From the 8thLife EcoVillage Project, we wish you an Evolutionary 2013 - http://eepurl.com/t6PFn (link to share this Newsletter)
But here is a Reyes* present :) Some news & an updated & FINALLY bilingual presentation of the project, this new website. We hope you enjoy it, it will get more photographs added during the next few weeks.
* El Día de los Reyes Magos is the 6th of January in Spain & when Christmas is celebrated with presents for the children.
As always we welcome your comments & suggestions - either through our Facebook Group or you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
If you'd like to see the old version & play 'spot the difference', here is the old website :)
Mainly we've made it shorter & also added the Application Form here directly, plus given more information in the page For Investors adding a section for donations, simplified the When to Visit pages, as these are the kinds of things we are most often asked.
Here are a few of the things we've been getting up to recently ...
One of the wonderful things about living on this site is to be amongst the ancient history & local wisdom of this old farming hamlet, and to restore & improve on its traditional structures. Much of this involves restoring the old stone structures of which there are plenty on site.
Stone-building is one of the artisan skills that Palmeros are famous for & they are in high demand even on other Canarian Islands because of the quality of their work. The local plentiful volcanic rock is a wonderful building material.
So we are always particularly pleased when we are able to support this tradition by employing master stone-builders and we could do this again this summer thanks to the shares that came in from our newest members this year: Pat, Jose & Lidia. It was fun to decide all together how to spend the money, to fix priorities & budget for each of the land-improvement works that we're now starting.
This is a very large wall that was almost all destroyed by time & neglect over several decades, some 50m in length & more than 2m in height in most places, it marks the border with one of our neighbors, who were quite pleased to finally see this big job done & so well. We're also very pleased as it's meant quite a bit more beauty, space & safety, although it also meant living in a big mess for over a month.
It was fun to watch the skillful digging work that was needed to start off this job, and it is also very interesting to get to know the professional builders, as well as the skillful long-time friends who are helping out, and have everyone contribute ideas & inspiration to the wider design.
Climate change has been very much on our minds this summer as we've had a particulary dry & hot summer this year in the Canaries, meaning we've approached some of the kinds of temperatures & conditions that the hottest parts of mainland Spain are used to.
What has been particularly interesting to observe has been that our sheep are actually able to handle this very well, as they seem to enjoy grazing on dry grass, leaves & even woody almond shells as much as on the rarer green hardy shoots of vinagrera or fennel.
This dry year follows a few particularly wet ones.
And it seems it's true! Now that the rain started, looks like it's here to stay for a while. And all the Finca and it surroundings are green and beautiful again. This also means more food for our animals. They will get even fatter now :)
360 degree view of LaPalma (from El Time): http://www.la-palma24.net/360grad/tour/index.html
Apart from the ever-plentiful tunos (the cactus-plant fruit), we were surprised & delighted with a bumper-crop of delicious peaches from the Flora garden this year.
Also, despite the lack of rain, the pear trees have been as outrageously productive as ever, although with smaller fruit on the trees that grow farthest from the gardens.
Jose loves thinking about food. After he and Lydia discovered a lot of flour on the kitchen, Jose decided making beautiful and delicious pancakes with blueberry marmalade and flowers from the Finca.
Pancakes before and after
He also made bread adding yeast to the mix of flours and a sauce with fermented yoghourt. Because we haven't finished the oven, he fried the little bread pancakes.
the cutest food ever
Guinea Pigs are traditionally eaten in some countries infrom Latin America, like Peru. Lola, an equadorian friend who lives nearby has a cave when she raises a lot of Guinea Pigs, for compost & for eating. She gave us four of them, two females and two males.
So we got researching all about the needs & preferences of our new residents, and this is some of what we found:
Although they are tough and don't fall ill easily, they're shy animals that need staying away from dogs. They're pretty peaceful, don't bite, love all types of vegetables & fruit, especially grass (they seem to love the lechugones & fennel we have plenty of right now, growing everywhere).
We're hoping to see them reproduce soon & are planning a bigger space for them - a multi-functional greenhouse which is on our list of perma-building projects you can take on if you join us on a GaiaSis internship programme - see previous news item on PermaBuilding Intensives.
... where you can comment on this newsletter, ask questions, etc.
Just ask for entry to the 8thLife Facebook Group (EcoVillage Project):
You can also become a co-investor
or supporter of the project
if you wish to contribute to this adventure:
see the new For Investors page for details
- taking any of the
NodoEspiral Permaculture Academy courses
is also a way of supporting the project directly -
All donations, large or small,
are used to create the EcoVillage infrastructure.