Seasonally inspired things to Learn, Make and Do

Journal

Traditional small scale agriculture

small farm in mallorca

When we were on holiday in Mallorca last month we visited a small scale farm via AirBnB experiences. I love these experiences which allow local people to put together a taster of their lives, to connect to people and allow holidaymakers to actually meet people and learn about their lives. It changes the way you experience a country.

Miquela and Moises are restoring a traditional finca - attempting to find a way of using the small plot of land that Miquela inherited from an aunt to provide an income so that they can bring up their children on the island.

Mallorca is mainly a tourist island - its income comes from sun seekers like me, crammed into a few months of the year - 30 million tourists visited the island last year.

This has meant that there is a pressure on natural resources like water - all those showers and swimming pools - and that there has also been a move from working on the land to working in the bars and restaurants.

Both Miquela and Moises had worked on charitable agricultural projects in the developing world - they met on a project in Nicaragua over a decade ago and worked there until their eldest child was born 4 years ago - but now find many of the problems facing small scale agriculture in Majorca are just as intractable.

I know from speaking to friends with crofts and smallholdings in the UK and US, that these issues - scarce labour, high production costs and the problems in getting produce to market in a way that can compete with larger scale production - threaten small scale production everywhere.

We harvested carob pods and figs from the trees which have grown on the finca for decades, we helped to prepare the field for winter crops, and we sampled traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables. It was idyllic - one of the highlights of our trip - but you could see the hard work.

I would really recommend checking out Air BnB experiences if you are visiting anywhere (I loved it so much and it was such an interesting and valuable experience, that we will be offering tours of our plot next year) and if you are going to be in Mallorca do go and visit Miquela and Moises and say I said 'Hola!'

Comments: 0 (Add)

Snapdragon social

Seraphina's eleven babies have grown so fast.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Now when she tries to gather them under her - usually if she hears the buzzard overhead - they all head under her feathers but their heads and tails stick out the side.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
She seems unperturbed and a little like an overstuffed tea cosy.
I think that the last time I had this wooden clothes horse out was when we needed to dry cloth nappies c. 2001.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The plant dyed alpaca house socks have all cured now, the dye is well sunk into the fibres, so over the past couple of days I've been washing and pressing and packaging them.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The link to the shop page for them will go out in Friday's newsletter first - the actual newsletter is all about the dye deck and if you want to get it straight into your inbox you can sign up on the website www.snapdragonlife.com or through my profile.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
These were all dyed with tansy - the very yellow ones from the plant at the top of the Studio meadow, the slightly more orange ones from the plant down by the Studio door.
Last year, in the spring,  I got a tiny amount of seed of a grey Shirley poppy. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I sowed half and gave half to @gracealexanderflowers .⁠⠀
⁠⠀
None came up, in my garden at least.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
This year two plants have appeared - a little fey and wan as Shirley poppies go, but with definitely grey flowers. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Well kind of a purply grey . . . and if I'm honest I prefer the rich plums of Pandora . . . but It is eminently instagrammable.
Yesterday Seth Godin wrote that instead of getting our ideas spread like wildfire (uncontrolled, destructive, leaving nothing) we should get them to spread like wildflowers instead.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I loved this idea.  Ideas that self seed and spread in groups, ideas that place themselves where they are happiest, where they can thrive.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Ideas that take root in unpromising places and bring joy.

These daisies moved into the top of the Studio Meadow last year- spreading from the garden rather than the fields- but wilding themselves none the less.
A bright new morning starting a bright new week. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
A row of dog daisies and love in a mist, fresh and light and optimistic.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I feel like I'm hovering on the edge of planning things outside my studio this week. It is tentative.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Today I have a meeting about something that will involve me leaving the premises. I'm part excited, part terrified - I think they are probably the same things in many ways.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I'm building up to going on holiday in a few weeks. It feels vertiginous.  I definitely need to build my social muscles back up.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
The globe thistles shouldn't be there. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It was meant to be a temporary nursery bed.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
They were a root cutting from my parents' garden - memories of pulling off the heads as missiles.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
It is the perfect place for them.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Low sun barrels along the path as the gloaming comes. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
They glow in the golden hour.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
I leave the heads alone.
Of all the half hardy annuals that are beginning to flower here, I think that cosmos purity is my favourite. ⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Happy and light and generous with its flowers.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
As you pick it, the foliage smells that dense herby/incense way that is perfect for the late summer/early autumn time.
Yesterday I was chatting to Eileen, who volunteers in the garden on Wednesday mornings, about how the Studio meadow changes in the light.  In particular how the warmer light in August - especially the soft evening light - makes everything glow.⁠⠀
⁠⠀
Walking back from checking things at work I snapped these big daisies with a speckle of purple loosestrife behind them.  Softly glowing.⁠⠀
⁠
snapdragon.life
FacebookTwitterPinterest

About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through my communities, both free and paid for, through my writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted activity kits, and through my online and in-person workshops I aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here

Loading