Itâs the end of the month and definitely the end of the summer. The temperature at night is pleasantly cool and it hasnât 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 whatâs 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 doesnât seem to be a closed season.
And I managed to pick up this good size clam â I think it is an Ameijoa Boa đ
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 havenât 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.
Thatâs 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 itâs fine. đ
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.
are now in September and still very hot. This about nine a.m, once
the sun comes up. The nights are pleasantly cool.
Hereâs what been going on in July and August. Itâs 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 canât wake early enough. But itâs 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 â part-time.
Starting with the Mango tree.
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 wasnât 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.
of the vines planted back in 2017 finally gave me grapes. Good ones
:). They are of the Italia variety.
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 yearâs yield.
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.
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 didnât take.
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 âŹ12 for 15 kg. As good as almonds were last year.
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 :).
The kayaking has been good for me this summer. I still havenât been fishing due to lack of proper bait.
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.
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 didnât 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.
I am working on a replacement plan. Thatâs all for now. Until next
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.