon with databases from
mysql --user=root mysql
will log you in as the native mysql root user.
âWelcome to the MySQL
monitor. Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 2
you should have the mysql prompt mysql>
change the root pasword run
user set authentication_string=PASSWORD('new_password')
OK, 1 row affected, 1 warning (0.03 sec)
matched: 1 Changed: 1 Warnings: 1â
To change the authentication
UPDATE user SET
should see someething like
Query OK, 4 rows affected
matched: 4 Changed: 4 Warnings: 0
and start the mysql server and test root login:
Spring it definitely here! Itâs the last day of the month so I though I better post a blog for April.
I am not feeling very well today but best foot forward. I think the dreaded virus , the one that begins with the letter âCâ is having a second go. I didnât manage to quite shake it off after the first bout and it was still lurking within.
So with the lock down here I havenât been doing much in April. In the agricultural sector anyway. Look at my poor excuse of a vegetable garden.
You can see a few tomatoes plants I planted a few days back. The spinach is really struggling. I sowed the prepared patch densely a month ago but the results have been poor.
But look at the cabbage. Portuguese staple variety – â Cove Galegaâ.
I planted a couple next to several fruit trees and it has worked out well. I planted a few broad beans too. Just for myself. I didnât bother planting extra for the people – âo Povoâ this year.
Olive trees. I transplanted a few and have put in some irrigation so hopefully they should grow well if slowly.
This is such a nice stone wall belonging to property just opposite to me. Hand crafted stone by stone â by craftsmen and labourers for the very wealthy here. A lot of sweat and some blood goes into building these walls. The craftsman and the labourer are not necessarily the same. But without doubt, both bear me a grudge. This being as I neither pay their wages nor work for their bosses.. . Ce la vie. In the foreground you can see one of my young pomegranate trees which is doing well due to plentiful amount of rain had here in the Algarve this spring.
Indeed, you can see here the almonds on the almond trees growing niceiy ad the almonds plumping out. I have some plum trees but they seem to have been attacked by fungi (peach curl leaf) and some parasite that is eating the leaves. So most of the fruit has dropped of. I will give them an second spray with some insecticide this weekend.
The guava trees are still in their red winter livery and the apple trees are still nude of foliage. This is because it still cold at nights.
Here is a fine apricot tree. Hopefully the black fly wonât ruin the fruit. I am trying to trap.
And here is a fine persimmon (sharon fruit) tree. it is still young just three years old so may not bear any fruit.
Finally a the bottom of the spread where self seeded olives and almonds are growing. And no, I donât live in that caravan normally. đ
Microsoft Windows 7 ended support in January 2020. What this means to MS Windows users like myself is that your computer will be increasing at risk as it is no longer patched for security vulnerabilities by Microsoft.
your head in the sand is not an option. However if you are using an
island configuration which never has to connect to other computers
or the internet you can carry on as you are.
two options are to upgrade to Windows 10 or move to another operating
system such as Linux.
I have been looking into Ubuntu Linux from Canonical. Their latest desktop version is 18.04 which you can download here.
have older machines with 32 bit operating systems you will have to
use another distribution of Linux , as Canonical, the owners of
Ubuntu only support 64 bit cpus (central
processing units) . Linux itself dropped
support for 32 bit cpus in 2012.
tested any of these as yet but here are a couple of 32 bit
This is what I have been testing. You can download the
.iso file from (link)here and create a bootable USB or DVD with it.
You will also need the Rufus program to burn the .iso. Full
instructions can be found here:
Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS?
The LTS (Long Term Support) for starters. This means
the operating system is supported for 5 years by Canonical so you
will receive security patches. 18.04 LTS will be supported for 5
years until April 2023.
The Snap App installer ensures you download software
that has been tested and checked for malware by the developers.
The GNOME 3 desktop is delightful to use.
I am quite impressed. It picked up and installed the
drivers for my network card and wireless worked straight away so I
was able to connect to the internet and print to my HP 2600 printer
without having to anything.
The only major drawback was there was no storage i.e
persistence.. Any programs installed and changes made were lost once
you turned the computer off.
Linux with Persistence on a USB stick
The Rufus v3.8 has the ability to create a bootable usb version of linux on a USB drive. See image below. However this does not work for Ubuntu 18.04.4 There is some bug that has not been fixed apparently. (Mosty, 2020).
