Now Ruth and Rory have a young
son! He's called Felix, and here he is, aged two years old,
picking calendula flowers..
enjoys life at the farm. He loves exploring (he's getting
heavy on these hills!), splashes about in the stream, eats
sweet juicy plums and pears, and helps with watering the
garden. When he's tired, he can sleep under the orange trees
or the grape vine.
Now that he's
agile on his feet, he's working on jumping, climbing,
challenging himself trying to get to all the difficult
places, so we have to be on our toes keeping him out of
He talks more
and more, in both English and Spanish; he's stringing more
sentences together and adding names of plants and animals to
his vocabulary (like foxglove, nettle, bramble and jara
(a local sticky aromatic shrub). He likes to order everyone
around a lot, which calls for a vast reserve of diplomacy and
patience so that things run smoothly. He enjoys the company
of the volunteers, and I suspect he would find it terribly
boring to live in a household of just two parents and
This year started out
well with plenty of spring rain, though it set the summer
gardens back several weeks as the spring was so cool. By now
we have the summer gardens well established, and it looks as
though it will be a good year for pumpkins and squashes,
though not so spectacular for tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. We've had moles digging around under our pepper
plants which hasn't helped. The stream terraces are as
productive as ever, with tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn,
squash and climbing beans. These terraces are a real valuable
addition to our garden space. The stream that border them has
become a favourite siesta area with the volunteers, and Felix
loves paddling up and down the stream, throwing stones into
the pools, and climbing over rocks.
We have two additions
to the farm livestock: a dog called Gaspar and goat called Habibi. Gaspar found us in the village during the twelfth
night celebration (La Noche de los Reyes), and so we brought
him home as no-one wanted the small, sleepy, abandoned puppy.
He's grown into a large dog, very tolerant and forgiving of
Felix's games, and with any luck once Gaspar's older and more
responsible he'll look after Felix around the place.
Habibi is a six-month
old kid goat, who was brought up as a bottle-fed orphan by
one of the neighbours. He gave her to Felix, but of course
it's Ruth that looks after her. She is very endearing and
generally gets forgiven her occasional crimes. However,
there's no doubt that a goat in a permaculture farm needs
careful management! She spends her days tethered in strategic
positions between fruit trees, and does help to keep the
place clean - but it's not true that goats eat everything! In
fact she prefers leaves off fruit trees and grape vines, and
most of the wild undergrowth plants come very low on her list
of preferred food.
We often need a
strong enthusiast to help with alternative building projects. This is an opportunity to learn about all the steps
involved in renovating traditional houses. The work includes
helping with all the stages in the building process
(depending on the job to hand), from: the preparation and
extraction of cut timber, wall-building, traditional roofing,
internal carpentry and tiling.
This summer we have
been completely renovating our village house in Genalguacil,
and will be finishing the work in the next few months. We are
also working on our long-running house project on the farm -
this is now at the stage of internal carpentry and flooring.
You need to be
physically quite strong, good with your hands, and mentally
flexible! The right person will have the chance of earning a
small wage on top of the apprenticeship.
Contact us and tell us
about yourself and any experience you have,
why you are interested in the work, and why you think you are
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org ; tel: +34 95 211 7121.