Wednesday 31 August 2016

A Porcine Disaster

It was all going too well. The pigs were sweeties, eating cheese from our hands, loving a good scratch, being taken on walks down the land and coming when called. We moved them to the orchard and unfortunately they escaped when we were not around to see, burrowing under the fence and disappearing. We suspect that neighbours dogs may have chased them away as they usually chomped in the vicinity contentedly when loose. The local village has been alerted but no sightings  since they went and it has been over a fortnight now so I don't think we will get them back. We hope that they will get a glorious autumn in the woods around us, but hunters will probably get them this winter if they survive the dogs. It is a horrible feeling to loose them like this and we feel as though we failed them somehow. We should have put electric fencing up and we didn't because they had not been any trouble up til that point. If there is a next time we will definitely do things differently.

I haven't blogged because as usual we have been busy and had family staying. It is brilliant having Tim back, he is currently in the UK for a couple of weeks but should be back in Galicia soon. The bees didn't happen this year for a variety of reasons but we will try again next year to get a swarm. The geese are in the freezer and it seems very quiet with just the chickens. I have had mixed vegetable success, we have had a very hot dry summer with temperatures often into the 30's, up to 36 degrees and many veggies went straight to seed despite my watering. We have lost some of the new forest garden seedlings planted last winter as I couldn't keep up with the watering and some have disappeared into the brambles. I hope to get the brambles down again with Tim's help and see how many seedlings are still alive. The fruit is doing well, strawberries and raspberries with tons of pears on the trees and many apples to come. The figs should be ripe any time now as well.
The chard has self seeded its self around which is great as both of us love it. Here is some in the lilies which are about to bloom for the first time. The mushroom logs are in the purple bucket on the left and we hope that they may crop this Autumn if the heat hasn't killed the fungi.
I put the tiny oca tubers in a pot and they have grown well. I might get to eat some this winter I hope.
All together a mixed year growing wise but the year is not finished yet and there is always next year. As weather extremes become the new norm due to climate change perseverance, diversity and mulching is the only answer I can think of.


  1. Glad to hear you´re surviving the heat - more this week! Sorry about the piggies escape. How´s the sheep project?

  2. Sorry I missed your comment. We are half way through the tree guards but work stopped when it got so hot. We intend to finish them and the fencing by Spring when we hope to get the sheep. At the back of my mind I am not 100% sure tho as loosing the pigs was pretty awful. It is a heck of a responsibility. I will see how we feel about it in the Spring. How is the dog doing now? Has he settled?

  3. He behaved beautifully through 6 weeks of visits, including his cousin, a Jack Russel mix pup, from Madrid. We´re very proud.

    Will need to go to the horsey place for more manure soon. Was thinking I might drop by to see your set up if it´s not too inconvenient.

    1. Yes that would be great. Any week day is normally fine with a bit of notice, Tim won't be able to chat much as he works during the day, weekends we tend to be busier doing all the shopping and going to markets that we can't do in the week and Saturdays are better than Sundays. Just let me know when is good for you. I must warn you though it is not impressive, all overgrown and weedy where I gave up in the heat

    2. I forgot to say my email is so I can give you directions and my contact number