So we now knew that we could actually grow plants in our “soil”. The first crops were a bit sickly partly due to the soil and somewhat irregular watering with a hose pipe. Other pests started to appear, amongst them, slugs, snails, ants and Portugese millipedes. Admittedly the latter two didn’t seem to be detrimental to the plants but they made the maintenance somewhat unpleasant at times. This was added to by flies (including sand flies), mosquitoes, wasps (more of those later) and the ever present rampant weeds. All that having been said, it was obvious that the area I’d already excavated was insufficient for our needs.
I was a bit daunted by the prospect of having to go through the same rigors for every extra square meter gained. It was at about this time that the powers that be smiled down upon me and arranged a visitation from an angel. We had now been here about six months and had gradually got to know our two closest neighbours and would exchange social visits with one of them in particular on a weekly basis. As mentioned previously, Salvador had kindly donated our first plants (tomatoes), and was keeping an eye on our progress. Once he realised that we needed more space, he swung into action. He turned up with his ancient rotovator in his trailer towed behind his car. Here’s the result of ten minutes work, the equivalent of what had taken me two weeks.
To make his visit worthwhile, he suggested it would be a good idea to have another patch at the back of the house.
He was 70 years old at the time, strong as an ox, and still smoking cigars. He has become one of the best friends I’ve ever had and the way he runs his Finca (smallholding) is fascinating. I’ll post info on that later.