Skip to main content

When a squash costs 30 Euros

Every year our village holds its 'Harvest Festival' a procession through the streets with the villages, the local priest and the icons.   Serenaded by a local band who play those religious classics such as 'Yellow Submarine' and the song I know as 'Hitler only has one ball/ Dad's Army theme tune'.




It's a time when the village fills with people once again, as the Lisbon dwellers come back to take part in this traditional annual festival.   You can spot the Lisbon dwellers by their shoes....honestly, you can.

After the procession, band performance and general standing around waiting for something to happen comes the annual harvest auction.  Money raising for the church and to pay the band fee!


Local people donate their home grown produce, usually string upon string of onions, and the biggest squash you can imagine.  These items are then auctioned to the highest bidder as our local shepherd and honey maker tries his hardest to get money out of us all!


It's a tough job.   Every year there seems to be less and less donated.  Every year there seems to be less and less people and every year his job becomes harder as people don't readily part with their money.   It's a sign of the times.  Even those with the good shoes don't seem to take part like they used to. 


But then who wants to pay 10 Euro for a bunch of figs when they are falling on the floor all around us and you can pick them from the tree as you walk by? 


The fact that strings of onions sell for 15 euro, a squash can raise 30 Euro, or a jar of honey can raise 10 Euro is a demonstration in how generous spirited the Portuguese can be when it comes to trying to keep their traditions alive.  Despite the lack of people in the village, the economic climate and the changing importance of the church as the centre of village life, this tradition continues.




And then there are the giant squash, we've come home with a half size one, which will make enough soup to last a small family a few months.  God only knows what this chap will do with the two he bought.....but at least he can get them home safely!














Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Building our Barrel Vault Wood Fired Oven

This is a short description of my barrel vault build that I have done here in Central Portugal.
The final internal size is a 1m squared floor with a arch height of 50cm.
I hope you enjoy and get some ideas from it. I wish to thank ukwoodfiredovenforum for their advice and support.

• 1: First I dug out a hole in the flower bed, on top of the stone wall, where the oven was to be built


• 2: Set up a form to pour in the concrete base


• 3: Pour the concrete base, which was about 5-6 inches deep


• 4: On top of the base I cast 4-5 inches of LECA (light weight expanded clay balls) mixed with cement to hold it's form


• 5: Then I cast a 2-3 inch heat retaining base, to add to the thermal mass, using calcium aluminate cement with large grain sand, as a flat base for the hearth bricks to sit on


• 6-8: I then dry laid the hearth bricks on a dry bed of fine sand and clay mixture, with the surround/edge bricks cemented in place to give support to the coming vault




• 9-10: Here I cut the bricks for the bac…

Repeat until fade

When you write a blog about your life you soon realise that life is fairly repetitive! I mean, apart from those big moments that naturally happen throughout the course of 12 months (the fire in June last year for example) life pretty much just gets on with itself.
That makes for a boring blog....I mean you don't want to hear (again) that I miss central heating, that Christmas came and I made a wreath, that Spring is once again on its way.  But that got me thinking, life is pretty repetitive and during the winter, I think life here in the middle of the hills of Portugal can be very boring, especially during the winter.
- get up - walk the dog - eat breakfast - work - walk the dog - eat dinner - walk the dog - bed -  repeat until fade
It doesn't help that when the rain comes, it sticks around. In March it rained for three weeks non-stop. The dog was wet, the house was wet, clothes were wet....it just didn't stop.  Don't get me wrong, Portugal was in desperate need of the…

oh what a lovely bougainvillea

It was something I wanted to grow, a plant which would cover the wall, give shade, give colour and really stamp the fact we lived abroad.Bougainvillea.
We have the other Mediterranean type of plants growing; we have olives in abundance, we have the grapes thriving, we have the figs establishing, but alas no bougainvillea.I looked up how to grow it and it says:Bougainvillea thrives in full sun. “At least 5 hours a day of direct sunlight is the minimal light required for good bloom. More hours of direct sun are better. Less than 5 hours and the plant may not bloom very well.”
5 hours of sun ‘check’, good light ‘check’, south facing ‘check’….but alas the Med we are not!This little peak of Central Portugal has cold air in winter (snow even), a vigorous breeze at dusk and is prone to a late frost.Our courtyard is just too exposed to the elements, there is no little ‘nook’ for a bougainvillea, there is no wall for it to climb up.So, after a courageous start in the greenhouse, our little bouga…