Interview with Nick Vercauteren 3/3

Veronika Bond Interview

This is part 3 of an interview with Nick Vercauteren. After losing his Quinta in the firestorm of October 2017, Nick started from scratch, redesigned his vegetable patch and started replanting his orchard. Now he is well on his way to regrowing his little garden of Eden. HP —Many people come to Portugal and want to grow their own food, …

Interview with Nick Vercauteren 2/3

Veronika Bond Interview

This is part two of an interview with Nick Vercauteren. Nick and Kim lost their whole Quinta in the firestorm of October 2017. We wanted to know  how Nick recovered from this loss. HP — What was the hardest part for you? What did you miss most? Nick — The hardest part was to see all my hard work from …

Interview with Nick Vercauteren 1/3

Veronika Bond Interview

  This is an interview with Nick Vercauteren. Nick and Kim bought a Quinta in Central Portugal 3 years ago. They have 1,5 acres of land which they cultivate with vegetables and fruit trees. Like most Quintas in this area, the land is divided into several terraces. There are mature olive trees, vines and some fruit trees which have been …

HUMUS, the black gold of the earth

Veronika Bond Books

Books on humus are relatively rare. This the more surprising, the more you realise how important this stuff is! Our current era has been declared the ‘Decade of Soils’, because humus is expected to run out within the next 60 years. That’s serious. Without humus, there will be no food, no plants, no animals, no humans, no life on earth. …

Wormfood

Veronika Bond Edaphon

Earthworms are the most important soil builders. Charles Darwin and other experts called them the ‘architects of the soil’. There is a worrying shortage of earthworms in Portuguese soils. But we can bring them back by creating an environment that is attractive for them. And what’s more attractive than food? Earthworms need large amounts of plant materials, rotting plants, including …

Humus or Compost?

Veronika Bond Humus

Do you know the difference between humus and compost? I used to think the difference is pretty obvious. However, since this has become one of my favourite topics to read, write and talk about, I realised that it’s not that obvious at all! In popular English gardening literature the words are often used interchangeably. In German gardening books, the difference …

Miraculous Abundance

Veronika Bond Books

We recently finished reading a beautiful book called Miraculous Abundance by Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer. “Nothing prepared us to become farmers,” Charles writes in the introduction. “Perrine was an international lawyer; I was a sailor.” Having bought a small farm in a Normandy valley, Perrine and Charles moved into their new home — a thatched old farmhouse — in 2004 …

Maye Bruce's Compost Preparation

Veronika Bond Humus

Nearly 100 years ago, Maye Bruce, a gardener and founder member of the Soil Association in England,  began to experiment with the plant preparations recommended by Rudolf Steiner for biodynamic agriculture. Because the biodynamic preparations were difficult to make for many gardeners, incuding herself, she developed her own recipe. The result is a homoeopathic preparation. It stimulates the decomposition process, …