Thursday, 19 May 2011

Charcoal for Beginners, Apricots for Experts

Never a dull moment here on the farm, and when visitor Zimbo Rick (await your nickname all who enter here!!) offered to make us a charcoal kiln, we did not know how successful it would be.

The partly tamped wood releases its producer gas (the white smoke). Air traffic had to be diverted for three hours, man do these babies smoke!

As the smoke turns blue, we tamp all the air ducts and put rocks and soil on the lid, and wait twelve hours or so until it is 100% cool

Et voila, charcoal... our half an oil drum of wood yielded three full carrier bags of charcoal

Not just for BBQs, you can cook anything on it!

Using the rocket stove for another of Ricks impressive squid stews

Rocket stove at night, Stuart's delight

Given the amount of wood cooking systems, thought it was better to install five fire extinguisher points!!

Owl given a rare second off from playing with apricots to barmaid

One drawback with apricots is they tend to ripen all at the same time then have a very short shelf life

Dehydrating apricots for winter. They will freeze well for stewing and crumbles as well

NB Please note pictures of the opening party are on a previous blog, please click on the first entry for May in the right hand column

Opening party

P A R T Y !!!!!!!!

Thanks to all 55 guests and friends who attended the summer opening of Quinta Stuart on May 7th. Thanks especially to Wilson Waitering Services for the two high speed staff and massive thanks to Howard of Strings and Things for the fantastic live music, Gloria, Michaela, Michelle, Mike and all those who brought some tapas along.

Musical chairs... grown up version

Emma and Jack, thanks guys xx

Master tapa chef Michelle and Sarah

Stu and Owl and The Swanleys

So the hard work is finished for this year at Quinta Stu. Next winters project will be to add an eco swimming pond and a big tree house as an office for me. We have just fitted five big fire extinguishers around the property and with the help of Zimbo Rick now produce our own charcoal and have the new rocket stove up and running.

So we now have 1 tipi, 2 Goan style co co huts, The Owl House and the Cosy Cabin,1 movie theatre, 1 sofa lounge, 7 hammocks, 1 chill out zone and most importantly 1 honesty bar. If you need to escape from reality, we do week end specials starting at 75 euros for couples for three nights. Got the builders in... come and stay here.... Not so welcome friends, not enough space - send them here. Want to make some charcoal or bake some bread - come and stay!! Want to host a party, run a course or hide,come to our movie nights, want a pizza party and sleepover for your kids,speak to us or visit our web site at