These hot months sailing by have been laden with summer visitors (family, friends and volunteers), fresh fruit and much work. The garden is now an explosion of sunflowers stretching way up from the high bed, bending up towards the clouds and bean tee-pees clustering tightly knit clouds of vines and leaves up and over the broccoli beds whilesquashes crawl through and around the corn beds. The results are pleasing, even though we were playing catch up all through the spring and summer: uncovering, preparing and building beds that should have been planted weeks before. We’re astounded by how quickly corn, squashes and tomatoes can explode and take over a garden. Next year we’ll be able to expand the garden and plant much earlier and more densely, with more polycultures making use of every little patch of light.
Thousands of new residents have made Cernunnos their home and are now busy at work collecting and processing nectar to deliver honey to our table. We brought them here in spacious homes, setting up their little boxes on the hillside with mountain views. We’re can’t wait to collect some of their liquid gold later this month!
Our house continues its process of winterfication. We’re slowly pointing up the stone walls to massively improve insulation and warmth retention as well as to block off the ancient travel routes of mice and snakes. Whitening the walls with a limewash also greatly improves the light in the cottage.
On of our biggest achievements this summer saw us spending a lot of time not in the garden but behind computer screens. We designed and built a wiki-database for plants, Practical Plants. This is a very exciting project that brings together all sorts of information about many different plants, rare and common. It is completely editable by all of its users, just like Wikipedia. We have just launched it, and are looking for interested users to check it out, and see if it’s a project they’d like to get involved with. We are starting with a web community of two, and so need to get the word out to build it up.
You may or may not have noticed but we’ve also written a few articles since the last blog post. One that grew out of discussions with some wwoof volunteers on the origins of the Euro-Crisis, another on our ‘high beds’, the recent Greek election and one on the miners’ strike here in Spain. With all of the new projects articles and exciting things going on we’ve re-arranged the website a bit so it’s more than just the blog. At the end of this month we’ll have been here a year; at that point we’ll write a longer, more retrospective blog update. Until then we’ve got to get back to building the chicken house.