cover photo


olive harvesting

At the end of the day @els Mussols is an olive finca. Harvesting time is coming and we are looking for folks to come and help.

We need help for the last week of October and the first two weeks of November. It's hard but fun work. We provide (free) accommodation and we eat communally.

Anyone up for an unusual holiday?

Ask questions...
Where is that? I would like to but I am here crossing the Atlantic ocean in Colombia :P
Catalunya (or Spain if you prefer).
i'd love to, but i have to be in cabo and then jamaica that time period.. next year though i will do it if you still need help.
things slow you down

@els Mussols Not in my plan this morning: dropping a breeze block on my big toe. Cold water, ibuprofen and arnica cream have been applied.
Here's hoping you bounce back soon.
Thank you all.
You picked a hell of a way to break the stereotype about punk rock anarchists and steel toed boots.  May Asprina, the Goddess of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatories, smile warmly upon you and your injury and grant you a speedy recovery!
dry stone walling photo album

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Wed, 25 Apr 2018 00:15:55 +0200
Photo upload issue sorted. Feast your eyes on the photo album.
  last edited: Wed, 25 Apr 2018 07:48:17 +0200  
Your terrain looks nearly identical to where I live. The plants have that same grey/green coloring. The ground has the same rocky/clay, and we have similar mountains in the background.

Well done, @elmussol ! :-)
stuff you do

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Sat, 21 Apr 2018 00:42:33 +0200
dry stone walling
Today, an off-grid friend called Josie came and ran a dry-stone walling learning session at els Mussols. Fifteen people assembled and repaired a free-standing wall and two sections of damaged terracing. We all had an excellent time and learned much, the weather was lovely and we ate a communal curry.

A photo album will be going up tomorrow.
Dry-stone walls are typical in my home region too. Really nice hand made work that fewer and fewer people are able to do these days.  When they come down usually nonody repair them.
I'd really like to attend a session to learn the technique!
Come for a holiday here and we'll teach you :-)
seed swappin'

Just got back from a splendid afternoon out at the finca of @JamJarChris A few beers, a few coffees, veggie paella, home-made biscuits, excellent company with some local off-gridders and seed and plant swapping. A welcome escape from @els Mussols.

(And a little Hubzilla evangelism and planning truth be known ;-))
Was a fine time - exchanged ideas and plants - excellent. Great meet up.
Hubzilla for the tool-share idea, I feel.
example additional content

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:42:04 +0200
choc-chip cookies
Originally published by Ben Masters on the els Mussols Xerta Facebook page -- 05 February 2016

Favourite Choc-Chip Cookies

1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 level tablespoon golden syrup
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup choc chips
1/2 cup broken walnuts

Put the oil, sugar, syrup, egg, vanilla and salt in a bowl.
Whisk well.
Roll chocolate and nuts in the flour and bicarb then mix this in with the rest.
Drop teaspoonfuls onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving room for them to spread and bake in a moderate oven for 10-12 minutes.
If you can't get golden syrup replace sugar and syrup measures above with 1/2 cup white sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar.
I've never used olive oil in a cookie before. Does it change the flavor much compared to shortening or butter?
You use what you've got a lot of and is local. Since we moved here, all the recipes that had butter in (never really used "shortening") have been replaced by oil. It makes less difference than you might think.

Ben says her rule of thumb is replace one ounce of butter with one fluid ounce of oil (slightly less oil in pastry than cake). Her cooking style generally is not ruled by measurement however. It all goes in a bowl until it "looks and feels right" -- this is obviously difficult to convey in a formal recipe ;-)
it's called momentum building

 Xerta last edited: Tue, 10 Apr 2018 10:43:47 +0200  
els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:18:00 +0200
expansion of channel scope
When I first set this channel up in Friendica [sic] on many aeons ago, I never intended it to be just a place where the daily data was dumped, with the odd personal reflection from my personal channel.

That is however what it became, but that is going to change.

Before the next data dump there will be at least one item of additional content. Before the next data dump after that there will be at least one item of additional content. You get the idea.

At least at first, much of this content will be from the successful and long-running ElsMussolsXerta page that Ben runs on Facebook.

Now is as good a time as any to connect here if you're at all interested in what we're doing.
shameless self-promotion

First one back should be a reshare, right?

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Sat, 31 Mar 2018 23:37:25 +0200
201803 data summary
days: 31
egg count: 133 (4.3/day | max: 7)
solar in: 1,374.0Ah (44.3Ah/day | max: 75.1Ah)
energy consumption: 35kWh (1.1kWh/day | max: 2kWh (7x))
eggcoin: 8
chickens: -3
occupancy: 12 nights (39%)

#egg #solar #consumption #eggcoin #chicken #occupancy
...and we're back

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Sun, 18 Mar 2018 00:22:50 +0100
20180317 data
day: 76
egg count: 3 [=]
solar in: 25.2Ah [-]
energy consumption: <1kWh [-]
eggcoin: 1 (March: 4 | 2018: 7)

#egg #solar #consumption #eggcoin
It's an indicator of the number of eggs we sell. One eggcoin is half a dozen eggs and is equivalent to 20c (Euro cents). The original plan was to donate this to RedMatrix developers but @Mike Macgirvin has been reluctant to take it, so in future it will go to Hubzilla fundraising efforts.

We welcome donations. I've turned away a couple at times when the donator already appeared to be stretching their financial abilities to the breaking point. This is not a machine. We're humans and we respect other humans and their conditions.
happy to have this back

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Sat, 17 Mar 2018 23:53:46 +0100
previously on "The Daily Data Dump"
I have felt bad about not having this valuable daily service available, but am glad to be back with it.

So here's where we stand with the stats for 2018 so far.

