With Barry's work moving to Switzerland we needed to balance life in La Torre and a new home in Genolier in Vaud, Switzerland, Both beutiful locations while Xalet Pigall is where our heart is
We've started in the lower terrace, digging three big holes and back filling with manure compost and soil. Eventually we would like to have fruit and nut trees dotted all over our land.
Barry is always busy at the weekend, he's been doing a lot of work with the chainsaw. Yesterday he replaced the bolt on the main gates.
We've started off lots of seeds in pots, as it's still quite chilly, and many of them are now in a mini greenhouse.
We continue to build our stock of useful perennial plants with comfrey crowns; great for fertiliser.
We've completed the new planting area, though I do plan to increase the size of the hugelkultur bed. Asparagus and garlic have already gone in.
We have to think seriously about the risk of forest fire, living where we do. Our home is surrounded by woodland and scrub and halfway up a forested mountainside. We have researched the topic and are busy thinning out the woodland on the most vulnerable, village-facing boundary of our property. We have had professional help felling three large pines that were too close to the house.
Barry is working very hard each weekend to fell the young pines around the boundary. The rest of us helping out at times too.
We hope that we never experience a forest fire, but we need nevertheless to prepare for one so that damage to our home would be less likely.
We have all been busy building a small shed to store the goat's straw.
We've also had to fence off along the edge of the drive as Rex is far to interested in people and cyclists going past on the road!
The boys demolished the small BBQ plinth next to the patio as it would not be legal to use it. The blocks were re-purposed for the base of the straw shed.
Ethan sowed broad beans and peas a few weeks ago and now we are able to plant them out.
We bought some blueberry and raspberry canes too.
There was a fiesta on Wednesday so we went on a lovely walk. Unfortunately it was hazy so the photos aren't great, but the temperatures were great for walking.
We cheated by driving a short distance from La Torre de Fontaubella towards Marça, then parked up and joined the path to Falset.
We walked up to the col de Eudalda, from where we could look down on Marça and Falset, and even see our house! We found a tiny 'refugi' with a nativity scene.
We then walked down towards Sant Geroni, but stopped short and followed a circular route back to the car.
A very pleasant three hour walk with gorgeous views.
Well, we finally made it! We recently completed one of the more challenging walks in our area: up La Mola, the peak that looks down upon us. It was mostly straightforward with a couple of more difficult stretches higher up.
But coming down was the most interesting.....
Sharing the rocky, steep path down with about 100 goats!
Here is Ethan planting seeds for peas and broad beans to overwinter.
Barry has been busy putting up fences and building gates to fence off two planting areas. It will make it far easier to protect our food planting from the animals.
Frances and Barry Copping bought Xalet Pigall in 2015. They are working towards resilience and self-sufficiency.