Category Archives: Land Life

Tree-Huggers Delight

King Carob
King Carob Tree (restored), on the monte

One of my favorite winter activities (and i’m sure some of you tree-huggers out there can relate) is: hacking into the jungle that has grown up around a great-but-neglected old tree, and restoring the throne to its proper owner.

Of course i’m speaking figuratively, but in the case of this old carob tree pictured above, which stands atop the rocky outcrop that caps our “monte,” the purple prose is perhaps justified.
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YearEnd Planting Party

Mãos na massa

Maybe because of the weather -winter rain&cold having not yet come, but showers in the forecast for our last working Friday of the year- our gang decided to forgo the usual banquet at a restaurant, opting instead to have a potluck picnic & planting party in what is to be our farm’s new receiving area (south-east entrance off the municipal road).
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Celebrating the Ecosystem Regeneration Camp

Last week, Quinta do Vale da Lama was the stage for an Ecosystem Regeneration Camp, that welcomed around 30 greatly motivated and skilled participants for a hands-on applied land-based learning venture around the implementation of a Water-Wise Dryland Regeneration Strategy co-designed by the Land Owner and OrlaDesign for the North upper slope of the farm.
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A Co-created Landscape Design Moment!

To begin the design process for the North-Slope of the rain-fed part of the farm, an area that wishes to become an innovated Agro-silvo-pastoral system (Pomar Misto de Sequeiro) that proves truly regenerative within the Mediterranean drylands, a co-design moment with the staff members & owners of Quinta do Vale da Lama was facilitated this summer by OrlaDesign for the WaterWise Dryland Regeneration project.

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Visiting the Farm

Quinta do Vale da Lama has different action focus related to different zones of the land. There is the Educational part, energized by PND – Projecto Novas Descobertas, with its place at Campo do Vale, and the Agrotourism, based on Casa Vale da Lama – EcoResort. Other centers dedicated to agricultural activities and administrative and residential functions are being recovered and developed step by step.

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Pruning at the olive grove

This year we had the privilege to have with us a great master of trees, Peter Zin, taking care of the olive trees in the northwest part of the farm. The olive grove was already beautiful for the majestic of the old trees, and it turned even more beautiful, now more accessible, and potentially more productive when it comes the olive harvest season, we hope. And we learned so much with the presence of this man and his connection with the trees…!
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WaterWise Dryland Regeneration, 2017

As foretold in an earlier post, we’ve been busy this past fall/winter applying our Water-Wise Dryland Strategy to the south slope of our farm’s monte, improving access, water conservation and ecosystem regeneration all at the same time. Long story short, our evaluation of project results at this point is: a great success, worthy of continuing wherever such conditions and needs exist.

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