Showing posts from February, 2014


At last!  We were getting a little worried.  After losing one female goose to the fox and then a very disrupting futile attempt to get the gander to accept another couple of females, we really were beginning to think that we had probably missed our chance to have goslings this year. Our existing female goose is not a youngster and she showed no sign of nesting and in fact stopped going into the water because every time she did the gander took an opportunity to jump on her (if you see what I mean). We really really thought that we would simply have two pet geese from now on and no goose dinners to come.  Yesterday she made a nest and laid the first egg. She should go back every couple of days or so and lay another until she has enough and then she will sit on them.  It's all fingers crossed that the eggs will be fertile.  The plan is that we will simply increase the flock size this year and start a concerted effort to produce 'dinners' next year.  But for now...

Fire Fire

When we arrived last April the finca was dotted with large piles of wood trimmings.  The cuttings from the annual olive pruning which takes place in January and February, once the harvest is over with.  Usually the prunings are sorted into usable chunks for the indoor fire and the rest of it is burned on the finca.  We didn't really have our act together last year having only just bought the place... that's a bit of an understatement, I seem to remember that we walked around like rabbits caught in the headlights for a good few weeks, pinching ourselves at regular intervals. Anyway, the burning season is upon us and we set about getting rid of the rubbish wood. It's taking roughly a day to do one pile... sorting the wood... cutting the bigger bits with the chainsaw... and then burning the rubbish. We have about 6 more piles of old wood to go.... And then of course we shall have to start on this year's prunings.  We have been using the camping kit

Beauty or Function AGAIN

Remember the water butt?  Would you believe that its full already!  It holds about 6,000 litres of water collected from the roof of the house.  It took a week of fairly constant rain to fill it... The overspill is once again threatening to wash away the path revealing electric and water gubbins underneath... so... A Technobilly solution that will do for now.... The water goes through the pipe and across the rocks where it is released onto the grass and it will filter down through the finca to the stream at the bottom. It is not a beautiful or elegant solution but it is functional and I suspect will remain like this for many years.  Why fix something that isn't broke?  And after a while we wont even notice it any more. In a year or two I hope to have some honeysuckle or jasmine growing up the water butt and softening it a bit but I feel less urgency about it than I did when it first arrived.  It's a real useful piece of kit and I am going to be laughing in

Free Ranging Nuisance!

We swapped some eggs for a whole load of oranges and lemons, to see what I did with them take a gander over at  Food from the Finca  ,  our friend who gratefully received the eggs emailed me to say that they couldn't understand why my eggs were much better than the ones they had been buying from a Spanish neighbour, who incidentally, also keeps her hens free range. Truth be told, few Spanish  housewives would tolerate the level of freedom that we allow our animals here at Finca La Reina.  They consider free range to mean a large enclosure with a few ramshackle buildings where shelter can be found and nests made.  The ground very soon gets scratched down to plain dirt and not a single newly sprouted blade of grass escapes the beady eyes of the hens. We let our five chickens and the two geese roam wherever they want.  Since we have nearly 7 acres of grass and streams and wild bits too, we thought that their impact on the ground would be minimal.  Well the impact on the 7 a

Taking Control of the Power

A few weeks ago Ilona over at Life After Money  wrote a post entitled Think before you Click.  Basically she asked us to think twice before flicking the electric switch.  It got me thinking more than twice.  Electricity here in Spain is really expensive.  We are paying almost three times as much as we used to in the UK and we use only a fraction of the power.  And electricity prices are rising here, on a monthly basis!  How long this can go on is anyone's guess but for us it is on the verge of non-sustainability.  In short... we can't afford to pay any more than we are paying right now.  We also can't afford to install the solar electricity system that we want so other measures will have to be taken until such times as we can disconnect from the grid entirely. Now, if it wasn't for our needing (?) the internet we could probably do without electricity right now.  Connection with the outside world is really important to us, we have a large family spread out around th