Quote of the Month

There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep up behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.

~Mirabel Osler






Friday, 22 March 2013

A DAY OUT WITH A DIFFERENCE : Lanjaron

VISIT SUE's AND PETE’S SELF SUFFICIENT, OFF-GRID SMALLHOLDING IN LANJARON  
Lanjaron is a smart Spanish Spa Town where the Spanish people regularly holiday to take the 5 different health giving waters.
Greg and I visited the garden of Sue and Pete Rodgers in Lanjaron on Thursday, 14th March.
Sue met us in Lanjaron’s leafy car park and we began a guided walk through the Natural Park passing a newly built honey museum. Lanjaron is also renowned for its honey and has won many awards.
We passed streams and a water cascade as we climbed uphill through pine forests with Sue pointing out and naming the various wild flowers and their uses along the way.
We saw a black squirrel; just one of the fauna to be found in the Park.
We stopped half way to enjoy lavender cake and lavender and camomile tea as we surveyed the distant views beyond.
Fortified we climbed until we reached a plateau where Sue briefly and knowledgeably described the local geology.
Once at their self-built house (with supreme views over a lake and down to the Alburan sea) we were offered various teas - we opted for rose and hibiscus tea - delicious.

Whilst Sue prepared the lunch, Pete took us around their plot.
The garden consists of 10 enviably wide terraces sculpted hundreds of years ago. The couple are making good use of these terraces building several depositos and creating a reed bed to filter grey water for watering the flower garden.
The main terrace is full of the most beautiful and healthy mixture of lavenders we have ever seen!
The next terrace contains several raised beds producing various lettuces, herbs and even rhubarb both for commercial and for their own use.
Another terrace contains concrete based compost bins made from blocks and an experimental wick bed on which were growing healthy cabbages. This system is a very water-saving way of producing vegetables.
Pete also showed us ingeniously made, sturdy poly-tunnels made from plastic irrigation pipes and olive nets. A further terrace contained a chicken run containing only 3 brown chickens; 3 had been eaten recently by genets. They plan to get more, black hens, soon.
The couple live entirely off-grid from 6 solar panels and Pete proudly showed us the “power house” containing the storage batteries and other paraphernalia required to power their modest electricity needs.
Following the garden tour we enjoyed a welcome and delicious home-produced lunch of soup, served with cheese scones, followed by quiche, new potatoes and salad from the garden.
We could have had beer and wine but chose elderflower cordial instead.
For the Workshop Days Sue offers a 3 course lunch with drinks, and then an afternoon workshop where people learn to produce potions, poultices, infusions of their choice using natural herbs and products.
If you fancy a Full Day out with a Difference on Tuesday 16th April please let Carol know.
The normal charge per person per day is €45 but Sue can offer the Club a special discount of €30 per person.
If you would prefer not to walk up and down the mountain Pete can pick you up taking a scenic route to their house.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A GARDEN CLUB MEETING. THE CLUB WILL MEET AS USUAL ON TUESDAY 9TH APRIL

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