Chris Dav

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since Feb 15, 2012
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Recent posts by Chris Dav

Just a quick note from Catalonia re Ants
I now grow nearly all my vegetables from seeds in pots first and then transplant them.
I have lost too many seeds to ants, and I do not like to kill them.
Good luck with your amazing project
3 years ago
Hi there from southern Catalonia.
Here we have plenty of broom (good) Andi have been successful in sowing a form of native gleditsia , another nitrogen fixer.
Once established, they grow well as do almonds, and do not need much water. Almonds need more to provide a good crop, but I am happy for them to grow first, and crop later.
Also nisperos (loquat) need little water once they get going and I have successfully germinated them from seeds.
Hope that helps and good luck.
3 years ago
Would like to chuck in my 2c.
Here in Spain we have 200 olive trees that need pruning every year. After taking out the bigger branches for the wood stove, we are left with the smaller stuff. Leaves go to the goats and then we are left with a heck of a lot of small branches and sticks.
Our quick and dirty method involves burning this in an open bonfire, as fast as we can, and then putting it out as soon as the flames have died down.
We are then left with piles of charcoal - literally wheelbarrows of the stuff - which we then put into 100 litre barrels with nettles, borage and as many weeds as we can find, before topping it up with water. We let it sit in the sun for two months, stirring it every week or so.
The liquid is used as compost tea, and the weed/char mix is put onto the vegetable beds.
Not very scientific, but works well enough, and is not too time-consuming.
We use borage as it grows wild here, and is not dissimilar in constituents to comfrey which we cannot grow.
4 years ago
On the subject of CBD, it is very beneficial to use whole plant. There are some 80+ cannabinoid and just extracting one is less effective.
We are very lucky to live in Spain where the growth of marijuana, whilst not legal per se, is tolerated for personal use.
I make a paste from coconut oil and whole plant which is incredibly useful for all types of inflammation. I use one strain which is very high in CBD and low in THC, and this paste we take daily. Colds finish early, toothache disappears in 30 minutes, and the aches and pains of farm life seem less.
The recipe is here for those who may be interested.
We give the paste away to those who will benefit from it, as we are not big fans of money.
4 years ago
We have 2.5 hectares of olives here in Spain, and the prunings do not rot down. Lack of moisture i guess. I have prunings from 12 years ago that are brittle and dry and in no way are they breaking down,so I would humbly suggest that they would be of no use on a hugel.
We have had success with carob prunings however, and pines, but olives no.
4 years ago
Hi Maria

There is quite a good group on Facebook - if you use it - Off-grid Friends Tarragona which you may find useful.
Will certainly find some like-minded people there
I use the moniker JamJarChris there.
All the best.
6 years ago
Thanks for all the inputs - much appreciated.

I had never heard of chewfa before.

I already burn for biochar so that was high on my list.

I doubt that there will be any compensation - there will be a stringent list of requirements which will be slanted against people like me. Three very large industries here are citrics, olives and almonds, all of which are vulnerable to the disease.

I will have to attack this piecemeal - remove the weaker trees  first as they are more susceptible to the disease and start planting to get a head start.

Thanks once again for the insights.
7 years ago
Hi there- thanks for the idea - had not considered that. Not sure if there are any resistant varieties available here - and is possibly immaterial as the recommended solution should an outbreak occur is to clear cut a buffer zone to contain the disease.

I am surrounded by olive trees on other farms and if one is affected then my trees, resistant or not will be sacrificed.

This buffer zone 'can' extend to 10km -  which pretty much nukes the local citrus, almond and olive industries locally.

7 years ago
Ok here goes.
We live in North East Spain - maritime zone 9a with about 400-500mm of annual rainfall. Slightly sloping 7 acres sandy and rocky (limestone) soil. Vicious winds in the spring, never freezes and can reach 40 in the summer.

Currently have about 200 olive trees, 15 almonds and about 20 carob trees. Solar powered well which produces a bit of water for house and irrigation. Aside from my various vegetable beds and house, I have about 6 acres that I need to repurpose.

New (to here) bacteria Xylella Fastidiosa is going to hit the Spanish mainland in a number of years and require that all my olive and almond (together with all citrus) are pulled up and burnt. The list of plants affected is pretty diverse and lengthy.

I would like to get ahead of the curve and cut down my trees for firewood now, before they have to be burnt, and replace them with a food forest.

Problem being that I have limited resources and water, and no clear direction. I have already mapped out swales and likely guilds but I am being overwhelmed by the scale of the project. This is a major repurpose operation of the land.

Would welcome any advice on any potential ‘watch outs’ or 'gotchas’ before I commit, and any general comments that anyone would care to make.
My requirements will be
Food for the house
A nut crop
A cash crop to replace the olives
An oil crop
I have pretty much got the basics mapped out but am daunted by the scale and would appreciate someone telling me I am not mad.

Thanks in advance - Chris.
7 years ago
We made this to tidy up our cluttered kitchen
7 years ago