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Nº 75 – A pot with many good things from your garden
(Stone soup from own garden)

Saturday 20 of February 2021 Our goal is to become self sufficient with our food. We need five years to achieve this. We will reach this goal in five steps. In the first year, we worked the land, clearing it and creating a fine tilth, removing the stones and weeds. At the same time, we composted, then used compost as a fertilizer for the first sowing in the second year: potatoes and onions, peas and beans, tomatoes and peppers and many more things. We also would recommend a permaculture course at Quinta Vale da Lama in Lagos. For today’s recipe, …

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Nº 74 – Living with Mushrooms…

Saturday the 13th of February 2021 The forest is filled with animals, plants, grasses, herbs and mushrooms. And that’s why I love every native tree growing exactly where it happens to be. For our forest and winter cuisine, I have chosen three types of mushrooms. Why? Because I know them. Those mushrooms that I don’t really know stay where they are, and I leave them to carry on growing in the forest. They don’t get to see the inside of my kitchen. I’m happy to admit that my knowledge is finite; too many people have paid with their lives for …

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Nº 73 – An Alsatian Pizza

Saturday the 6 th February 2021 One of our family’s favourite recipes is “flammkuchen”, or “tarte flambé”, as it is often called, since it is a typical speciality from the south-east of France. There are a thousand and one varieties of this dish to be found in Lorraine, but also in Alsace, Switzerland and the German State of Saarland, and, as it can easily be made without either meat or fish, it’s a great choice for a vegetarian meal. We sometimes opt for a vegan version, but we love it in all its varieties, and, in today’s recipe, we are …

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Keep close to Nature’s heart…

Permaculture addresses our needs for food, healthcare, shelter, education and security. The massive degradation of conventional agriculture and the environmental havoc it creates has never been so all-pervasive in terms of scale, so it has become a global necessity to further the understanding of a comprehensive design and planning system, such as permaculture, that works with nature, not against it. The guild concept that is often used is that of a “functional relationship” between plants – beneficial groups of plants that share functions in order to bring health and stability to a plant regime and create an abundant yield for …

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A life of milk and honey

Forest gardening is the first sustainable form of multicultural agroforestry management in the history of humankind. Since prehistoric times, a form of forest gardening has been practised in the tropics (Mesopotamia), with forest cultures creating small clearings in order to replace the plant species that would provide the food, fibre and medicines for their communities.   Coming back to modern times, in the 1980s, an English horticulturalist, Robert Hart, adapted the age-old agroforestry techniques applied in a temperate climate and created the first temperate forest garden on 500 square metres of his farm in Shropshire, 120 km south of Liverpool. …

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Nº 44 –
There is no more bad news
Real Nature Protection
The LIFE project in the Berlengas

Saturday, 18th July 2020 Lisbon. The “Natura 2000”  network was created by the EU Commission and aims to protect species and habitats of great importance in all 27 EU countries as a genuine form of nature conservation. There is a total of 2,000 species and 230 habitat types in the 27 countries between Finland and Portugal that have been designated as Natura 2000 sites. If you are interested and want to find the nearest nature reserve in your region, just click on https://natura2000.eea.europa.eu//# and enter your place of residence. Monchique is PTCON0037. The whole of the municipality has been designated …

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Carlota, the Acorn that dreamed of going to the moon

The children’s book that talks about the importance of the Cork Forest and the life cycle of cork.   Carlota, the Acorn that dreamed of going to the Moon is a book that portrays the adventures of an acorn who doesn’t understand the importance of her role, nor the role of the forest where she lives and longs for a different destiny to her fellow acorns. Unlike all the other acorns, she dreads letting go of her cork oak father’s sturdy branches and jumping to the ground, because she dreams of travelling to the sky, the stars and the moon! …

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EDEN
The Botanical Garden of Caldas de Monchique

Here is some more good news! Over the next ten years, ECO123’s employees, friends, sponsors, subscribers and customers will plant more than 1,000 different young trees in the new botanical garden of Caldas de Monchique. To plant a tree, it’s not enough just to make a hole and put a plant in it. A biotope is a complex system that lives by giving and receiving, waiting and growing, while also resting in order to gain new strength and the ability to interact. This story will cover everything that is needed to make a tree feel good on the planet Earth. …

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Oxytocin or Le P’tit Cirk

How will it end? It’s the old motto: “trust is good, but control is better”. We are sitting in a small circus tent in Monchique, eagerly awaiting the performers. It’s dark and cosy. There are more than 500 people filling the tent tonight. There is still a quarter of an hour to go. In my mind, I’m thinking of a film about the acrobat Philippe Petit. He’s the man who, one day in August 1974, when I was a young man, I saw dancing whilst balancing on a high wire reaching more than 60 metres between the Twin Towers of …

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Are holidays really the best days of the year?

There are regions and economic areas that are sustainable and others that are not. And all it took was for a virus to hitch a lift on the back of tourism, travelling around the world and spreading disease and death, to prove the absurdity that reigns in the hospitality industry. In other words, it is the virus that has shown us that there are limits to tourism in our lives. Is this coronavirus the beginning of the end for a generation accustomed to travelling without limits and the beginning of the end for the tourism sector? For more than 250 …

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