We spent about three weeks simply admiring how beautiful the finca was and then the awful truth dawned on us. We live in a fire zone. That is to say that during the very hot summer months our finca, our home, is at risk of fire... and the long dry grass is the perfect kindling.
The ride-on mower is not working at the moment, it needs a new battery and we had been unable to find anywhere local that sells this particular size of battery. We also did not have the internet (Oh yes I forget to say... we do now! YAY!) so couldn't source one from elsewhere. The second mower worked for about an hour before breaking. That left us with a strimmer and the scythe.
Remember the scythe? Yeah, I am sure as I played with it in our miniscule Oxfordshire garden everyone thought I had gone completely mad. Well now it has come into it's own.
I am still very much a beginner when it comes to the mystical art of scything and even after nearly 2 acres under my belt I still find myself swooping rather than swirling. It's all in the twist! But... the garden area - about 3 acres altogether - is now looking much neater and much shorter.
As the grass turned from lush green to brown and then gold I realised that there was no way I would be able to scythe the rest of the finca before the prospect of a flaming June! (we hope not literally)
Enter.... the Sheep! 26 sheep borrowed from a friendly local shepherd and I can breathe a sigh of relief. The shepherd gets his sheep fed for free and we get our grass cut very short and get the trees manured at the same time (not to mention the bucketful of manure I gathered for use on the garden). It's a win win situation and we can relax a little... for the moment.
We still have some quite large haystacks of grass which are of course a fire hazard too but there is nothing we can do about them. The locals cut their grass early and burn the grass. You need a licence to have an outdoor fire here and the council stop issuing licences around mid May until late October. Yup... we missed that one. We still have the prunings from the last olive harvest scattered in huge heaps around the finca too. There is nothing for it but to plan a big November bonfire... mmm perhaps we should turn it into a celebration and pop a Guy on the top... not sure what our Spanish friends would make of that.