Second annual meeting of our Grupo d'Investigaçoes punicologicas Algarvia-Alentejanas in Estoi at the Quinta das Flores. Five of us spent hours tasting Fausto's harvest as well as a few of our own pomegranates brought all the way down from Campinho in a small plastic box. Weighing some heavy ones (like this large red Xini Ermioni of 750 g from the Monte). Comparing the sweetness, acidity, tartness, seed softness, juiciness,... of tens of cultivars. All this in the shadow of a wonderful Carob tree.
samedi 18 novembre 2017
Le début novembre, c'est aussi la surprise des fruits d'automne. Les jeunes arbres commencent à nous révéler leurs merveilles. Premières goyaves en forme de poire et à chair blanche en nombre. Souvent attaquées par la mouche à fruits mais délicieuses malgré tout. Premières jujubes "Li" aussi, sur un arbre planté cet hiver. Saveur de date exquise. Des yuzus aussi - 2 kg sur notre petit arbre.
Little walk with Filip and Jasmine around Mourao. You will find a map of this area among the transalentejana walks here. Small flowers coming out after the rain, like this small Ranunculus (bullatus?). We walk along the Ermida Sao Sebastiao, follow some wonderful walled pathways (see below). Monsaraz, on the other side of the lake is often on the horizon. A very different landscape from the one of the Monte. Cranes fly above us. Long shadows in the dry grass. We end up admiring a few dead holm oaks along the water as well as the Fonte da Manievela, not far from Mourao's old quarry.
An astonishing feature of this walk around Mourao is definitely its dry stone walls. These are flat stones coming from the local quarry that we don't have on our side of the Guadiana. The structure of the walls ends with top oblique stones. Olive trees are squeezed in between. The walls are an open book, telling about the property limits, the existence of old doors, a recent fire, etc.
Taking advantage of the severe draught, we finished this autumn our pond digging program. And we completed 72 little mounds, aligned along interrupted swales. They will be planted with pomegranate trees in 2018. In the meantime, we covered the bottom of the swales with straw and we will fill them in with small branches of pomegranate bushes and of olive trees.
lundi 13 novembre 2017
Early November. I was having a walk in the montado and came across a mammal under a Holm oak. It was a ewe, standing, staring at me. As I slowly approached her, I saw the little lamb on the floor, born a few minutes before. I gave a call to my friend Helder. He was actually a few hundreds meter away from me, far on the horizon with the rest of his herd. He hadn't noticed that his ewe had left him to give birth in a quiet corner. Helder came, took the little lamb and brought it and its mother to his car, to protect the little one for a few days from the fox. We had a chat, admiring the little creature and sharing a few words about what we like in life.
Une chose qui frappe au Monte, c'est la faible diversité des espèces arborées en régénération naturelle. Il n'y en a que quatre: le Chêne vert (Quercus rotundifolia), le Frêne à feuilles étroites (Fraxinus angustifolia), l'Oléastre (Olea europaea) et le Poirier ibérique (Pyrus bourgaeana). Les floraisons blanches de ce dernier en fin d'hiver sont magnifiques et il perd ses feuilles au coeur de l'été, une fois que l'humidité du sol devient insuffisante. Cela donne de belles silhouettes et c'est une espèce clef dans la perspective d'une politique de diversification des essences arborées non-irriguées du Montado.