Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring update from La Pasera

Spring weather is certainly making it's presence known here with abundant showers, forceful April winds and cool in the shade temperatures. The trees and shrubs are budding into leaf and blossom, albeit battered by the wind and rain, they seem to be clinging on and setting fruit. The worst affected are the cherry trees as they were in full bloom just as the weather showed its full force.

The mood here is Spain is subdued with the growing problems of the economy and the increasing number of unemployed. The young seem to have little chance of meaningful employment in the short term and reports suggest that those who are able to seek work abroad are leaving Spain to seek a career elsewhere. The long-term consequences is that we lose a generation of capable people who could help Spain in its long term recovery. On a positive note, it seems austerity measures have prompted more people to cultivate their land and increase livestock which is a good move and brings a bit of life back into the rural communities.

The vegetable beds are now raised with borders of sturdy planking and a few tons of sandy rich soil have been added. Peas, sugar snap peas and mange tout are growing well despite a slow start and the 100 potatoes and 400 red and white onions are looking strong and healthy. Seeds have been sown and pricked out, and the young plants are looking OK considering it is cooler than normal. We have just harvested the last of the leeks and there is very little purple sprouting broccoli left which is a shame as it has been particularly tender and sweet this year.

The rhubarb plants are doing well and we harvested some to make our first fruit leather in the dehydrator. The leather was made of rhubarb, banana and honey. Imagine a really chewy soft fruit with an intense taste - different but definitely worth making. I will make it slightly thicker next time but for a first attempt it was great.

Wild boar have once again struck down at the bottom of the garden in the wild area. Apt I suppose. They lift the turf looking for the bulbs of orchids and bluebells. It looks a bit of a mess but soon repairs and reverts back to meadow. This time we think it/they came over the drystone wall as a part of it is collapsed - but that could have been the storms.

Wentworth the cat has been in trouble again in a fight against one of the semi-feral cats around and about. He came home one afternoon obviously worse for wear. We know from past experience the sequence of events and it is heartbreaking to see him develop an abscess from a bite and become subdued and in pain. This time it was his front left paw - it became swollen and he could not weight bear. It takes a while for an abscess to form but this time it was taking a bit too long so we took him to the vet who prescribed antibiotics and pain relief. Together with foot baths three times a day, the abscess has now burst and left him with a very sore but less painful paw. I have kept him in for a few days as he was truly incapacitated and defenceless. He has been out for a couple of hours this afternoon in the sunshine but he is now back in the house and resting. Cats are quite resilient and he'll soon be back to his mischievous self.

Swollen paw

not yet at its worst...


  1. Poor Wentworth, I hope he makes a quick recovery. One of our young cats has a cold, nothing more but is feeling very sorry for himself.TLC works wonders.

  2. Thanks Anne - yes TLC goes a long way for cats and us humans.


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