Showing posts from May, 2014

Remember Carmen and Miranda?

Here they are looking very fluffy and cute.  Here they are now! At just seven weeks they are as big as the gander and getting fatter every week. The five goslings (a week younger than Carmen and Miranda) are also no longer fluffy or yellow. They are getting more adventurous too and stray some way from mummy goose before realising where they are and running to catch up. From all I have read they are very hardy birds and can survive on very little.  Just grass with an addition of a little wheat or hen food.  Our only issue is the lack of grass.  Actually that is incorrect.  We have tons of the stuff but most of it is very dry and yellow. Must the grass be green?  I don't know.  I have read that they were often fattened on the stubble left behind after harvest... well that implies that it would be yellow and dry... if that is the case then we are doing fine... But when I give them some lettuce or spinach or cabbage they go daft!  Its as if they ha

Water Matters

Oh how we take water for granted in the UK!  I used to think I was careful about water, I had two water butts, I put those 'hippo' water saving devices into the toilet cisterns and I never left the tap running while I brushed my teeth.  I thought I was being good.  Now I know that my efforts were barely a drop in the ocean so to speak.  It's only since coming here that I realise just how much water we use on a daily basis and how much we are wasting. It has been a very short spring with only about half as much rain as this time last year and already the grass has dried to a shimmering bronze colour. The sky is relentlessly blue and we find ourselves spending literally hours watering the vegetable patch and still it looks dry and listless.  We are still using the water from the blimp.  This is the water that has run off the roof during the winter rains.  Getting it from the blimp to the vegetable garden has been a little problematic.  We have a smaller blimp at the v

Taking Time Out

Its not all hard work here at Finca La Reina.  There wouldn't be much point in all work and no play, and as the saying goes... makes Jack a dull boy... not to mention Jane and Steve.  So.... when fiesta's happen to coincide with a family visit (and not just a holiday but a honeymoon) we made the most of it. It was Dia de la Maza in Almoharin well as my father's 2 week wedding anniversary and since he is staying with us for his honeymoon... it was lovely to have a celebration laid on with no extra effort required other than turning up!  To put you in the picture as regards my father's marital status.  He will be 91 in July this year and 2 weeks ago he married Maggie his sweetheart who is a good 15 years younger than him.  Congratulations to them both! The fiesta begins as always here in Spain with a religious service.  After the service St Anthony was brought out of the church accompanied by a guard of honour of Penitents and hunters dressed in o

Progress on the Veggie Garden

After all the hard work put in by our volunteers to get the vegetable garden ready for planting I had a flurry of energy and put in potatoes and beans and lettuce and coriander and spinach and radishes. The very first vegetable garden I ever had was dug for me by volunteers.  That was 30 years ago.  My volunteers then were Mormon Missionaries who came by the gate while I was struggling with all the weeds and asked if I needed any help.  I laughed and said 'always' and then thought nothing of it as they passed by. Yes they were in suits and ties but they came back later in the day with work clothes on and dug the whole patch over in an afternoon.  They didn't try to convert me and I didn't join the Mormons, perhaps it was their day off! The first thing I planted then was radishes.  Every time I have started a new veggie plot since I always plant radishes.  They pop up very fast and only take about six weeks to come to maturity.  It's very encouraging to see so