One Year On From the Wildfires in Portugal

Our Portuguese training holiday catering team, Scott and Lynn express their thanks in an update one year since the Portuguese fires devastated their house and village in northern Portugal. They were fortunate to survive as well as find their house itself miraculously untouched, despite the fire tearing right through it. We look forward to seeing them in the Algarve again in November 2018 and then for the 2019 season.

We created a crowd funding site where the TTH family managed to raise over £4,000 to help them reset after the fires. We are so grateful to everyone who gave generously.

It seems incredible that it is already one year since our fires here in Central Portugal. In some ways it looks and feels like we have hardly achieved anything and in others we have achieved so much. We guess we should rather say that nature has achieved so much.

When we look out of our window on our small farm, we now see green. Yes, there are still all the burnt trees that have not yet been cut, but the undergrowth in general is green. Indigenous plants such at Heather, Cork Oak, Chestnut and Medronhas are sprouting up all over the place. The bad news is the invasive and non indigenous plants are also thriving. We are spending a lot of our time and energy trying to keep these at bay. On that subject I think a lot of our time has been spent this last year cutting out all the burnt vegetation, and there is still more to go.

 Our new, greener view from our house

Our new, greener view from our house

The farm has recovered well. Most of our olive trees are sprouting new growth. Some from the top of the tree which is wonderful as we may even get fruit next year, and others from root stock which is also good news although they will take 3 or 4 years to fruit. We have bought dozens of new fruit trees which seem to be doing well. Now that the autumn is here, the plan is to buy a lot more and get them into the ground while it is rainy season.

 One of the olive trees regrowing from the root base

One of the olive trees regrowing from the root base

We have redone the entire water system to the house and some of the land. The systems we have put in now are far better than we had previously in terms of fire retardant and also we have learned from experience what we needed to change.

Installing a new water system to the house, a new water storage system and water tank.

In other updates; our new chicken family is extremely happy and we in general get an egg a day from our lovely girls. We have bought a new boat to replace our sailboat Kate. She is an odd sort of boat, but it has meant we can spend time in the water during this long hot summer. The workshop that burnt has not yet been rebuilt and we are seriously now looking at getting an old shipping container to use instead. It will be quick, easy and secure.

 Chopping fire protection channels means we have no shortage of wood…for now.

Chopping fire protection channels means we have no shortage of wood…for now.

We would like to thank Philip and the TTH family for all the assistance given. Without this, so much of what we have done would have not been possible to achieve and we are truly grateful

We look forward to welcoming you back out in the Algarve in November or next season,

Scott and Lynn

 The old view up to the house

The old view up to the house