Farming

Articles in ‘Farming’

A Spanish Shepherd by Richard Ansdell

December 1st, 2016

richard_ansdell_-_a_spanish_shepherd_1863

A Spanish Shepherd (1863) by Liverpool-born Richard Ansdell. The artist had travelled in southern Spain in the 1850s.

 

Winemaking and climate change

April 26th, 2011 From El País in English
Spain will be one of the areas most affected by climate change,” he said, adding that a one-degree temperature change pushes the boundaries of winemaking as much as 100 kilometers north – the fact that Britain now has 1,000 hectares of winemaking land would have been unthinkable just 150 years ago. Spain, by comparison, has 2.9 million acres of land planted with wine-producing vines.

Vultures on the roads

April 5th, 2011

Vultures in Catalonia are being increasingly spotted on the roads in search of roadkill, because of the paucity of their traditional sources of dead livestock: The EU prohibuts abandoning animal cacrasses because of mad cow’s disease. The above photo from La Vanguardia is along the N-230 between Lleida and Val d’Aran.

Vultures and climate change

October 18th, 2010

A new Spanish study has highlighted the role played by vultures in reducing energy consumption in Spain, saving the annual energy use of an estimated 9,000 homes and preventing 193,000 tons of CO2 from being released in the atmosphere. Spanish livestock farmers produces 380,000 tons of carrion, whose incineration involves a high energy cost. An adult vulture consumes some three kilos of meat a week, with all vultures in Spain consuming some 10,000 tonnes a year. Unfortunately the strict EU rules, as a result of mad cow’s disease, force many farmers to incinerate dead animals in official centres at a high cost to both them and in terms of CO2 production. I’d be interested in knowing how much CO2 the vultures would save if and when the EU rules are eventually relaxed.

More from 20 Minutos

A flock of sheep in Castilla

May 29th, 2010

REBAÑO Y TIERRAS by titoalfredo.

I liked this photo of a flock of sheep somewhere in Castilla y León. By Tito Afredo on Flickr.

Teruel truffles

May 19th, 2010

I thought this documentary by Escarabajo Verde about the booming truffle industry in Sarrión, Teruel was fascinating.

Truffles have had a positive effect on the local environment as 3000 hectares of holm oak have been planted in recent years, under which the truffles grow. Government subsidies  have aided the oak reforestation and truffle cultivation in unproductive hilly areas since 1987. There are now some 4,500 ha of truffle orchards in the surrounding county and 530 members in the local truffle association. The truffles, which are harvested using trained dogs, typically fetch local cultivators average prices of 5oo euros/kg, although retail prices of high-quality specimens may reach twice this amount. Sarrión has achieved the mutual goals of biodiversity conservation and improving the rural economy.

I’ve put together this brief guide to Truffles in Spain: Spain produces around 35% of world black truffle (Tuber melanosporum – trufa negra) output. Some 10,000 people are involved as harvesters…

Free range eggs in Spain

February 9th, 2010 It is easier than it used to be to buy free-range eggs in urban areas in Spain. But beware of misleading bucolic pictures on egg cartons. Free-range eggs are often called huevos de granja (huevos de pagés in Catalonia) but if you don’t trust the seller, the best way is to check the first number of the codes on the eggs themselves: 0-hens raised outdoors ecologically 1-hens raised outdoors 2-barn-raised hens 3-battery-farmed hens

Traditional agriculture in León

February 1st, 2010

http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=2864.0;attach=5785;image

Dave spotted this remarkable scene of “a working pair of Oxen  with a cart full of manure, which the driver was distributing over a small rectangle of newly ploughed land. Location: some 40km from León capital. More here on the forum.

EU may change dead livestock law

December 10th, 2009 The Guardian reports here on a study by scientists that vultures should be allowed to return to their old jobs as nature’s waste managers. They say the birds are suffering as they increasingly depend on being fed by people. The law was changed in 2002 because of mad cow disease and outlawed the leaving of carcasses of dead cows, as well as sheep, goats and other livestock, in the open. The upcoming decision by the EU on whether to change the law affecting dead livestock will have important repercusions for Spanish wildlife. The Spanish government has called on the European Union to alter the rules on the animal corpses and allow farmers to leave them where they fall.

Andalusian fields from space

October 2nd, 2009

Satellite Eye on Earth:  PS10 and PS20 solar mirror-tower networks, Seville, Spain

Image captured by Nasa’s Earth Observatory satellites last month

In a patchwork of agricultural fields outside Seville, Spain, two towers rise above the plain (at the centre of the top of the image). Nearby arrays of mirrors reflect light onto the towers, illuminating the water vapor and dust suspended in the air and creating visible beams. Within the towers, the thermal energy from the concentrated light creates steam, and the steam powers turbines to generate electricity. Known as PS10 and PS20, the mirror-tower networks are part of a larger project intended to meet the energy needs of some 180,000 homes roughly the energy needs of Seville by 2013, without greenhouse gas emissions

The Guardian