Monthly Archives: February 2024

2024 Ticking away

Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Em casa / At home

2024 Ticking away rapidly. January flew by rapidly. I was busy but I can’t say exactly with what. I didn’t have a single siesta in January but there still wasn’t enough time. The dogs and land management take up a lot of my time. I have to better organise things.

cutting board / tábua de cortar de madeira de olivera, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
cutting board / tábua de cortar de oliveira

The small cutting board I made from an olive tree I pruned has turned out quite nicely. I made a hanging hoop for it out a a bit of plum branch. It was tricky bending it into shape without breaking it. It remains in place by the pressure it exerts at it’s ends where it is inserted into two small holes I drilled. The Roman Arch is very useful.

tangerines /tangerinas, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
tangerines /tangerinas

I have two small tangerine trees that are now fruiting well. The flatter and smaller variety are easier to peel and a little sweeter than the tennis ball sized ones. I will try grafting this one.

attempt a grafting / tento enxertar uma ameixeira, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
attempt a grafting / tento enxertar uma ameixeira

Speaking about grafting, I have never succeeded but it hasn’t stopped me trying. I have recently grafted a couple of plum trees and plan to to graft some carobs as well. Fingers crossed.

louquat seedling / pequina nespira, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
louquat seedling / pequina nespira

I planted my fourth and probably final louquat tree grown from seed. The two in the background are two and three years old respectively and are already fruiting well. These trees are very suitable for the Algarve as they are drought resistant and fruit in spring when there is water available from rainfall. They have thick waxy leaves which prevent loss of moisture. I water them just once a week with a hose in summer and they are fine. I am also trying to graft one of these seedlings to the “Americana” variety whose fruit are larger and easier to peel for jam.

Bosch Rotek 750 and Bosch AFS 23-37 at work, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Bosch Rotek 750 and Bosch AFS 23-37 at work

I decided to invest in an electric powered lawnmower to help with keeping the growth under control. I got a Bosch Rotek 750. It is capable will all it’s 1700 Watts going into the cutting blade which is 45 cm long. There is the overhead of having to drag a very long cable around but I can cope. Together with the Bosch AFS 23-37 electric stimmer we are all Bosched up 🙂 .

On the energy front, I haven’t upgraded my existing solar P.V system but what I have helps. This together with the small LE 300 Watt wind turbine. My solar thermal is still out of action so I have to boil pre heated water for bath on the electric induction plate and kettle. I ran out of wood and have to use a electric fan heater in the mornings. Seems I need more than 600 kg of wood. I am managing to get by on what I can extract from pruning. Fortunately it’s not been properly cold.

almonds in bloom / amendoiera em flor , Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
almonds in bloom / amendoiera em flor

All the almond trees are in full bloom this year. If we have some more rain in March I should get a good crop. Boazinha is correct the floral bloom is one type of snow here. The other type which Miguel Albuquerque of Madeira, didn't like journalists mentioning is rampant in the Algarve too. I am sure he is a close descendant of Afonso Albuquerque. An unfortunate business there.

bolo de laranga 7 orange cake

Been making some orange cakes. I have been buying a few winter oranges. They are of a small variety and very sweet. ** Estou fazer alguns bolos de laranja. Tenho comprar algumas laranjas este inverno. São de pequena variedade e muito doces. **

Sowed my favas very late. Only this week together with some peas.

semeei algumas favas e ervilhas / Sowed favas and peas, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal

That’s all more now. I will be writing a political blog soon. I haven’t for a long time. It’s general elections time in the UK this year and we are having elections in Portugal too.

Let me leave you with Ricardo Vignini. I also like the viola instrumentals from his Terra Livre collection.