I never expected to be a hobby farmer but I think I am. Every day I'm working hours in the garden and I love it.
It's a joy to see the changes and to have a kind of body work out. My family roots comes from farmers at my fathers side. As a child I didn't like the animals in cages but the smell of hay, freshly produced cheese, the ploughed soil was a kind of ecstasy.
In my younger years if I was fantasise a special food, I could smell it from memory. My mum brought me to markets and was always tasting food and so as I.We starting cooking together and all my senses were open and wide. I created dishes without using any recipes. Just by tasting and smelling I knew how to do it.
After my thirties I became a massage therapist and I think it was still the smell of oils which led to this new job. Sometimes a dreamed to be a parfum maker.
Now, I'm in Portugal and doing the things I was suppressing for a long time because I hadn't a real garden. So I'm so happy to put my hands into the soil, actually with thick rubber gloves. Here in Portugal they think rubbish needs to be hide underneath? All kind of stuff comes out, glass, red tiles, iron nails, plastic, concrete but I'll stay positive.
By experience and watching many documentaries about organic farming and permaculture I designed a different way of treating the earth.
For me personal I need to balance myself but also the garden. No pesticides and ploughing but create organic waste (compost) and spread it on top of the soil. Create a thick layer to keep the soil moist and invite insects to help me (the good ones). Planting trees, plants and herbs together to get a diversity of plant life to make it healthy.
Getting horse manure and wood chips to spread it all over. Especially with the clay and the dryness this kind of technique will bring magic everywhere. Combined with different flowers it will be great and also beautiful to see.
This kind of work gets me really out of my head. Appreciating the seasons and seeing wild life around me. The quietness of the village adds as well special moments.
Now I'm almost done with the hard work. Permaculture is meant to let nature do the work. That's the idea.
For the first time this week I'll be harvesting olives. I have just three of them but maybe I can add some wild ones from a hill top to get a one full bag of them. Enough for 5 liters. The whole experience is fun for me. I don't mind because it's all about the simplicity. Meeting the locals and seeing the process of the golden green liquid coming out of the extractor. Wow, I'm a happy gardener and a Earth Keeper.