It has taken us a few days to recover from all our visitors,
(and get back into what we can only consider “normal life”),
and are still catching up with all the household chores,
but who really wants to hear about dishes and laundry?
How about feeding the fishes?
They’re really getting big!
And relocating the tadpoles?
Well, some from two egg batches ago, are really almost frogs;
but when they get into the watering can, they go to the pond.
And outside we have made some headway:
Mohamed kinda got the gravity pump to work,
but after an initial gush of water, the flow tapers off.
So we’ve decided that we really need a low-power d.c. pump,
powered by its own solar panel and loader,
in order to be able to fully access the water in our well.
And as recommended by Felipe after touring our canal source,
(& Mohamed has wanted to tear out the whole system),
Mohamed has been re-engineering the canal water system,
reworking it to take advantage of the natural flow of the water:
removing some of the unnatural plastic basins and hoses,
(that were trying to force the water through a narrow & unnatural course)
and instead building a dam a little downstream from the source,
to form a pond to collect and settle the water,
reducing sediment in the remaining pipes.
So since Mohamed built the dam,
we have had incredible water pressure!
So we have been using our sprinkler and sprayers,
rotating around to fully saturate our yard.
And fill Marmalade’s swimming pool.
And with Jorge’s help, we’ve agreed on a cork cutter
to harvest the cork from the big trees by our house.
(The cork man said our others trees were too inaccessible,
& so, if we make trails, we could harvest them another summer).
We’ve even already been paid when they last stopped by,
and the work was scheduled for Friday, an ideal Stem day.
But this is Portugal, and things happen in their own time.
I’m really curious to see the process.
We had another mini-heat wave,
and are thankfully back into really pleasant weather.
(& the butterflies have indeed been enjoying it!)
And I finally got a video of a butterfly drinking nectar from the sunflower:
Which is good because there is so much still to do,
especially trimming the grasses and wildflower seeds,
which will now get watered frequently and hopefully start sprouting.
And harvesting: lots of broccoli and onions,
which Marmalade and I made into a broccoli fermented sauerkraut,
(inspired by Nadine’s urging to get back into fermenting
& my mom bringing over several more mason jars to fill).
And I’ve been harvesting bunches of the rainbow mix carrots,
which go into pretty much everything.
And lots of lemon cucumbers. Yum!
And, before it flipped out of Northern transplanting time,
we transplanted to create another three sisters garden
into the old compost bin to befriend the loofah squash:
thirteen honey and cream sweet corn seedlings,
intermixed with nine soaked pink-eyed peas,
and six melon seedlings transplanted on the side near the wild mint
(having recently read that melons & mint are companion plants).
Our original three sisters planting in Horta Nova is doing well;
vibrant, even. The resident frogs seem to keep the bugs at bay,
and everyone seems to be growing nice and lush…
Which might have something to do with the seaweed fertilizer,
since I’d been applying it fairly heavy-handed throughout the heatwave.
I’ve already used the first 5 liter Fruit time fermented seaweed fertilizer,
and am halfway through the first Flower time fermented fertilizer.
I still have more of each Fruit and Flower, and some Leaf time fermenting.
(Aside from the main fertilizing nutrients & trace elements,
the seaweed is loaded with microbes & other living organisms,
which must have some beneficial purpose, other than just being free fertilizer.)
Even the echinacea (purple coneflowers) are loving the seaweed,
and have already begun to open up their flower buds.