Over the last two weeks, I’ve learnt so much about trees. Specifically, olive trees. When I arrived in Portugal, my knowledge of trees was limited. Very limited. Actually, that probably goes for most plants.
But gradually I am becoming more knowledgeable and more confident in looking after trees.
Following the workshop I attended on pruning vines, I have completed the current tasks in the vineyard. There remains quite a bit of tidying up to be completed and some of the fence posts and wires need attention, but the vines have been pruned.
I still have so much to learn and there is significant room for improvement in my pruning, but I’m pleased with the job I’ve done. Already I understand more about vines and the pruning process.
Diversifying the olive grove
The second workshop I attended was on olive groves. This was a practical workshop run by João from Mushmore and took place in their olive grove. This format appealed to me as I learn through watching and then doing and practising.
Before the workshop, there were several videos to watch. These in themselves were enlightening, especially the one on the Wood Wide Web. As I mentioned previously, my knowledge of trees was almost non-existent, and therefore, this video was so informative. Well worth the watch.
My main expectation of the workshop was to build confidence in understanding more about olive trees including caring for them and, most importantly, pruning them.
The workshop was attended by a range of people with various levels of knowledge, experience and understanding. Some participants only had a handful of olive trees, but one was running a complete commercial operation with thousands of olive trees in their grove.
This diversity of attendees helped as there was the opportunity to learn from the other participants. But at times, I felt so naïve and uneducated!
By the end of the two days, I came away with more confidence and I understand all about dry-outs and crossovers, the mycorrhizal network and the importance of pruning after a new moon. I also went back to my childhood and climbed trees. Albeit with a little more safety equipment.
As with courses and workshops I go on, I doubt I will immediately implement everything I was taught, but having greater knowledge helps me understand more about the “why and how”.
Once I was back in my olive grove, I genuinely felt that I am looking at my olive trees differently. I’m not quite at the point of hugging them, but I definitely know what to look for and I am learning what the trees are telling me.
Spring is fast approaching
Oh, my goodness. The weather has turned, and spring is on its way. It’s been t-shirt weather every day this week. Not quite put the shorts on, but it’s not going to be long.
This has meant more preparation in the vegetable plots and lots of tidying up. I believe we’ve had the last frost (fingers crossed) and therefore, I’ve planted a host of plug plants and loads of seeds in trays.
I’m pleased with the progress, but I can see so much that needs to be done, and more importantly the opportunities that I could be capitalising on. But I am getting better at reminding myself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint and it’s fine to just see how it goes!
One job I have completed though is setting up a wormery. I’ve been on the lookout for an old bath, but have not managed to acquire one yet so I’ve started the wormery in an old barrel and all reused other materials around the quinta. A fortnight after I’ve set it up, the worms are already reproducing so it’s a job well done. Just need to keep feeding them now.
But, it’s not all plain sailing
However, the last week has been incredibly difficult and challenging. By far the most challenging that I’ve had since arriving in Portugal.
Maybe I’ll share more in a later blog. Maybe. Maybe not.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope you will continue to join me as I continue my adventure in Portugal. It is certainly going to be a busy, fun, challenging and exciting time.
Thank you, your continued support is much appreciated, and I am grateful for your interest in my adventure!
Melhores cumprimentos. Até logo.