Steve Farmer

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since Apr 01, 2015
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forest garden greening the desert trees
South Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
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Recent posts by Steve Farmer

Amit Enventres wrote:It seems so weird for me to go leave it idle or go on joy trips being I've tried to reduce my fossil fuel usage.

Whilst applauding your personal fuel efficiency objectives, Alun's reply above is worth noting. Especially if your truck is a diesel. Not getting the truck up to temperature for 20 mins or so now and then will cause all sorts of problems in your engine, which is designed to run efficiently when hot. A diesel that runs on tickover or short journeys only will suffer from glazed cylinder walls. This allows fuel into the sump and oil into the combustion chamber. Both bad for efficiency, emissions and the longevity of your engine.

If your truck is a gasoline model (also impossible with diesel but best to glow first which requires battery use), can you park facing downhill and bump start? Bear in mind power assisted steering and brakes will not feel normal until the engine is running.
2 days ago
Is there a specific type of vegetation that is less likely to dry out the reed (or reed substitute) bed?
I want some sort of reed bed/drain field to deal with the output of a worm composting sewage system and in summer I fear reeds would die unless they receive extra irrigation. We get upto 9 mths with no rain, sometimes as little as 100mm rain a year, and temps upto 45C in the middle of the dry season. Would reeds be ok?
3 days ago
Hi from the south of Tenerife.

The canary Islands are subject to a new law from last year which is a little more permissive in what you can do. The law is the Ley del Suelo de Canarias and is a superior law to anything the local ayuntamiento says you can or can't do. You can read it here
However, despite being a superior law in parts it does refer to the local laws. So you also need to acquaint yourself with the planeamiento general for your area, which says what you can and can't do on specific classifications of land in your region.

You seem to know your catastral classiffication as you already said the primary use is agriculture but it;s wrth looking up on the plan catastral what type of Rustic land it is, it may be protected for nature or for some kind of economic use that differs from what is on the catastral documentation.

Go to to see all sorts of information on your plot including GPS coords of its boundaries, what the exact land classification is, what the geology is, what vegetation is there now, what crops were grown etc etc.

An architect or aparejador are the only qualified people who can tell you what you can or can't do on your plot. I strongly addvise you to consult with one who regularly deals with your particular ayuntamiento, although in theory you can use someone from anywhere in Spain. The personal relationship between these guys and the staff at the town hall can be helfull hence my recommendation for using someone local. Good luck and post some photos!

3 days ago

David Baillie wrote:I would probably suggest a small panel to trickle charge your battery to make up for internal losses etc.

This certainly wont hurt  and almost certainly will make up for internal losses.

To recharge after starting the engine, you'll need nearly an hour of full sun for every second your starter motor runs, so it's quite possible this will solve your probelm, but depends on the specifics of the panel, your truck, and how much sun you get. You could use a panel bigger than the solar trckle panels on the market, but you will need a charge controller in that case. Trickle chargers tend to be limited to 250 mA to avoid damaging the battery once it's full
6 days ago
Hi. What size engine? Is it diesel? How many seconds of turning over before it fires, usually?
How old is it? Is the radiator fan electric or crankshaft driven?
What is your outside air temp when you start it, normally? What grade engine oil do you use?
Electrical or mechanical fuel pump?
6 days ago
Whats this vacuum cap that needs to be installed? Can you post some fotos of your modified throttle body and vacuum cap please?
1 week ago
Have you got a hammer drill. Even a small 1kw drill running off the car battery with an inverter could smash that rock into several pieces in a few mins. Or hammer and chisel, try to make it crack in two
2 weeks ago
The triplets are doing fine after 11 days in the ground...
2 weeks ago