October '10

Ready to Crop

The last two months have seen a lot of work being done at the finca to prepare the land so we can collect our first (relatively meagre) crop.
We have been ploughing regularly to break up the soil and keep the weeds and clumps of grass in check. At the beginning of the month we borrowed a 2 ton roller from one of the local farmers and spent a week rolling all the terraces that we have ploughed to get the earth as flat and hard as possible. This year it isn't up to the stage where we can use mechanical olive collectors, so we will still have to bash them out the trees into nets, so it is going to be hard work, but we will at leats have some idea of what we are meant to be doing when we get next years(hopefully more substantial) crop.
We have joined Sol D'Ebre, a modern cooperative in Tortosa where we can get the olives milled, filtered and then bottled, so soon you will be able to get your own taste of Southern Catalunya direct from our finca.

Ready to Build

After being shafted by the Catalan Water board on our plans for the Moli, we we told about a piece of land in the village that was available and designated for urban building. At first we were not sure exactly where it was, but once we realised it's location and potential, it was a no brainer to make an offer for it and to persuade the people who owned the terrace below it to sell us that as well.

It is a relatively narrow terrace on the downhill side of the road, with no possibility of having anything built in front of it. The views, as you can see, are stunning. To the east you can see the Ebro delta, with the Montsia hills directly in front and view down to the coast at Vinaros to the south. The lower terrace can only be used as garden and for growing fruit and veg. Handily, it comes with a large water storage building, which we will fill with water from our roof.

ready to Bark

Theo's puppies are growing apace. D'oli leads the way (8.6Kg) with Panda (6.6Kg) and skinny Piglet (6.1KG) bringing up the rear. D'oli has assumed guard duties with a powerful bark that she is happy to unleash whenever she thinks it is needed. Panda has a bit of a squeaky bark and backs up D'oli when she lets loose. Piglet just takes cover and watches the action from a safe distance.

Ready to Eat

It has been a gastronomic month. We started with a delivery of a bag full of bits of wild boar. 1 1/2 kilo's got casseroled with lots of leeks, carrots & garlic. Very tasty.
Then we had a fabulous fish meal with friends in one of the smaller local seaside villages. The meal was a continuous stream of different shellfish and fish dishes all of which were delicious. And happily it cost a lot less than you would have to spend in one of the bigger towns.
Then, yesterday we were given a plate of Panallets (local sweet patries). Very naughty, but absolutey yummy.

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