No pancakes this morning…we had to settle for (Ethan’s) baby yoghurts that our good friend Pete had left behind after staying with us in the Alpujarra a week back.
Today Chris had planed for us to move the chickens to a new plot so that they could prepare the ground for a new garden patch. This is the permaculture way to get something done, let the chickens do it :D. They will do all the weeding and pest control, scratch/aerate the soil whilst depositing their high quality organic fertilizer too. All we needed to do was to move them. Unfortunately Chris had to pop in to town to register Megan at school so he left Antony in charge of the chicken move. But Anthony also needed to go in to town, which left us with some free time again. Although we where ready for some Permaculture R & R or catching chickens, a free morning gave me the opportunity to work on the site and Anna to plan some more for the trip. The current website is just a temporary, soon we should have a site that will blow your socks off :D, but this one will have to do for the time being.
There was still some amazing soup left from the pot luck dinner from last night that Anthony and Mr Belgium gastronomically conjured up so we didn’t let that go to waste. After lunch we were itching to get stuck in with some farm work so we asked Daphna and Arturo if there was anything they needed help with and there certainly were things to help out with, especially in preparation for the medicinal herbal workshop that we would be attending for the following three days. Anna got assigned to create liquid soap form a batch of hand made soaps that had got miss coloured and I got asked to tidy up and take care of the planters next to the house.
So I got pruning and mulching. For those of you who haven’t heard of mulching before here is a brief explanation…
No its not some kind of sexual activity, it’s the practice of adding organic material such as leaves, straw sticks etc.. to the soil surrounding your plants.
It might seem like the opposite of what gardeners should do as most gardeners seem to spend a lot of their time raking and taking away any fallen foliage, leaving the soil uncovered and bare for that “pristine” or “manicured” look.
But once you realize the benefits it’s a no brainier and if you use mulch that is uniform it does look quite nice as well. If the soil is bare you expose it to the sun and wind which will dry it out, also the suns UV rays, kills soil microbes that feed the plants. Having mulch will protect the soil form weeds which means less weeding and it will lock in moisture. Mulch also creates a great habitat for earthworms that slowly turns the mulch in to fertilizer for the plants. When we lived in Gib, I used pine-needles for my mulch and it worked really well and it looked pretty good too 😀
Next task was to help out with the clay floor that Daphna had recently created in the Pit. The pit is the heart and the social hub of the farm it was made in adobe style and features an amazing fire place and a pizza oven. It also has plenty of spaces for the dogs and the kids to play and hide in. The floor needed a final coating/seal made from beeswax, olive oil and terps to protect it form water and wear and tear.
We got taught how to make the mix form scratch, form melting together the ingredients and applying the mixture. It didn’t take us long before we where finished and the result looked quite nice it’s a shame we didn’t take any pictures. But you can get a glimpse of the floor in one of the pictures above.
We decided to pop out in the evening to explore the beaches nearby and after several wrong turns we ended up in a place called Arrifana which was lovely, stunning views and dramatic cliffs and loads of surfers bobbing around on the waves.
We found a gourmet burger/pizza joint with every kind of burger you could imagine, so we shared a goat cheese caramelized onion burger and a BBQ pizza. Not sticking to the eco ethics of healthy food just yet but it was super delicious and I’m sure its was healthy for the soul at least.