Summer in the country

We came back from a holiday in the North last week and one thing is very clear: summer has arrived. Temperatures are usually around 35 degrees during the day (a friend registered 44 degrees around her house yesterday!), and it just feels too hot to do anything worthwhile. Not that we don’t have any projects running – on the contrary, the plan is to move to the maset somewhere next week, which means that we should be building a storage *now* to put all the stuff in that is crowding the maset… But it’s just too hot.

Walls going up!

Walls going up!

That makes it so much more amazing to witness the construction of our house. Josep and his team seem to be working non-stop (on week days) – every time we go up to take a look, something has changed. The support beams were there when we came back from our holidays, but we’re starting to see walls now, we’ve been told the floors will be constructed this week, and in a few weeks it’s time for the roof… if somebody had told me this in March, I wouldn’t have believed it! You can already walk through the house and see the different rooms and balconies… it’s at the same time much bigger than we anticipated, but still nice and cozy. I think we’re going to like our house 🙂

First zucchini

First zucchini

In the mean time, most of our plants seem to be doing great. A lot of them didn’t make the first stage (I really need a greenhouse of some sort, next winter!) and since I planted most plants too late and too small, I wasn’t expecting much… but the results are overwhelming. The one single zucchini plant that survived on the straw bale bed is not making beautiful big zucchini’s (well.. one so far, but more are on their way). The little tomato plants I planted way before frost was over, are now producing beautiful (still green) tomatoes. And the ones I planted in June just started to flower.

I’m most proud however of the crops I put the least time and effort into. A few months ago, our neighbour Enrique taught us how to farm with plastic. In May, I tried to adapt his teachings to what I had – I planted a row of very small plants, too late into the season. Corn, beans, chick peas, pumpkins and melons were looking very sorry indeed in their plastic covers… and Enrique looked worried when he saw the result… especially since I planted too many plants, too close to each other (I didn’t expect even half of them to survive)… To our surprise, those little things thrived! I planted two more rows (paprika’s, more pumpkins, tomatoes and a few unlabelled things) just a day before we left on vacation – and then I left the whole thing alone for two and a half weeks, in the heath with no water. The plants didn’t care! I’m planning to do this again on a much larger scale (and earlier in the season) next spring, so we’ll be able to eat a lot more from our garden. Yeay!

Rows of corn, squash, pumpkin, peans, chick peas, melons and much more - 'dry gardening'

Rows of corn, squash, pumpkin, peans, chick peas, melons and much more – ‘dry gardening’

Next thing on our list, is the acquisition of some chickens and rabbits. I’m especially looking forward to the chickens; an egg a day keeps the doctor away, doesn’t it? We’ve postponed the other animals (sheep, fish, ducks, what else?) to at least next spring… that way we’ll have more time to prepare – build proper stalls and coops, invest in some sturdy fencing, and (most importantly) be there full-time once they’re here.

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