Portuguese nature, part 2: Deforestation?
If you walk around in all that noise, it seems as if all the trees of Portugal have been brought here. Huge piles of large logs that are ready for processing, trucks full of wood, hard-working people and impressive machines. Everything is ready for the deforestation of the land.
Portugal and deforestation – what about that?
The entire country is full of forests, full of trees. It is only a certain species. The kind that is Useful. The kind that gives ROI (return on investment). So, eucalyptus. And pine trees. And in the south cork oaks, the name indicates its return already. From the first, paper is made, the second gives us pallets, scaffolding wood and furniture.
For the latter you have to wait a while. From deforestation to usable wood – that takes a while
If we need wood, we go to the serração in Soure. A lot of those fully loaded trucks arrive there. In an incredible noise and with incredibly large machines, people turn it into shelves and pallets. And floorboards. They have a slot on one side, and a narrower piece on the other side that exactly falls into that slot. They call it “macho-femea” – I would like to leave this to your own imagination. I still find it a little embarrassing, although every builder knows the term. (Am I a prude?)
It is very handy to have such a pile of wood. Then it can dry
I now call it forest but in fact they are plantations. The eucalyptus remains for 9 years, and then goes to the paper mill. Pine trees grow a lot slower but still fast enough to be economically interesting. Thick planks and thin pallets are made of this.
And then we turn it into a beautiful dream kitchen cabinet! For instance.
We don’t really have a small kitchen. You can even say that we have a large kitchen, and yet while I’m cooking I sometimes whine about the space.
That actually only happens if there are more people for dinner. Then you want to put your salad bowl somewhere (ready), your dressings (it only gets better with an hour), your dessert (that still needs to settle in) and you want the space to marinate your pork chops or soy or knead your dough a little comfortably.
And there the trouble starts with the lack of space, large kitchen or not
I have had an idea for a while about a beauty of a cupboard. It must cover an entire wall, with compartments large enough to accommodate everything from blenders, juicers, Römer topfs, kitchen towels – you name it. And then all those trays with little dessert bowls, salade bowls, dough that needs to rest, baking trays, all those things that are ready and in your way – also.
That’s why I walked around in the noise of the serração, because it starts there
Hopefully, because for the time being it’s no more than a wish, an idea and a pile of wood. Probably 3 pine trees died for that pile. I am very sorry, dear trees, we are going to do our best to make a Very Nice Kitchen Cabinet!
I’ll keep you posted!
We moved here in 2000 from Rotterdam, Holland to the Termas-da-Azenha, Portugal. A big step, especially with two small children. We are busy to rebuild one of portugals cultural heirlooms: Termas-da-Azenha, an old spa which has been turned into several holiday homes, rooms and campsites, with a https://www.termas-da-azenha.com/en/recreation/: swimming pool, indoor and outdoor games like pingpong, petanque, a FancyDressingRoom and a small café. You’ll find mosaics and paintings everywhere.
The old bathhouse is going to be a museum, where you can see how things have changed. Since 2018 we call ourselves the first B&B&B in the world – Bed & Breakfast & Bathrobes. You can buy a home-made unique bathrobe/housecoat with us.
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