Of Rats and Seeds

Rats and seeds.
I will have been back two weeks in Portugal come tomorrrow. I returned to find the house completely infested with rats. They got in through the chimney which I had failed to block adequately. They were have themselves a rave. They ate everything edible and even the non edible. My solar power system was disabled until a couple of days ago because the rats had gnawed through the cables. They really go go for the PVC insulation with a vengeance. The last two were too intelligent for the traps and seemed immune to poison. So I named them the Rasputins. I had to take them out by hand as I couldn't stand it any longer. I disabled my kitchen drain in the process / dead rat trap in the pipe, but thankfully have sorted this out today. The whole place absolutely stinks of rat wee but I am cleaning up slowly.

My Irish/English neighbour, Denise was good as gold and look after Priemeiro, my dog, as well as my plants while I was away finishing of my degree. I am now a holder of a BSc Open. I can definitely say it was worthwhile doing. I specialised in environmental sciences and linguistics in my third year modules. Oceanography was tough but really useful for gaining an insight as to how our planet functions as a biosphere. The Renewable Energy was really practical and fun.

I have been planting seeds as quick as I can. The Jamie Oliver peas I had planted when I first got here, in Feb had fruited. So I collected seeds from these pods which I planted. They sprouted within a week! I hope to save them from the snails this time round.

Planted more beans and I also got a pot full of coriander coming up. Sown some rocket with willow cuttings in a builder´s bucket. I planted about 14 willow cuttings out in the field but they are really struggling. It is far too dry and hot for them. I have sited the builder´s bucket underneath the carob tree so it should be shaded. The Carob tree is a wonderful tree. Besides not requiring irrigation and producing a cash crop, they provide ample shade. Tomatoes are what I crave. I got a few from my first attempt but they, like the green peppers are struggling to grow in the heavy clay soil. I´ll have to try something different with the new batch of seedlings.
I am trying to propagated a few grape vine from cuttings. So far just one has taken.

As for flowering plants, I think the trailing lobelia have germinated! I see tiny pairs of leaves comign through the soil 🙂 I collected the seeds from my garden in England. Can't wait!

peasI got a small harvest of beans, but they have all turned yellow now. Maybe it´s too hot for them.
Look the one melon! I have 4 melon plants but just one melon so far.. . I also planted a peach tree. lemon_n_peach
My lemon tree is not doing great. The new leaves are curled and deformed and all leaves have an unhealthy yellowish tinge.

Been working on my round house when i can. It´s been slow but steady ) I´ve almost got the stone and rubble foundation done. DSC_0202

That's all from me and my dog in the campo 🙂