We have ten laying chickens at the moment and our cockerel, Vincenzo (Vinnie) Nibali.

day: 75
egg: 225 (3.0/day)
solar: 2,730.8Ah (36.4Ah/day)
energy consumption: 37kWh (0.9kWh/day)
eggcoin: 6
water run: 2
occupancy: 49.3% (37 days)

#egg #solar #consumption #eggcoin #water #occupancy #summary
our cockerel, Vincenzo (Vinnie) Nibali

Is there some coincidence with the 2010 Vuelta a España championship ?
@Alimentazione e quello che sta intorno Good guess, but actually 2014 Tour de France.
  last edited: Sun, 18 Mar 2018 13:01:22 +0100  
Vinnie "The Shark" won Stage 2 of that years Tour; a stage which went past the end of the street we lived on in Sheffield for twenty years. Vinnie "The Cockerel" was acquired a few days after this event.
the moment you have been yearning for

@els Mussols @Zot universe NEWS+ Long-term residents will remember the daily #eggcount. From tomorrow, it's back.
Finaly we can start to gamble again cocktail glass smoking symbol
questions for tea drinkers

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 12:18:32 +0100  
Two questions in fact, but first some background. For the last year or so we have been making tea out of olive leaves (we have a surplus don't you know) and have really loved it. So have the guests and like all our products often want to take some home. Additionally tea is not a particular dense substance (unlike olive oil, chutney or jam to pick some random examples) and it therefore postable.

We are going into production and @els Mussols olive leaf tea may soon be available via the interweb. So in the interests of market research (eek) here are my questions (bearing in mind that the product in question is organic, hand-picked and -processed):

1: What package weights should we be looking at?

2: What do you pay locally for speciality teas of this sort?
Cool! I'm no good to answer your questions, but sounds like a great idea. Never tried olive-leaf tea before.
I will ask the tea drinker here in the house. Takes 24 hours.
I'd say 250g, too.

I've never seen or tasted olive leave tea. In tea shops, very good teas (especially scarce varieties) can go beyond € 10,–/100g (!). "Normal" good teas will sell for around 2-5 €/100 g.

Supermarket teas by well-known brands (not their "special" varieties) are around 1 €/100g, I think. Cheap supermarket teas are much, much cheaper, but those are normally only sold as tea bags (€ 0,19 for 40 tea bags, e.g.).
there's always a project on

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 13:00:45 +0100  
Looks like Ben's got a new crafty thing to do, No piece of fabric is safe:

This is a rug I believe (there are two on the go). One is daughter and partner's Christmas present I'll wager.
nice. made with love
@Manuel Jiménez Friaza i am with you, leave this to those that know
Harri's first

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:05:42 +0100  
@Chicken Channel+ One of our hatchlings from last autumn (Harriet) laid her first today. Her sisters (who are the same age) have been laying for a while. The #egg is tiny :-)

elmussolelmussol wrote the following post Tue, 31 Mar 2015 23:27:57 +0200
Can you tell which is Harri's? (That's a €2 coin for size comparison.)

it's windy

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:12:39 +0100  
Holy cow it's windy -- 100+kph. Gonna be a rough night.
In't olives brilliant!?

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:34:17 +0100  
@els Mussols  I am a little leery of some such sites, but this seems a little more scientific than most. It also panders to a great number of my prejudices -- I'm an olive farmer for heaven's sake ;-)

We obviously use our oil on a daily basis, but we have additionally started regularly drinking olive leaf tea in the last year or so. Strikes me that the tea would be easy and cheapish to post as it's not very dense (unlike oil).


This Simple Leaf Prevents Stroke, Hypertension, Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and More


Once used by the Egyptians, it was first mentioned officially in Europe as medicine about 150 years ago. In 1854, The Pharmaceutical Journal...
you can curry anything

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:42:28 +0100  
We've got paying guests this evening and because they are vegan and one is gluten-intolerant they decided to take up the evening meal option (eating out would be tricky to say the least). My turn to cook. We also have a glut of wild asparagus.

TIL: curried wild asparagus is a thing and a damn good thing at that. Sorry no photo as we ate it all.
2014 data summary

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:23:23 +0100  
Sufficiently important for a reshare methinks.

els Mussolsels Mussols wrote the following post Wed, 07 Jan 2015 17:11:54 +0100

2014 data summary
egg count: 2,695 (7.4/day) | max: 15 (19 July)
solar in: 21,836.5Ah (59.8Ah /day) | max: 124.9Ah (09 July)
energy consumption: 542kWh (1.6kWh/day) | max 3kWh (44 times)
eggcoin: 196 (€39.20) [only recorded since 06 March]
olives weighed in: 830.5kg
oil collected: 145l
water runs: 24 (~15,600l)
casita occupancy: 93 of 365 days (25.5%)

#egg #solar #consumption #eggcoin #olive #water #occupancy #summary
Do you take mail order? I never tasted really good olive oil, so if it's possible to send it to Germany and I can afford it, I'd like to buy half a liter or so.
Sounds like everything is on a roll. 25%occupancy? I'm impressed.
:) that did not occur to me until you pointed it out
summary tomorrow

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 22:21:06 +0100  
I'm going to publish the @els Mussols 2014 summary data tomorrow. Best guess for annual #egg count?

this is officially the first red thread that never got off topic, your chicken only thoughts below
@adam robertson if you do not understand , wait until you do
we've done the (second) harvest

 Xerta last edited: Wed, 21 Mar 2018 23:34:49 +0100  
@els Mussols  I've already mentioned we took 436kg in on Tuesday. This afternoon we picked up 81l. Total is now up to 145l. We already have orders for some. I will be writing next week when it stops being rainy and cloudy about what other oil may be for sale...