Well, we’re whizzing through year 2 of Covid 19 with vaccinations under way all over the globe – and new variants appearing to keep pace and keeping us all on our toes.

The hospitality industry is hurting more than most, businesses are dropping by the wayside with ever-increasing rapidity, but our chins are up here at the Quinta.

So how come we’re not all glum and depressed? It’s not as if we were any better prepared than anyone else so it appears to be a non-sequiter …

Well, we decided last year when this pandemic first raised its ugly head that we were going to make the most of the opportunity offered of suddenly having so much time on our hands to improve the Quinta by extending our tiny greenhouse – and working to improve the Quinta’s garden in general so as to become even more self-sufficient, for who knew how long this was going to affect our lives and livelihood?

So we set to work …

You’d think a greenhouse would be easy wouldn’t you, but not a bit of it here, for flattish land is at a premium when one lives on as steep a slope as we do, so first of all, and most importantly really, we had to build a huge retaining wall with a pile of stones that never seemed to decrease in size – or weight! First off came the foundations …

… and then the wall …

… and then, after lots of digging and levelling, the added bonus of a larger parking area.

Then the security walls in case anyone left the handbrake off …

And finally, after rotavating in a ton or so of good compost, we could begin on the greenhouse proper …

Well, it was a success – but perhaps too much of a success!

However, the proof of the pudding is that, when we can find them, we’re VERY self-sufficient in tomatoes, courgettes, peppers, cucumbers and lettuces to mention just a few of the varieties of vegetables that we’ve got going in there now.

And it’s not just the greenhouse that’s being productive either, for up at the far end of the garden we’re just about to harvest our wonderful corn,

and the cabbages and beans are looking good too, so salads really are no problem at all this year!

And as for the fruit, the mind boggles … plums galore,

apples too,

as well as pears.

we’re going to be fine for plum wine, dried plums, plum chutney, apple cider vinegar … and if anyone wants to send us some other ideas we’ve still got several trees full of plums to harvest. The birds are loving it too, which is excellent news for our other little business, “Birding in Portugal“.

And y’know the best part about it all? It’s all grown biologically – and it all tastes DELICIOUS!

Now all we need are these lockdowns to end and people to start booking instead of cancelling, 😂, so hope to see you soon.