November has been a very quiet month in terms of actual work being completed. Not surprising really as the main build is complete and we are now into getting the garden and farm organised. Our plan is to make both as self maintaining as possible, at least to a point when the work needed becomes manageable during the time we are in residence. In residence, doesn’t that sound good!!
Our focus this month has been negotiating via our Project Manager with various people to sort the main outside areas. At the end of last month, we met with a couple of different people to get some comparison ideas and pricing. It was a fascinating experience because we had two very different areas to deal with.
The area around the house which was very much garden orientated and we needed to consider the flat areas around the house and pool, whilst also considering the banking where we needed to have something to help retain the soil in place. Living in a climate like Portugal, you have to think about, that in the summer it is very dry so the ground hardens and when the rains do come the water tends to run rather than soak in, and water tends to run downhill, don’t you know, and any banks become fair game to erratic water erosion.
Then there is the farm side, which again has two areas, one we don’t intend to do anything with, we will let the natural cycle of growth and decay manage the land as there are just a few really well established olive trees to worry about. Then there’s the main area which whilst it still has quite a few olives trees also has all the fruit trees and grape vines, so we need to have them fed and watered a lot better than they currently are.
We ended up with awarding the work to two different companies because it was clear that they tended to specialise either agricultural or domestic (garden) and as we had both, to get the best we needed to split the work, each company providing a suitable irrigation system for each area.
Watch out for Decembers update to see what happens; as both companies are due to do their bit in December.