Latest Posts

FARMSTAY ECOLODGE OPENING SUMMER 2021

Top
Image Alt

Land Management

Have you ever noticed that sometimes, you hear about a thing – a word, a book, a movie, a person – and suddenly, it’s everywhere? That’s what happened with me and The Biggest Little Farm. Since it came out, I have gotten emails, WhatsApps, and had it mentioned in conversation as a must-see “because it’s a lot like what you’re doing!” At long last, on Earth Day (a happy coincidence), we watched The Biggest Little Farm documentary. If you’re too lazy to read to the end, here’s my big take away:

It’s April 2020, and this blog is about what we learned in the growing season 2019 – so yes, I should have done this recap earlier. Better late than never? Our first year was incredible, fun, and a massive learning curve. Last year, we made a few changes up-front: We expanded the size of the garden and the number of beds Three of the beds were turned into raised beds by lining them with old ceramic roof tiles What used to be the tomato bed got converted into an asparagus

Earlier this fall, I finally met Antonella Notari – the cofounder of an agriturismo in Italy, Podere Trafonti – in person. A mutual friend connected us, and was spot on when she said we had a lot in common. Regardless of the age difference between us, with years of “corporate life” behind us, we have both opted to shift to a simpler life. A life closer to nature, on a farm, and hosting guests. In our first conversation, over coffee and a hot chocolate (piled with whipped cream, my

Somehow, even though "write a blog for Casa Beatrix" is often on my to-do list, it just as often gets bypassed in honor of other commitments and to-do's. I am working on changing that, but in the meantime, something else that is preventing me from posting blogs is the feeling that there is so much I want to share with you (ironic, I know). So, to take the proverbial bull by the horns, here's a quick and dirty all-around update to reset my feeling of guilt on not sharing

Imagine finding the most delicious, crunchy, slightly tart yet still sweet, apple. Wouldn’t it be amazing to have a tree that produces such fruit? The trouble is, apple - and many other fruits - seeds are a genetic gamble - no seed will ever produce the same fruit as it came from. This is why fruit producers use often grafting to reproduce winning fruit. Grafting is both a simple and surreal concept. You cut a branch off one tree (the "scion"), and stick it on another tree (the "rootstock"). Done

Almost a year. That’s how long it took us from the moment we first saw the property we fell in love with to the moment we signed the papers that made us its official new owners. Well, 11 months to be exact. Ten, maybe, if you count from the moment we decided we wanted to buy the place. No matter how you look at it, it has taken quite a while. We are partly at fault, because we wanted to cross all the T’s and dot all the I’s –

The pitter-patter of raindrops on the roof sounds just the way my inner voices would if they could dance for joy at the fact that it is raining. My imagination thinks up little fairies distributing water to every blade of grass, seedling, and tree, showering them with the promise of life, and growth. It’s raining! But I am getting ahead of myself. When we got to Portugal for the first time in May 2016, we were told that one of the wettest winters was only just giving way to sunshine.

Background This year, Portugal has as usual suffered from innumerable fires. Some had natural causes, linked to how dry the year has been, and others were initiated by human intervention – whether unintentional (such as a government worker cleaning the side of the road, his blade hitting a rock and creating a spark, and voila) or criminal (yes, apparently that’s a thing). This happens every year. What is different this year is that two particularly nasty fires, one mid-June and another just a few weeks ago on October 15, have ravaged

**This is copied from a Facebook post by Frankie/Chiquita Bonita. I am posting here to make it easier (hopefully!) for people to share, because the information is essential and very useful to anyone dealing with a fire-affected region. This comes after one of the worst fires Central Portugal has known in at least a decade if not more, which affected more than 300,000 hectares and countless individuals, families, homes, and animals. Note that the advice is in some cases specific to Portugal, but can be applied anywhere with slight adjustments

You don't have permission to register