Early Summer 2021

Has been rather busy. I have been kept occupied with land management, prep-ping for a programming certification and the three dogs.

Land management is mainly irrigation now. Everything is turning dry. I am doing a bit of pruning here and there as well as cutting the grass as it pops up. It’s mainly clear so I don’t have to bust a gut. My motorised scythe has broken down again. The Bosch electric strimmer on the other hand works fantastic. The handle parted at the weld joint. I don’t know any welder here so I think I will have to try some nuts and bolts.

Plums, Algarve, Portugal

Been trying to grow a few vegetables. Bought a dozen salad tomato seedlings – 9 have survived the attention of the dogs and snails. I have this year a few melon plants grown from seed. They are of the tennis ball size variety.

The two new canine additions, Chubbs and Conan are a handful but adorable. They are water dogs and love splashing about in the Ria Formosa. It’s a bit more difficult to take them to a nice beachy area as my kayak was stolen. Some people here obviously didn’t want me having fun on the sandbar catching cockles. I got an inflatable kayak to serve in it’s stead. It’s a cheap and cheerful Intex Explorer K2.

Intex Explorer K2 kayak - great value for money!

It is however very difficult to row. And unsuitable for boisterous young dogs with sharp claws. Their mother,Bonji on the other hand is fine in it. I am working on a plan to fit an electric trawling motor. Another option I am toying with is poling along the shallows. But it hasn’t got a solid floor that would support one standing. I have wrapped a tarpaulin around it so that I can drag it over ground – for just a little way 🙂

I had a good amount of apricots but lost about 70% of them to worms. I currently have a decent about of plums. I have – by luck – varieties that ripen at different times. So it’s been plum juice, plum cake and plum compote. The trees were ,and still are ,infected by a tiny white fly whose larvae eat up the leaves. and I think, the fly damages the fruit. I sprayed them thrice this year with some pesticide which saved the leaves and ensured a decent crop of plums. No ideal but necessary. Speaking of cakes,if you are in the supermarkets around here you must try the cake Folar de Erva Doce. It’s not much to look at but melts in your mouth. It’s sort of a sponge cake. 400g at under €3, It’s goes down very well with the afternoon cup of tea.

Folar de Erva Doce

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My Almond toffee. Made this afternoon 30/06/2021. And very good it is too 🙂

I have built my first grow bed. 🙂 I have just sown spinach and put in some sweet potato cuttings.

My solar power dreams are still alive and well. Besides running the 1000W Bosch strimmer I can also boil hot water in a 800W 0.5 litre electric kettle – during the day. Not at night as it would quickly run down my small battery bank. My solar array is quite small 720W at 24V. It is adequate for my current needs and works well. I am not sure if the law has changed. Back in 2014 you were permitted a solar array of a maximum of 1500W output for self consumption.

Ufesa 800W electric kettle

That’s all for tonight 🙂