Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Dry January

No we didn't over-indulge during Yule and we are not staying sober in January. I am referring to the lack of rain so far this winter. It has rained a bit and the ground did get very wet but dig more than 4 inches or so and it's dry as a bone. Our stream is also dry, this is the first year we haven't had water in it at all. We are not overly worried. Extremadura is famed for its underground water and although we don't know how much exactly is down there, our borehole goes 150 metres down and taps into what we assume is a prehistoric watercourse.


Our last lot of Volunteers babysat the finca so we could visit with our grandchildren on the coast in Andalucia. It was lovely to see them but we came back with colds and flu bad enough to warrant a couple of pyjama days. This is what happens when you mix with children!


While we were away our finca sitters cleared the Triffid like succulents from the casita BBQ area. I am thrilled about this, it was a job I was dreading.



Now to plan some nice friendly, less spikey plants for the future. I will be trialing some green cotton but only about ten plants. Hopefully they will be as successful as the white has been.


We have plans for expanding the area put to white cotton since I had such a bumper crop last year. I have only just got around to spinning some and although it is taking alot of concentration, it's turning out lovely. So much spinning for pleasure has been pushed aside while I demonstrated for the village as part of my commitment to the art thing. I've agreed to run a workshop in button making as well as demonstrate for the 8 year olds at the local school.


All together it's been a very hectic start to the year.  Spring is beginning here. The birds have started their nest building and the first of the spring flowers are up. The lack of rain has meant the grass has stayed fairly short and the finca is looking particularly good.


We are poised to receive our first family of Volunteers. Parents travelling with two homeschooled children aged 10 and 8.  We have no intention of putting the children to work, but it will be nice to see the finca enjoyed in a way that only children can.  I hope the weather holds out for them but I also hope it rains and rains! If it does rain it's very hard to find jobs for them to do, there is stuff indoors but alot of indoor tasks take a certain amount of skill.




I have a long list of stuff I want to do over the next couple of months:

Finca - more fruit trees planted, more almond trees planted, cotton field marked out, rotavated and manured, duck pond, duck house and enclosure built, more veg planting.


Crafts - finish spinning the cotton, spin the bought braids of fibre from my stash, wash and prepare the rest of last year's fleece, practice working with colours i.e. fairisle knitting, several sewing projects need finishing.


House - spring clean, repot veranda plants, replace some with new, make chutney, use the canner to make 'ready meals', use the bread oven more.

It's alot to achieve in just 8 weeks so perhaps I should set the end of April as the finish line. These are just my jobs - Steve has a whole list to himself! Roll on the next lot of Volunteers.

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