Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Harvest to Share. By Memphis.

Oh my days what a summer! Sooo much happening all at the same time. Still in the process of moving into our new houses, boxes everywhere, building cupboards and storage as fast as I can. My cousins Helen, Anthony and Cleo came for a delightful and entertaining week’s stay (come back soon guys you were great!)  River’s sister Annie and her boyfriend Nathan arrived this week and will go back to London, with Josh and Eli as companions for the journey, next week. River and I have started the final phase of restoration on the house down at Moses in readiness for the Purdays arrival at the end of August after their camping trip round France, Spain and northern Portugal. It’s all go.

And then there’s the heat! 45 degrees plus on some days with no decent rains since early June. That means a whole lot of watering every day in various parts of the land. Watering the veggies on the kitchen terrace, watering the trees up and down the roads, watering the orchards down by the stream, watering ourselves drinking 4 or 5 litres a day.  

With this level of heat, inevitably comes fire. As I write, Portugal is suffering in many parts with forest fires. Some huge. And some also not too far from us. 2500 hectares burnt just this week in the Serra da Estrella National Park. The smoke that lies down the valley here some nights is a somber spectacle. I will write more on fire once the summer has passed. 

In the midst of all of that, as you will see on the videos below, River’s garden has exploded and we dug up our first potato harvest. There seems to be some innate sense, as River says, that a harvest is best shared. What a pleasure it was then to have had Helen Ant and Cleo to dig together in the earth for potatoes then devour the chips that followed. I hope we can share the grape and olive harvests similarly with others this year.  Any volunteers for November and December olive picking, bagging and taking to the press?

I’ll sign off with this photo of River holding her first courgette of the year. A young one apparently. Of the Italian climbing variety I understand. Tricky to find in shops as it doesn’t journey well. Which is a shame cos they’re rather sweet and tasty, especially when roasted.  


My cousin Helen, partner Anthony and goddaughter Cleo pull up the year's first main potato harvest for storage. Great work guys.

Helen brings in the potato harvest on our tractor, expertly driven round the hairpin terraced roads.

River takes up the first potatoes from the kitchen terrace. And Nathan & Josh clear another bed for more veggies.