Tag Archives: LE 300

Sun ripened tomatoes

Sun ripened tomatoes, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
Sun ripened tomatoes / Tomates maduros

Some sun ripened tomatoes this week. There are still some green ones on a couple of the plants which will hopefully ripen. Of the two dozen seedlings of the green peppers I sowed, I have managed to grow a just single plant on. I have got about half a dozen sweet chilli grown from seed. I will move then into the greenhouse. Our night time temeperatures are dropping. About 16-17 ºC on average.

Azeitonas, olives, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
Olives for pickeling / azeitonas para conserva

The olives are ready for harvesting. I picked a few for preserving. They are less this year like most of the other crop but I hope to get some oil pressed. I am waiting for the lagar at Santa Catarina to commence pressing before I harvest them.

last of the plums /ultima ameixas, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
last of the plums /ultima ameixas

The last of the plums were had this year. They are medium in size and yellow inside. Not a bad variety. They will help keep us in fruit.

guavas / goiabas, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
guavas / goiabas

The gauvas, like the peaches and apples, did not flower well this year. Probably due to the eratic climatic conditions. I have a few guavas ripening now. Definitely won’t be enough to make jam let alone perad (guava cheese). I am growing two more guava trees from seed. I hope they are the yellow variety. The red are nice but I like the yellow ones more.

lemon tree / lemoeiro, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
lemon tree / lemoeiro

Managed to grow my two lemon trees better this year. Here is one I have spread cypress cuttings around to help build the soil acidity.

orange tree / laranjeira, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
orange tree / laranjeira

I have done the same for the orange tree at the bottom. Still hoping for oranges one day. I got a couple of tangerines in fruit. The permissions are also in fruit. Less and smaller fruit due to the very hot and dry conditions we have had. The birds tend to destroy them before they ripen on the tree which is a pain. I have taken to ripening them indoors.

On the green energy front, still limping on with my small P. array and small wind turbine. I hope to put a couple more panels up to boost the electrical output. The rats destroyed the silicon tubing that tops up the battery bank. The even ate a plastic container! The LE 300 wind turbine still works reliably. Thank you Leading Edge.

Started cutting wood for winter. I am lucky to have my own wood resource which comes mainly from large wild olive and almond trees growing on on land. The wood burner is our main source of heating during the winter. Let's go Wesco! 🙂

Thankfully the almost daily unheavenly stench that used come from the neighbouring territories for months has died down. Smelt like rotting guts and carcasses of rabbits and such - that were even brought to boil.. . I now get the occasional whiff of freshly spread entrails. It’s more tolerable. Changing demographics.

Anyhow, I am plodding on. I am pleased that I managed to grow my young olives this summer a bit more. A lot of work with the hose pipe. The calderas are proving effective.

calderas working / caldeiras são eficaz, 
Belmonte, Luz de Tavira,Algarve, Portugal
calderas working / caldeiras são eficaz

July – more of the same

hot dog, terra seca, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, POrtugal
Hot days

Yes, it’s still very hot and dry with over 30ºC almost daily. Bonji cooled off in the Ria Formosa last week. We really must go more often.

yellow plums, ameixa amarelo, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
yellow plums / ameixa amarelo

On the fruit front. Life is not a peach this year. Hardly a peach to be had. The plums are less but we have some which is good. I had to pick all my black plums (ameixa preta) early. Had I waited for them to sun ripen there wouldn’t have been any – insects, birds and rats. I was grateful to have got some yellow plums despite the infection and the fact that that were only a few of these growing.

Santa Rosa ameixas, plums, organically grown, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Santa Rosa?

I can’t remember but I think they are the Santa Rosa variety (red outside and yellow on the inside). These will be the last of the plums.

grapes, uvas, Italia variety / Italia varidade , Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Italia variety / Italia varidade

A grape vine is helping with the fruit supply. Italia variety which is a good table variety and the grapes are ripening nicely. Once again the vine grew quite wild, mostly up an almond tree. This had been sort of the plan :). I must make an effort to train it better for the coming year.

