May 29, 2013

New Arrivals in April and May

April saw the arrival of helpers and returning friends. It has been a busy time on the land - weeding, planting, building, making another huglekultur bed, a raft for the lake and a shelter to sit beside the lake. We hosted a bunch of great people and most recently welcomed new animals to join us. 

Announcing the arrival of two new residents at the Mount of Oaks – two puppies, a girl, Tali and a boy, Goofy.....AND 3 chicks born to our chickens









We will try and tell some of the story of the last 2 months (goodness has it been that long?!) in pictures with a little text…..ENJOY!

Carry on to read the full post.....

The people who passed by.....

Sigurd and Daffy

Sigourd (Denmark) and Daffy (Israel) were here for at least three weeks and in that time they brought a lot of life, joy, energy and love to the land.... 


..... making baskets from mimosa bark for the chicken eggs, marmalade from our oranges, planting potatoes - then making fence for the potatoes and coppicing the mimosa, delicious homemade bread and entertaining us and the animals with their humour and smiles. They were also wonderful cooks!

basket work
Sigurd washing dishes

Simba would dance for the Japanese octopus for Daffy

It rained quite a bit when Daffy and Sigurd were here, but that did not dampen their spirits. Together we made music with our neighbours Martine and Paul, sang rainbow songs while weeding the garden and we chatted about community living. 

love is in the air!
We were delighted to hear the wonderful news that they plan to get married in August. 


On one of the final days before they left Sigurd found this 4 leaf clover in the garden. We hope it will bring them both lots of beautiful blessings. 





 A returning helper/friend was Janina from Switzerland who came for the olive harvest in October and came back to spend a few weeks in April. 
We welcomed here with open arms. 
She willingly helped with all the daily tasks, making the most amazing salads. 

In the garden we weeded, often singing Rainbow songs as we worked and shared our hearts. We had many wonderful conversations about life and her travels.   

Janina left to join Sigurd and Daffy at the Rainbow near Viseu and her parting gifts were a stunning crystal, some of her drawings of birds and a message of thanks. BIG love to you Janina.




Following Janina we had an old friend of mine (emma) from my university and speak days, Ele Skinner from Manchester come to visit. 


She came for a retreat week...sleeping in the tent under the olive trees and adventured around the land.

 climbing rocks....

having deep heart to heart conversations......

and picking wild 
calendula and lavendar flowers for making infused herbal oils.  

Ele’s presence reminded us how important it is to have our spirituality at the forefront of our being. 
She really carries a spirit of prayer. With her and Janina we did yoga in the mornings to welcome the day. Connecting with the Divine in nature seemed easy for Ele.  

Ele connected with herself, the land and Xico and left refreshed and ready for a new chapter back in Manchester. 

Joni, Anne, Elias and baby Emma

Ele’s week with us coincided with the long awaited return of Anne and Joni, this time they returned ‘home’ with their new little family – Elias, 3 and baby Emma, nearly a year. 

The little family were here for two marvellous weeks. How we had missed being with Anne and Joni! We had not seen them since our wedding at Corrymeela. As often we picked up from where we had left off – sharing our stories, hopes and dreams.

Emma and Elias seemed to have a fun time. They quickly adapted to the farm life, going for walks, Emma on Anne or Joni's back and Elias is the 'kinderwagon' - which he also used as a racing car. They loved swinging in the hammock and watching the cats.



Not only did the kids play, but we had them working too! Elias was helping Joni dig a trench between us and the neighbour. We were not sure there were any child labour issues, especially as he was working in the hot sun!?! 

Even though Anne and Joni were on 'holidays' from their Berlin life they helped out - Anne worked on a project in the kitchen garden (with the 'help' of Elias!).


Katie and Ivan


Dad and daughter from Totness in England came for a working holiday. Katie had been WWOOFing before, but this was Ivan's first time. In the pictures above they look clean (it was their last night and we had a wee gathering) - it was the cleanest they were ALL week!