I found this article on Foss Linux (Adel, 2019) and had a go using the Gparted application on the bootable Ubuntu USB created from the .iso image. You need another spare USB drive on which to install Ubuntu with persistence if you are booting Ubuntu from a USB drive rather than a DVD.
After using the Gparted app. to delete all partitions on the target USB, I began the installation.
I selected Normal installation and Something else as
recommend by the article.
Select the drive to partition. Also make sure the correct drive is selected in âDevice for boot Menuâ at the bottom.
I partitioned the drive with a FAT32, where the installation goes. You can give the mount point any name. This is a Primary partition. This should be a minimum size of 5.3 Gigabytes.
I next created a logical drive with a ext4 journaling partition (â / â mount point) and a swap file partition.
The swap file partition should be a minimum of 4.096 Gigabytes.
The ext4 journaling partition is what gives the installation the capability of persistence. I found you can’t see the FAT32 partition by default.
The Gparted application doesn’t seem to get installed by default when you install Ubuntu.
You can setup Live Patch to keep you secure once you
and install Apps with the Ubuntu Snap-in Application
All in all I am happy with Ubuntu 18.04 and am getting to grips with finding my way around this new operating system đ
Note: THe FAT32 on which the Ubuntu OS is installed is not visible with File Manager even as Administrator
H. Edel 2019, https://www.fosslinux.com/10212/how-to-install-a-complete-ubuntu-on-a-usb-flash-drive.htm
Using readily available biomass such as cut logs can help keep your overall energy bills down. If you are lucky to access to woody biomass which you can harvest sustainably
access to wood residues like off-cuts it makes sense to spend time
and energy collecting and processing these.
As it is on a small scale it is environmentally friendly and does not require huge amounts of energy to produce unlike wood chips or pellets.
winter months we use a lot more heat energy to stay warm. This can be
in the form of gas central heating or electric underfloor heating or
stand alone gas or electric heaters. In either case they are
expensive to run. If you like your hot bath and showers in the winter
this can add significantly to your energy bills. Using readily
available biomass such as wood can help keep your overall energy
money can be saved using biomass as a form of heating.
Here is my own example. Metrics help separate fact from fiction. I like my hot showers and baths during winter. However the cost of electrically heating water at current energy prices is not trivial. [/lang en]
Let’s look at the cost of heating a 100 litre tank from 18ÂșC to 50ÂșC.
specific heat capacity of water is 4200 J per kg per degree Kelvin.
This is the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water
by 1 degree Kelvin (or Celcius).
temperature change is 50ÂșC â 20ÂșC = 30ÂșC
litres of water is 100 kg
energy E, in joules required to heat the water is given by E = mass x
specific heat capacity x change in temperate,
, E = 100 kg x 4200 Joules x 30ÂșC => E = 12600000J (Joules)
J/sec = 1 Watt (W)
Wh or 3.5kWh
actual time it takes for me to electrically heat the tank is 2.5
have a 1000 Watt heater.
1000 x (2.5h ) = 2500Wh
is equivalent to 2.5 kWh (kiloWatts)
would appear I use 1kWh of electricity less that estimated. This
maybe be due to the fact the water sinside the tank remains at a
higher temperature that the estimated 20ÂșC
So heating the water during off peak hours (vazio) costs 0.0987 cents per kiloWatt hour (kWh)
0.0987âŹ x 2.5kWh = 0.24675âŹ
days x 4) x 0.24675âŹ = âŹ6.909
IVA (VAT) at 23% = âŹ8.4981 is what I can save a month.
I have a hot bath by boiling a pot of 5 litres of water on my wood burner. Doing this 2-3 times a week during winter is worth my while. Besides boiling bath water I can also do a little cooking on top of the wood burner to make further savings.
The olive oil we made came from a variety of olives. These olives grew and ripened under the Algarve sun in southern Portugal.
The black varieties included Cornicabra and Galega gave us extra virgin oil of 0.7 degree.
The green varieties of olives produced extra virgin oil of 0.5 degree. These olives were more of a spherical type and some of them were huge with diameters exceeding 3 cm. I have yet to identify these varieties. Most of these trees were grafted by the Portuguese over 50 to 200 years ago.
Cornicabra olives image credited to viveiros da bairrada
The healthy benefits are of Extra Virgin Oil are much vaunted .
The verified facts are:
Rich in anti-oxidants so a good nuero protector.
