Sunday, March 27, 2011

Not a Nice Morning Call!

This morning we had a visit from Francisco (The neighbour that we are doing the potatoes with). He informed us that some of the other neighbours (those that have the land next to use and use the track in front of the house) had said that we were not giving them enough room for there LARGE rotovator to get past.

OK I had assumed that 1 meter would be enough room to get any thing past, But no real problem. The big problem. to my mind was that Francisco said that these unnamed persons had said that they would phone the Police about it (without talking to us first) on Monday, but Francisco had said that he would talk to us first.

The thought of the hassle really upset me, but we got right down to looking what we could do to give more room, (They had requested 1.5 meters). After some work with tape measure and string we came up with what we thought was a good solution to the problem.

We would start the ramp down to the current track level from the side of the house, which would result in the whole area in fount of the house being level but we would lose the standing area for a water tank.

That done we had lunch and then started moving the rocks of the walls so that they reflected the new layout. I was still worried about the threat of the Police as we were not sure who these other persons were and whether what we were doing would solve there complaint. Luckily two of the locals came to the other land later that day and we were able to explain what we were doing and get there approval. The most annoying thing is that we know them both and they could have talked to us about the problem.

One good thing is that we now know who owns that land next to ours, when we moved in it was owned by an old guy that lived in Santa Cruz, but it now seems to belong to the guy up the road.


New layout for lower patio



Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Bit Late But Still Getting There

Last year we started work on sorting out the area in front of the house, preparing to level the ground and provide a ramp to access the terrace. But due to other things we only got the main retaining walls done. The design called for two sets of smaller retaining walls closer to the house. These were required to allow the ramp to the rest of the track to not be too steep and to still allow us to have at least a meter of level ground next to the house to support ladders etc for access to the house for painting etc.

As we want to get the house painted this summer then this area needs to be finished, so this week I finally got out and measured out the location of the inner retaining walls. and there height etc.

I have also cleaned out the ground in preparation for the foundation of the walls. Lets hope that it will not be another year until it is finished.

Layout for inner retaining walls Meep having fun in the foundations

And from the other wasy Marking out looking from the other direction.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time for Salads

The lettuce seedlings have finally got big enough to be planted out so its time to get the new bed ready. The idea is to try some underground watering later when it is needed in a month or so time, so that needs to go in first. As seen below the under ground watering consists of a set a pipes some of which allow the water to seep out slowly.

Underground wating pipes ready to be beried in the lettuce bed The lettuce watering ready to be burred.

With the watering in, its time to plant the lettuce out.

Helen Planting the LettuceThis is not a pretty site!!! 

After planting. Well that's that done. notice the second seed cover with carrots, onions and beetroot.

After a trip to the famers market we have added tomatoes, peppers and calabacĂ­ns (courgettes).  Also notice the potatoes are coming a long well in the background.

More veg The veg patch is starting to look good.

Leeks, lettuice and courgettes More veg

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Spring is the time for oranges here on la Palma, and this year one of our own small orange trees has produced enough oranges to make all this years marmalade. Each 1kg of oranges should make 6 jars and I plan to do 3 batches this year.

The first batch is done but seems to have only produced 4.5 jars.

One jar of the first batch of marmalade fro 2011 First of this years marmalade.

Having read a bit I think I found the problem, As I used the smaller of the two large saucepans to make the marmalade I had to keep stirring to mixture to stop it boiling over, and this cooled the mixture down allowing more of the water to evaporate before the set point was reached.

For the second batch I used the larger saucepan, and also decided to try a new recipe from The book Preserves by Pam Corbin (This one of the River Cottage Handbooks) The recipe is a little simpler and seemed to work quite well. But we will have to wait a while to taste the result.

Second batch Second batch of Marmalade.