Saturday, 11 July 2009

We often wonder why we engaged on this renovation project, after all, we had a lovely house in Catalonia which we had lovingly built ourselves, some good friends, great views and places of interest to visit, BUT the summer temperatures never dropped below 32c we had to import our water, and because of bad farming practices, no soil to talk of so it was impossible to grow our own veg.

So here we are, two and a half years later still trying to get the house finished, however, we have masses of veg and fruit, a larder full of preserves, we have had our first rabbit harvest, and have now bought Quail for breeding and are now awaiting delivery of an incubator. In three months time we should have our first Quail for the table. These are birds which we have farmed before, many years ago, and unless our memories are failing we had found them easy to raise.

We wish we could say the same about potatoes, although we think we have a good crop, one potato weighed 857 grams, once again we find ourselves battling we the dreaded Colorado beetle, we have tried various solutions with the little blighters and what seems to be helping is a spray of strong fermented nettle juice, Simon has found a couple of dead beetles, and the grubs seem to be unable to feed, the odd one manages to find some foliage that got missed, but the rest of them hatch dont feed then get squashed by Simon. Next year we will try spaying every ten days.

The next harvest will be the plums which will all have to be bottled, it looks as though it's a bumper crop, and then the peaches. We also had our first harvest of blackcurrants this year which I mainly made jam from, plus ten bottles of Ribena, the cherries also did very well, maybe the very hard winter helps with the fruit trees.

Work on the house is progressing slowly, Simon is now building steps along side the rear of the house, partly because the land is quite steep but also as an underpinning, these very old houses were built without foundations. I am continuing with the pointing, although I wish our wonderful helper Lauren was here, she did a fantastic job.