It has been a busy winter so far in Castelo Branco‘s community gardens at the “Quinta do Chinco” (= Chinco Farm). The farm offers gardening workshops for citizens from different generations and backgrounds, the possibility for them to become active in the community and support for underprivileged families in the area. Let us take a look at some of the activities of the last few months:
Olive Harvesting Recreation with Schools
The activity, held in the Quinta do Chinco community gardens, was aimed at children aged 8-9 years old. The Quinta do Chinco staff started by explaining the origin of the olive tree and its importance in the production of a very important food in healthy eating and Mediterranean Diet: Olive Oil. Then, the purpose of each of the tools needed to harvest the olive (ladders, harvest nets, sieve, stick) was described, immediately moving on to the long-awaited activity: harvest the olive, clean it and place it in boxes for delivery to the mill. In this activity they had the participation of 9 classes, in a total of 195 students and 20 teachers.
Magusto” (feast of St Martin celebrated by roasting chestnuts on a bonfire)
Quinta do Chinco made their space available for a solidarity event organized by the Voluntary Association for the Support of the Elderly. Magusto had around 50 participants, including volunteers and seniors.
Collective Harvesting of Olives – Activity with gardeners
After the «Olive Harvesting Recreation with Schools» activity, Quinta do Chinco gardeners gathered to harvest the remaining olives. After the olive harvest, they shared lunch followed by “Magusto”, where they roasted chestnuts on a bonfire. This activity is a tradition at Quinta do Chinco, promoting conviviality, sharing and well-being for all users of the community gardens. This year we had 40 gardeners and their families coming to the event.
Olive oil mill extraction process
Olives from the community gardens Quinta do Chinco were brought to CATAA´s olive oil mill, where the oil was obtained from olives by cold pressing method.
Guided Tours to Quinta do Chinco
Quinta do Chinco is highly sought after on guided tours by the academic community. This time, we received the Socio-Cultural Animation course at the ETEPA Vocational School, with the participation of 12 students and 2 teachers. These visits aim to understand the importance of the Social Gardens project in the Community, how it works and all its dynamics.
Every year at Christmas, Quinta do Chinco community gardens, in collaboration with its gardeners, prepares baskets with vegetables and other essential goods to offer to social Institutions. In 2021, 19 baskets were offered to the Associação de Apoio à Criança do Distrito de Castelo Branco (child support association).
Training in Organic Agriculture for new gardeners in community gardens
With the renewal of the contract of some gardeners and the entry of 20 new gardeners with mandatory training, training in organic farming was carried out for 55 gardeners. The training lasted 6 hours, being 3 of the theoretical component and 3 of the practical component.
Workshop: Fruit tree pruning
At Quinta do Chinco community gardens there is a biological orchard, installed in 2019, consisting of several species of fruit trees. Every year in January/February the orchard needs pruning. This year, we took the opportunity to do a pruning workshop and invited our gardeners to participate.