Unrefined olive oil is best as it is a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins.
The antioxidants contained in Extra Virgin Oil oil do not break down on heating. This is great as as it means you can cook with extra Virgin Olive oil without loss of the antioxidants. This brings me to the myth of cold pressed olive oil. What temperature is this âcoldâ exactly? Because room temperature varies from 18ÂșC to about 24ÂșC depending on the individual. Unrefined Extra virgin Oil starts to congeal at temperatures below 16ÂșC so you would get very little oil pressing at these temperatures in the cold season of October to December. For this reason olive oil presses have to supply some heat during the extraction process. It does not affect the beneficial properties of the olive oil nor affect the oil’s excellent taste which should be peppery ans grassy. Some Extra virgin oils are slightly bitter.
Cooking with Extra Virgin Oil helps prevent the break down and loss of beneficial nutrients like vitamin C in vegetables.
A diet that includes regular amounts Extra Virgin Oil oil has been proved to reduced bone fractures and loss of bone in the elderly.
Facts not completely verified are:
Reduces the risk of Stroke and Heart Attack. This could be true as the Extra Virgin Oil would replace other fats in oneÂŽs diet responsible for cholesterol and restricted flow in the blood vessels.
âWhere can I get some of this fine Extra Virgin Olive oil of yours?â
If you are in Hillingdon, West London or High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, we have a limited stock of this Portuguese unrefined Extra Virgin Olive Oil in 1 litre bottles. Email email@example.com for details.
2014 April , I had just been on the property for a couple of months. These early days were filled with wonder of all the trees that were on the property. The size of the property was and still is 1 hectare.
Mature Olive tree
With a tiny cottage which was incomplete. No floors for one. Amongst the trees were four mature olive trees. The tallest and these was 5 m or more. In addition to these, were over 100 wild olive trees which I hardly noticed at the time except for the ones that were in heavy bloom, like in the photo below.
Wild olive tree in bloom (2014)
Quite naturally, I tended to show off the four mature olive trees to visitors then as there wasn’t much else besides the wild terrain. All four of these mature olive trees were in dire need of pruning and clearance around the base area of the trees. They now are in a better state but there is definitely room for improvement.
Then I had no idea about all the different olive varieties and what was involved in producing olive oil. And today, I still haven’t identified the variety of these four large mature trees. They were grafted a very long time ago. I say this , because new branches that grow off their bases give a smaller black olive (Galega?) rather than the larger green ones.
2019, five years on. I mentioned black olives earlier. A good few of the wild olives trees produced round black olives in 2019 for the first time. The olives were of a decent size. Usually wild olive trees produce tiny oval olives that haven’t much weight. From this excellent guide , I think they maybe of the Galega variety.
Thus I have over the years been learning about olives and producing a little olive oil. I also conserve olives for the table but did not prepare any this year as it is a time consuming process.
As you can see, I have been planting about 40 very new olive trees on my property.
young olive tree
It will be some years before they produce anything but I have the patience. I am not sure what varieties they are. The guy with whom I did this joint venture said that they were CobranĂ§osa and Picual. I am doubtful about the ones purporting to be CobranĂ§osa as the leaves are short and wide rather than long and slim. From this very excellent Portuguese guide, I think they may be Arbequina. This variety is also popular is Spain where the cuttings came from. The Extra Virgin olive oil of the Arbequina is sauve and of excellent quality. So we will see. For table olives I have a four young MaĂ§anilha and the green olives from the four mature trees are well suited to preserving in bottles.
Could be Picual
I would love to have a micro olive oil press to experiment with all the different varieties. I don’t have this option at the cooperative press I use. Out of necessity we(my neighbours and I), have to mix all varieties together to exceed the minimum half tonne required per pressing.
Properties of olive oil.
Percentage Free oleic acid.
This is what gives an oil have it greasy property. The percentage of free olive oil is also represented as a degree between 0 to 1.
The The percentage of free oleic acid of Extra Virgin olive oil must be less than 80% or 0.8 degrees. The oxidation process of olive oil will increase as the oil is exposed to air and sunlight.
This is why it is important to store olive oil in a cool dark place and in air tight containers.
Standard olive oil has almost no taste or fragrance as it almost 100% free oleic acid and is like any other vegetable cooking oil.
One of the principal health benefits of Extra Virgin olive lies in the fact that it is rich in antioxidants.