Mango - Kent variety, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Mango - Kent variety / Manga varidade Kent

The mango tree managed to survive the winter. You really have to protect all of the leaves ( cover in plastic sheeting) to avoid die back. The pears are sweet but still miniature. Definitely bigger than last year so they are getting there. I lost one apple tree. I haven’t increased the amount of irrigation water to the trees this year but I think it was more due to the heat. The transplanted olive trees are struggling too. Especially those I water just once a week.

potatoes / batatas, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
potatoes /batatas

The potatoes were very good! I can definitely produce a couple of sacks full. You just need very rich soil and then have to keep it constantly moist. I need a better tool to dig them up as the fork spears them. The potato plants flowered and had fruit. Like little potatoes. Not sure what they can be used for. I tried replanting a few of the rooted stems to see if they would grow but this was not successful.

purselain /erva, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
purselain /erva

The spinach failed to germinate. But the weed purslaian appeared so is helping with the greens. This with sweet potato leaf. The cabbage seeds failed to germinate too. I was surprised as they usually pop up. Only have half a dozen stalks of corn this year growing. The seed collected from last year’s crop didn’t germinate very well.

That’s all for now. The olives are still growing slowly and the LE 300 wind turbine is still turning. 🙂 Ria Formosa, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal

Wintery January

It is green here but cold. On some days I keep the home fire burning all day. No quite sub zero but we have had morning frosts and it's predicted to get colder next week. I often wonder how people back in the UK are getting on. My gut feeling is that many struggle to keep warm. I don’t think electrical heating is an affordable option anymore in Portugal. Trying not to be political here, but it appears to me that some governments are committed to imposing higher energy and food prices on the people so that they can keep the war going in Ukraine.

Even with the exorbitant prices of electricity it’s worth investing in an electric blanket. The parents of my Portuguese friend, Jorge, understood that I would not survive in my badly insulated cottage. Very kindly they gave me one. It served me well for years but conked out last winter. I got a Russell Hobbs 90W double electric blanket from amazon.co.uk which really helps me through the cold nights.

Besides the small amount of wood I bought, I am managing to get by with wood collected from pruning my trees. The problem is that I now have mainly green wood to burn. This means low caloric value , not to mention being trickier to get the fire going in the first place.

Favas and LE 300 wind turbine,Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Favas and LE 300 wind turbine

Sowed my favas (broadbeans). We need some rain now. The LE 300 wind turbine is doing it’s bit to keep the lights on.

Burning piles of cut branches, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Burning piles of cut branches

Managed to burn the first lot of my piles of brush. You have to schedule it via the ICNF online system now.


The burnings made some hedgehogs homeless. I have built them a dedicated brush pile to serve as their home. There seem to be quite a few hedgehogs at my place. Conan and Chubbs find them on our night walks and I give them a tickle. I probably will give them a snack of dog food like Claúdia Afonso does up in the north.

Hedgehog House / Casa do ouriço,Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Hedgehog House / Casa do ouriço

Still pruning the old almond tree slowly. I don’t think I will cut it right down as I have seen an owl nesting in it. The 12” , 36V Wesco 8303 battery powered chainsaw is doing an outstanding job. It cuts through 6 inch almond trunks without any quibble. I put a little extra oil on the chain before I start on dry wood and larger pieces to prolong the life of the chain and bar.

Wesco 8303 battery powered chainsaw sectioning 6inch almond trunk, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Wesco 8303 battery powered chainsaw


coasters of almond wood, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
making coasters of almond wood

Almond is a pretty wood. I cut a couple of thin sections to act as coasters. I think the orangy colour will fade as they dry.

Almond toffee /doce de amêndoa, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Almond toffee /doce de amêndoa

Still breaking my almonds slowly with the hand tool by Dali Nut. It is very good. I try to put in 30 minutes a day of this. I make small batches of almond toffee which is excellent. I first made some back in 2015 for meu girrasol, Jéssica. :).

Orange cake /bolo de laranja, Belmonte, Luz de Tavira, Algarve, Portugal
Orange cake /bolo de laranja

Made an orange cake after a long time. I cheated and used lemony lime juice instead of orange juice as I ate the oranges. Algarve oranges are quite sublime if you get hold of good ones and not those force grown. I used candied orange peel in the mix. You can’t taste the lime at all which is perfect. It is a bit crumbly as I didn’t use any eggs, just a bit of olive oil. I am trying to find an alternative binder. Still no oranges of my own but I am hopeful.

Until the next blog. 🙂