Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Summer highlights and review from La Pasera

Summer in Asturias is a funny old affair. The weather is usually mixed with intense heat, storms, cool overcast days, misty drizzle and hot muggy nights when the winds carry fine particles of sand from turbulent storms in Africa. Generally speaking, it is never too hot for long, too wet or too cool but remains unpredictable.

The weather of course affects our vegetable and fruit crops but apart from the orchard trees being sparse  of fruit, most things seem to be cropping well. We look like we will have a bumper harvest of blackberries but the raspberries are failing and probably need renovating in Autumn.

The highlights at this time of the year in the vegetable garden are many but fennel, beetroot, lettuce, cucumber and marrow are performing exceptionally well giving us enough for cooking, preserving and juicing. Peppers, carrots, aubergines, squash, beans, tomatoes, celery, celeriac, turnip and a range of brassicas are growing well and we hope will provide enough stock to fill the dehydrator, freezer and larder.

Elsewhere at La Pasera we are busy preparing for the rastrillo (street market) next week where we demonstrate chair cane weaving and take a few completed chairs to sell.  It is usually a great day with all the money collected from stall holders who pay for space, going to medicine without frontiers. Luis' sister will join us again this year to sell her hand-crafted felt accessories.

Cane and Rush Chair Restoration blog:  www.artesanialapasera.com 

Luis' mosaic making goes from strength top strength with a steady stream of enquiries and orders. He has just been asked to design and make a garden mosaic for a family in Madrid who found his work from the Internet so he is really pleased about that.

Mosaic Blog: www.mosaicoslapasera.com

Summer is always a busier time with plenty of work to be done in the garden with the long list of maintenance and building jobs never seeming to get any less. We have laid more mosaic paths, finished damp-proofing the studio, started building a fountain to accommodate a water supply for the garden and we are making headway with sorting out the herb garden.

Not having television gives us a bit more time to enjoy our respective hobbies and interests and this summer saw the launch of a new blog Adventures in Altruism and plans are developing for an exciting new mosaic exhibition. I am writing more and involved in two projects that you will no doubt hear about in time. We are walking regularly, taking too many photographs and trying to keep relatively fit. We have made soap for the first time this year which is great and we continue to make hand-cream with plants from the garden infused in olive oil.

Writing blogs: www.ianhicken.wordpress.com

The cultural calendar in Asturias is extremely packed as usual this summer with varied events and fiestas taking place every week. We have just had the Jazz festival which was great, the International Canoe Descent of the River Sella and the local cheese fair takes place this coming week. Lots more to do and see if we get the time.

Band of young street entertainers from Seville touring Asturias this summer

Wentworth and Gawber are keeping well and sleeping most of the day when it is hot and out most of the night enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the balmy desert night winds. Gawber had a problem with a plaque build-up on his teeth but he let us clean them and with the addition of natural anti-plaque granules in their food, it should no longer be a problem.

Gawber and Wentworth

And finally, thank you to all of you who follow or read our blogs, we really appreciate your feedback, comments and kind words. This blog now has a regular readership of over 2000 people per month from over 100 different countries around the world. Keep in touch, it is lovely to hear from you.

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