There are many stones, as pedras at Ceratonia, all shapes and sizes. Some of your usual looking stones, some so massive that the ones in the earth compromise the root systems of the plants. There are also stones that look like boots and letters and all sorts, there will be many more photos over time, but this one certainly caught our eye!
These photos of the gorgeous Wild Rose Hips and Carobs on the massive tree were taken by Daisy!
About a month ago the river all dried up, but it comes back again early Autumn.
The Carob is getting more ripe by the day.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Funcho. There is plenty of Fennel growing in different parts of Ceratonia. Here Daisy took this photo again near the River bed, but it is also plentiful near the big orchard. A great herb for calming digestion especially crampy complaints, increasing milk flow, overall giving a big energetic hug to those that are depleted. It is mainly the seed we use but the leafy parts are also great in a tea.
This may interest some people.. a map of Ceratonia. Not sure you can read the writing and it does not matter if you can't. Basically this is for irrigation purposes which we are having some external help and they wanted the information in this form (this is just a rough plan). We are only having tubes in certain places like the big orchard and getting water pipes and valves to certain areas which means not transporting water far distances! The irrigation system is taking a long time to organise and overall this is fine. Each night certain zones get watered and a good rhythm has formed over each week, this also means we are getting a clear picture of how much any plant needs and how this changes as the heat increases\decreases. We also gain more and more physical strength!
The piece of land is about 8 acres and spreads itself around! At the thinest part is where the river is and the building which is called the Centre is up top. We have not stopped working on this land since mid October 2013 and still there is so much more to do, years of work to do! Still much tidying needs to be done and although we have a good shredder it may not survive if we use it for all that needs to be done ( a good few years worth is what we have). So I have found an industrial one which we can hire, this will be done in the next few weeks. Then we will get more help in digging big holes for phase II trees and landscaping the South garden.
Just to clarify Zone A on the map is an interesting, super rocky area, where Cypress have been planted and a few Pines and Figs. Time needs to pass to understand what else will happen in this area. Zone C is an amazing area with very little stones in the earth, easy to dig by hand and has a fair bit of sand mixed in the clay.
At Ceratonia trial and error goes on and this is to be expected, what gardening and learning about a very new terrain is all about! Plenty success too and that is what keeps us going, along with the abundant wild plants that we have documented over these past months.
Overall the trees are establishing themselves well in their new environment, all of these trees have been with us for some time and have moved around the land as we have found new safe zones for them. At times they had to be very huddled up to protect them from the strong winds. This has caused I think a few imbalances for the trees, especially caused by humid environments when watering. For example some of the peaches and plums have had a fungal infection, presenting in a resinlike substance oozing from the bark. Now they have plenty of space and an environment around them to flourish, I have also made up a garlic solution with added Palmarosa essential oil which I have been spraying on the infected trees. Happy to say that most are positively bonny and a plum has even flowered. Garlic and Palmarosa have helped me in clinic for years and now continue to help me in the garden.
Some of the trees had a big shock when first arriving at the Orchard and lost all of their leaves.. This is a photo of the Love tree who did just that, but within a few weeks, grew plenty of leaf buds and now has these gorgeous new leaves, even since this photo was taken, leaves are bigger and more leaf buds occurring.
Another thing that has happened this week is the goatherd has given us tons of goat manure. Great for the trees who will be super happy with this extra boost. Dear Corey had to shovel it up from the goatherds place and will be going back next week for more... Smelly business, the van certainly has a new aroma!
As the building is getting finished and phase I of the trees being planted is completed. We continue to find our way with working with the different soils we have, the rocks and constructing raised beds. We have a good piece which has been cleared of some of the big rocks under ground, the soil has been turned and we will be planting vegetables, soft fruits and herbs direct into the soil, it is known as the Kitchen Healing garden and already has shade as well as full sun. It is an extension to the big Orchard and I love this area.
The Castor Oil (Ricinus communis) Mamona plant has found its way right in the middle of our new Kitchen healing garden. Brilliant! It wasn't growing there before and another new comer is the tasty vegetable Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) Beldroega. A great mineral rich food eaten in salads and soups. Purslane is also a medicine and can be used for example as a topical application in skin inflammations.
The vegetable plots are abundant with Calendula, Maravilha and Borage, Borragem! Two great herbs that have delicious flowers and the leaves of the Calendula are so sweet. These two also provide huge medicine, such as Solar plexus herb-Calendula giving soothing and restorative healing. Borage with its magnificent blue and healing vitality to the Heart and personal expression. The cinnamon Basil is also starting to gain strength and although is not huge at the moment, packs a mighty aroma! I have continued to make huge quanties of Comfrey, seaweed and now adding Nettle to our liquid fertilizer. Gorgeous stuff and the veg plots love it! More radishes are coming up and Coriander and Parsley have germinated this week. Tiny little leaves showing me clearly they are the Apiacea family. It is the strong aromas that blow me away, gorgeous and pungent and clearly defining themselves. Swiss chard and carrots very tasty and the beetroots getting bigger. I forgot to add, Plantain has come to join both plots and it is a joy to see this great plant. It is a very mineral rich herb and so good in green smoothies. Also Plantain (Plantago major) Língua de vaca is a great medicine helping in congestive sinus problems and gut inflammation to name a few of its super attributes.
Daisy Mae and Corey Smith at Ceratonia