samedi 12 novembre 2016

Jantar no Monte com as lampadas de cabeça...

How to keep birds away in the Alentejano way (Campinho, Nov. 2016)

Grenouille de Pérez (Pelophylax perezi) au Monte (Nov. 2016)

The Carob orchard

Early November. Once the holes were filled in with soil and organic material, we started planting our little carob orchard. Impatient to see how it will look like in two or three years.

We selected three carob cultivars from Sr. Vieira in the Algarve: "Lami", "Cavi" and "Burro". And we will add other drought resistant trees around, such as fig trees or jujube trees.

Evening skies and jasmin smells

An evening walk with A., G. and the donkeys in the middle of the autumn daffodils (Narcissus serotinus) carpets and their wonderful jasmin smell.

Automne à la Horta

Le gingembre mangue se prépare à fleurir...

Les choux et les salades sont plantés. Les poivrons sont à point...

Les artichauts sont repartis

Les fruits de yuzu sont prêts à être récoltés, à l'abri des Tagasastes...

Myrtilliers "Alix Blue" en butte venus de Castelo Branco. On va voir ce que ça donne...

samedi 29 octobre 2016

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (1): Narek and his family

As we enter Nrnadzor, we first meet Narek, his dad, brother and son. They are gathering and selecting pomegranates in their orchard. We discuss pomegranate cultivars, pruning, the economic difficulties of pomegranate growers, distance between the bushes (they practice 3 m x 3 m), ... They grow two cultivars; Spitak, sweet and yellow, and Gyulasha red/armenian. The latter is fabulous, with some acidity but also with a very special gooseberry flavor.

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (2): Khachik's donkey

As Narek's dad hears about my passion for donkeys, he calls his neighbour Khachik. We discover his 26 years old donkey grazing in the middle of his pomegranate orchard, apparently with no harm to the bushes at all. Khachik says that his donkey does not like the flavor of pomegranate leaves. Elsewhere in Nrnadzor, people let their small cows graze in their pomegranate orchards too. This is also why Narek's dad tells me that mulching each tree is not an option for them. Khachik achieved the synthesis of pomegranate and donkeys! And Levon seems to become a fan of donkeys too...

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (3): Gugo

Gugo's orchard is planted in a 2 x 4 mode. He has at least 5 cultivars, Gyulasha Syrian, Syrianka, Spitak, Gyulasha Armenian, Gyulasha wild. The Syrian ones are delicious, sweet-sour with soft seeds. One of them is red. But the most stunning one is Gyulasha Armenia again, with its fantastic gooseberry flavour. It is large, hard seeded. Gugo tells us that it is the best for wine.

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (4): Alissa and her aunt

A bit further up in the village, Alissa is helping her aunt and another person to select the pomegranates that they harvested. A true forest atmosphere in this orchard.

They have beautiful Spitak (white/yellow outside and red inside).

The most amazing ones are those with a very special skin (a sign of their greater sweetness?). Real jewels!

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (5): post-harvest selection

Some people select their fruits in the orchards. And others do so indoor. Abundance!

In Nrnadzor's pomegranate orchards (6): the harvesters

It is high season in Nrnadzor. The houses are full of temporary workers from all over Armenia who are hired for the harvest. We meet them in Alik's orchard and they are no doubt in a great mood...