What is the purpose of this blog?
This blog is just a diary about our cortijo in the Spanish mountains. When cooking or gardening our memories last about 3 or 4 years and after that we can’t remember what happened. By writing stuff down we will be able to keep better records and learn from our mistakes and remember the things that we did well. The fact that it is public adds an added dimension.
What is the Cortijo?
The cortijo is a farm in Andalucia in the Sierra Nevada mountains at 1300 metres above sea level. There are 30 000 square metres which is about 8 acres. There are about 120 olive trees, over 100 almond trees, lots of fruit trees of many different types, 4 chickens. The house is not on the grid and uses solar power. We have several natural springs on the land which provide water.
What is the point of the Cortijo?
Sarah likes cooking and I like gardening so it is an opportunity to play around at gardening and cooking. It works very well when a high proportion of the food we eat is home grown. At some times of the year we can get as high as 80% home produced.
Is there a philosophy behind this?
There is no special philosophy except that we are attempting to enjoy life. Organic gardening seems to be a sensible idea and we use almost no pesticides. We put artificial fertilizer on the olives so we can’t claim to be totally organic. When I have read things about permaculure I agree with almost everything it says so maybe we are practising a type of permaculture. Permaculture actually just seems to mean “doing things efficiently, with common sense in a sustainable way”.
We like the idea of having a low carbon footprint and living in a sustainable way and if there is a choice to be made we would choose the green option even if it is a bit more expensive. However the Earth is probably inevitably doomed due to over population, peak oil and many other depressing predictions. It is interesting to experiment with some aspects of self-sufficiency that could be useful in a post apocalyptic world where there is no grid electricity nor gas.