What happened in the last year?

For our family and friends, here is a very brief update of what happened since our last blog entry, 13 months ago:

  • House building reached the stage where the roof was (just) on, when our builder decided to up his fee by 25% of the agreed total price. We declined his offer and gave him 2 days to clear all his tools off site. He was very surprised at our reaction but has, hopefully, learnt a lesson that not all foreigners are rich Americans 😉
  • Bored a well 30 feet deep for drinking water.
  • Brought electricity to the farm.
  • We (doing all the work ourselves) have completed the roof construction, wired up the house, connected it to the public supply, put in all the water pipes, the tank on the roof, the automatic control system for the well pump, plastered inside where needed, put in all the bathroom furniture and tiles and have completed laying all the floor tiles in the living/dining/entrance areas. The kitchen will be our next target as we only have a temporary worktop, sink and cupboards.
  • Nearly 600 yards of irrigation ditch hand deepened and widened to improve the water supply to the vineyard.
  • Planted various yearly crops such as sweetcorn, melon, tomatoes, butternut squash, etc.
  • Created a decent sized organic kitchen garden for our own food supply. Lettuce, radishes, melons, squash, cucumbers, peppers, chilli peppers, carrots, French beans, broad beans, chard, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, peas, onions, strawberries, various herbs and flowers.
  • Made and ate lots of quince, apricot and lemon jams and marmalades as well as fig preserve.
  • Planted more quince trees from rooted cuttings taken our existing trees.
  • Harvested quinces, figs and apricots as well as a small harvest of peaches.
  • Fenced off 5 hectares (about 13 acres) with cattle fencing so 2 horses can graze. These are not ours, but we get to ride them.
  • New apricot trees grown from seed from our own trees.
  • Months of work in the vineyard pruning, tying, killing ants, fertilising and pruning again.
  • Replaced some fencing on the border with the public road and repaired lots of internal fencing.
  • Have taken up archery and took part in an archery competition – and we did not come last either!
  • Made a nice circle of friends both in the town and here in the country.
  • Moved into our partially completed house  in early December 2011 without electricity – which was connected on New Year’s Eve.
  • Edward and Naomi came to visit us for Christmas and the New Year – and Edward proposed to Naomi whilst walking high up in the Andes near El Sosneado – a wonderfully romantic location.
  • Adopted a wild cat who is now pregnant and about to give birth to kittens – and now we hope there will be no more holes nibbled by rodents in our melons.
  • Expanded the area covered by our woodland to create a ‘natural’ corner which is filling up with a wide selection of birds and animals.
  • Had fun and enjoyed ourselves on the farm not only working hard, but also taking time off to chill out too.
  • And the latest job completed – getting an antenna up for a wireless internet connection.

 

We all agree then, sting them for more money?

The horses

Digging the well for drinking water

Tiling the bathroom

Deepening the irrigation ditches

Weeding the vineyard

Electricity on the way to the farm

Broad beans and garlic in the organic kitchen garden

Edward and Naomi visit us – and get engaged 🙂

Chilling out

Grey leaf eared tree mouse in the woodland

-11 outside, nice and warm inside

2 thoughts on “What happened in the last year?

  1. Welcome back to the WWW I have missed your updates was just talking to my friends here at work about your Andes adventure and wondering if all was well. Congratulations and welcome back from your friend in Oklahoma

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