week four: moonfarming begins
So after four weeks of squatting in a ruin in Rogil,
we put an offer on the wooden cottage
in the midst of the bamboo park.
It is an off-the-grid property,
with great potential to be a sustainable,
perhaps even self-sufficient farmstead.
It reminds me of a miniature version of my grandparents’ house,
with the possibility of adding on rooms,
or building tree houses, guest cabins, or yurts,
and will give us a good start this autumn
towards building our own home/life here in Portugal.
We will be excited to finally have a little chunk of land to call our own,
where we can invite friends, family, fellow artists,
and all kinds of creative people we have met along our way.
And begin moonfarming.
Though I guess that has already begun.
The concept is that we imagined we were swept up in a great storm
and transported on a giant wave, washing up on the moon,
with a endless coast of scattered debris in which we scavenge
to build a farmstead, in order to survive.
(It is the beginning scene of a comic book Mohamed hopes to draw.
It has also been the unofficial title of all the fungus experiments
we have grown in the past year, in part for a research project
Mohamed and I completed for one of his Biomimetic courses.)
But all in all,
we have been collecting odds and ends since we met,
beach combing, dumpster diving, roadside salvaging, etc.
for raw materials to transform into a livable habitation,
creating a happy little sculptural storybook cottage
where we can have a giant garden, extensive orchard,
grow mushrooms in the forest, have chickens and fish pond.
(For a few years, before moving to Austria,
I had created a series of soft-sculptural “habitations”
surreal spaces for visitors to interact within an artwork.
Although fulfilling as a sculptor, seeing people entranced within my works,
these pieces left me feeling almost homesick for a place that never existed.)
So we await the acceptance or denial of our offer…
4,000€ below their asking price,
hopefully enough to complete repairs and finish the superficial sidings
and really begin moonfarming.
While at the beach over the weekend,
we began collecting smooth colored stones for our patio project:
a mosaic floor for our outdoor kitchen/dining area,
hopefully building it under a grape arbor.
And yesterday, while at Esteveira beach,
we collected a few armfuls of driftwood,
in random shapes and lengths,
which we plan to paint multicolors,
perhaps to use as exterior siding
or on a treehouse or garden project.
And then while biking to the market,
and passing the recycling bins in town,
there was a stack of old enamel cooking pots,
an giant ladle, an old kettle, and some flower pots.
I crammed them all into the basket on my bike
(not leaving any room for the groceries I was about to buy).
Marmalade immediately began playing with the new treasures,
and this morning helped me pot up some wild succulents
that we hope to transplant to our new home
(perhaps as the greenery for our intended green roof).