Tuesday, 29 September 2009

A New Sheep Shelter

The new sheep shelter in the Castañarina farm finished today.

Our farm is divided up into different plots of land and when the sheep are grazing we like them to be able to have access to shelter from these different plots in case of bad weather. Our original stable is in the middle of the apple orchard and the sheep have direct access to this stable from six of the farm plots. However when we brought the Castañarina farm in 2003 the sheep had no shelter whilst grazing this farm as it is too far from the stable.

To reduce the labour input for maintaining the rocky pasture land in Castañarina, we considered it necessary to have the sheep grazing here for a couple of months over the winter period. To allow the sheep to have access to shelter whilst grazing this farm in the winter we decided to build a sheep shelter.

There are various old stone walls in the Castañarina and we thought it would be good to use these old walls as part of the sheep shelter. We also wanted to use materials we had available on the farm as much as possible. This reflects our desire to start incorporating more permaculture principles on the farm.

We finished building this new sheep shelter today and the photos beneath show the building process.

The sheep shelter site before we started work, with parts of the original stone wall somewhat overgrown with vegetation.

The site now cleared and beginning to restore the stone walls.

One of the restored walls and the first roof beam .

All the Eucalyptus beams (cut from the farm) positioned on the stone walls.

Roofing in place, made from old pallets we had collected over time.

The pallets covered with plastic and secured with sheep wire and stones.

Front view of the shelter.

Room with a view, looking from inside the shelter out. No problems with over booking now!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Farm Fungi

The blusher (Amanita rubescens).

One of this year’s projects on the farm is to extend the Farm Flora Guide beyond herbaceous flora and into other areas. The herbaceous flora section itself has been constantly updated as new species have been found and better photo’s taken, and we will soon be adding three new sections, all of which are currently in progress – trees, ferns, and fungi. So, as a little behind-the-scenes glimpse to whet your whistle on a wet autumn day, here are a few fungi photos taken on the farm….
Common zoned polyporus (Trametes versicolor).

Clathrus rubber (no common name).

The common earthball (Scleroderma citrinum).

The common stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus).

Dog-vomit slime-mould, a.k.a. scrambled-egg slime-mould (Fuligo septica).

The hazel rough-stalk (Leccinum carpini).

The octopus stinkhorn (Clathrus archeri).

More information on the farm natural history
Entry and photos by Hugh Taylor

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Joe's Food Recipes

August has come to an end and with it the surge of Spanish tourists (who come to Asturias fleeing from the hot temperatures of the south) have gone. The roads are quieter, the beaches almost empty and the mountains as remote and wild as ever.

Our son Sebastian has also gone (to do voluntary work in the UK) but before he left he finished a lot of work on the hotel web site, (amongst other jobs). So thanks to him we now have incorporated a new section on our web site titled Joes Food Recipes.

The idea of writing the recipes has been something we have been considering for a long time as we have had many requests from guests for recipes for the food they have eaten whilst staying at the hotel. So to start with we have now put eleven of Joe’s recipes on the web. We’ve included recipes for, aperitifs, soups, vegetarian and non vegetarian main dishes, desserts as well as basic recipes for bread and cakes.

Writing recipes is something new for us, so if you do happen to try any of these recipes out, we will be very happy to receive your feedback

These recipes are dedicated to our guests because without them, the hotel and restaurant wouldn't exist. So we hope you enjoy looking at the new web section Joe’s Food Recipes and try some of the dishes either at the hotel restaurant or cooked by your selves.


Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.