Here they are with Barbara as together we made another raised log bed in the garden. 


 While they were here Barbara and Ivan made a shelter near the pond with mimosa and broom as a shady place to relax after a swim. Below, Katie and I worked on making beds for the 3 sisters - corn, beans and pumpkin. We planted and then wove a fence to protect the beds from the roaming chickens - Maria in particular. 

Katie and Ivan were a fun combination to have with volunteer with us. Late into the evening, usually with a beer or a glass of wine, we chatted about the ills of the world and how to put it right. 

We talked about community quite a bit and the listened to stories about their life in France before moving back to England. It was not the first time we had a daughter/father coming to visit - Louise and her Dad were here before, and Miri and her Dad also came. We loved the vibe of having the dad/daughter combination - it was clear that Katie and Ivan loved eachother A LOT - despite their differences. 


Pizza Party

Paul had his birthday party at Rosso's place this year and we (Ele, Anne, Joni, Elias, baby Emma, Baba and I) were invited to go and make fresh PIZZA in the wood oven.  


Donkey and Cart Ride

Sunday afternoon trip to the local village for Mass and icecream, no better way to travel than by donkey. 



The Puppies

May began with quite an unexpected turn - we became the proud parents of two beautiful 2 month old puppies. 

Goofy - pictured here is a male. He really lives up to his name!

They were the puppies of Sef's dog Laika, being looked after by Amandine and Mark. 

We went for dinner and to see Amandine and Mark's beautiful place outside Lardosa - there we encountered 7 delicious puppies. After delicious food and company we returned to the land with two wee ones

Tali, the female is adorable - they both are. She was really quick to respond to a call, while he is a little slower. Both sit for their food and LOVE affection - and watching the chickens.

We got them on a Thursday evening, on the Saturday we took them on their first adventure.....

Monsanto Medieval Festival....


 Monsanto is a village about 40 km from the land which annually has a Medieval festival - with music on the streets, dancing, great food and fun - along with all sorts of people dressed up in Medieval costumes.

We went with the puppies and met our neighbours there, Tyra and her daughters Charlotte and Halayna.







Three of our four hens were sitting on eggs throughout April - on a Saturday in early May 2 chicks were born under Laurinha. 


Here is Barbara preparing for the arrival of chicks by making a new house for mum and babies, seperated from the other chickens. This was made from old cardboard, reinforced with wood! 

 Since then another chick, this one brown with what looks like eyeliner markings around her eyes was born under Valentina. Fleky sadly had no chick this year. The eggs that were left we buried. Chicks and mums are doing well.

Maria and Oscar while the chicks are small relocated to another house Barbara made for them. Maria continues to give us a daily BIG egg. 

 More pictures in the next post....







Swan, Pip, Isaac and Pip's Dad, Martin were back on their land which neighbours ours for a few weeks in mid May. 

Isaac came over several times to play with the puppies and helped me water the garden!



 We enjoyed some great times together again - walking to their place along the lanes and across the rocks with the dogs for a BBQ. 

We also played music with Martine and Paul. 

  We missed them after they left for England again - looking forward to seeing them in grape harvest season. 


Other news....

Permaculture Design Course
9-16th July 

We are still looking for participants for the forthcoming PDC. The closing date for applications is 15th June. If we do not receive the number we need by then, we will cancel. 
For more information about the course and the teacher, click here. The course will be in Portuguese with similtanious translation by Barbara.   

March against Monsanto

At the weekend (25th May) a group of us from the local Fundao area walked to the market town to raise awareness about GM seeds. It was a successful trek across the mountain with Xico and the cart. We were joined by a friend, Kevin who is helping out at the land at the moment. For pictures by our friend Victor see the facebook page.


 We would like to THANK all those who have supported us these last know who you sending us care packages, money, letters, prayers, love and helping hands. With all of your support the Mount of Oaks continues to grow and flourish.


We hope to be in touch again soon. 
Until then, many blessings for the month of June. 

In peace and hope,
emma and barbara 



1 comment:

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