Yesterday I was fortunate enough to learn how to prune the vineyard, in dry vineyards in the north of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, with a winegrower as a teacher, who in turn learned not only from his grandfather, but also from his constant trainings regarding the world of Canarian wine and viticulture (1). Quite a luxury, if we take into account that some vines are around 100 years old, because the Canary Islands, because of its remoteness, was freed from the plague of the vine.
First I had a good time listening to the explanations, and watching how the vineyard is pruned. Then they left me, under the watchful eye of the winegrower, to start practicing what I learned in parras of grape types; black listan, white listan, and negramol.
Pruning is the most important part of the winemaking process ? Depends on how it is made, it will affect not only the harvest, but also the production process. Hence this teacher spends several days pruning fondly.
Steps to prune the vineyard
The vineyard pruning could be summarized in the following steps;
Do it carefully and patiently, because once you cut, there is no turning back. So take a good look before you prune.
Pruning from back to front, to see better how the vine and its rods will develop
Look at the vine, in this case leaning on vegetable trellises, and see where their rods are headed
If you’re not sure, then you can redirect the rods to the back, and if necessary tangle them on the vegetable trellises before pruning
If you see a rod coming out of the ground, attached to the trunk of the parch, you can bury it (bury the first part of the rod), to remove the remaining part of the rod on the other hand, and thus cover a nearby space
Ideally there should be 2 rods in the shape of the letter “V”, with distance between them, so that they do not get hindered when growing, and oriented to grow vertically or close to the vegetable trellises
You can take a third or fourth rod, tangle it on the vegetable trellises, and then take it out to cover another space
Pruning over the node, and diagonally, so that the tear that comes off the rod goes in the opposite direction to the node
Pruning rods that come out towards the ground from the root, because diseases can not only come from the top, but also from the bottom of the vine
The part of the rod that you prune, you can cut it into smaller pieces and throw them to the ground, so that when it rains it retains the water, instead of running downhill
Completely prune, from the root, the rods that go in the opposite direction to the vegetable trellises, and you can take advantage of them to replant, once you have removed the heel (the thicker bottom part)
If it is a thin rod cut from the third node from the root of the rod, and if it is thick you can cut it from the second node
Prune the small rods you see dry, top to bottom, because you may encounter the green part of the rod
Pruning the rest of the rods to grow as close to the vegetable trellises as possible
Here are some other tips I learned;
Pruning must be done between December and February
The vegetable trellises should be about 6 feet high, so that the sun reaches all the leaves, and grow as much as possible
The streets of the trellises must have a distance from each other of about 6 feet, for the same reason, and because it facilitates all the work of the vineyard, including pruning and harvesting
Putting rose bushes in the vineyards, because it would give the ⚠ warning that a disease is coming in, as they are so delicate that they would catch it first
If you want to know more, ask us the question in the comments, we will ask the winegrower, and we will answer you as soon as possible.
(1) Link to see the training offered by the Cabildo (Government) of Tenerife; https://formacionagraria.tenerife.es/
Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!
Because it happened to us in one of our terminals. On Friday the laptop keyboard was working, and on Monday it stopped working. Good thing we were able to do a voice search on Google, and that we came across information to activate the keyboard on the screen (*), which helped us search for information on the internet.
We read information, watched videos, and tried various tricks and tips (for example; Fn + F6 function key, disable filter keys, etc.), but none worked. So we took it to the computer store. Programmed obsolescence?.
After 2 days the computer store called us, and they told us that the keyboard is broken, that the new one takes 15 days to arrive, and that it costs 45 euros. The alternative?, buy a portable keyboard with USB from 6 euros.
(*) Click the home button, then click “Windows Accessibility”, and then “On-Screen Keyboard”. A keyboard will appear on our screen. Finally, you have to click inside of the field where you are going to type, and then with the mouse type the letters on the screen keyboard,
If they are not typed, then put the screen keyboard in front of the page where you want to type, which will be behind it, click back into the field where you want to type, and click on the letters on the screen keyboard.
Solution to activate HP Laptop Keyboard with Windows 10
Convinced that the keyboard was not broken, and trying not to contribute to throwing more electronic garbage into the world, nor to incentivize the unnecessary consumption of electronic products, we looked for information again, but this time testing different combinations of keywords, for example; Windows 10, HP keyboard, HP keyboard and windows 10, etc. until we typed the phrase shown in the title of this post.
Of all the articles we read, we recommend the following, because thanks to this one, running option number 6, we solve the problem:
From the beginning of this website, I tried to make it accessible to everyone, but to my unpleasant surprise it is not so easy. On the one hand, I have not found software that adapts to several disabilities at once, and on the other hand, I have not obtained help to adapt the web to both visual and auditory disabilities, even asking one of the organizations most involved in Spain in the integration of all groups in society.
Besides, I do not understand how it is not mandatory by law, the fact that all websites are adapted at least to visual impairment. I also regret that internet service is not free and accessible to everyone. This continues to create inequalities in today’s society.
On this website you can use software to make it a little more accessible to visual, auditory, impairment. Here’s how to do it, although the web listening part doesn’t work on mobile.
To better see the web
On the one hand, you have two icons on the left of your screen. One circular black and white to change the contrast color, and another with the letter T in lowercase and uppercase to increase the font size, as shown in the following screenshots. You can use both functions at once.
To listen to the web
On the other hand, even if it only works on the PC, you can listen to the content of this website, first highlighting the content you want to hear, and then clicking on the speaker icon, as shown in the screenshot below;
If you know other ways to make this website more accessible, please write in the comments, or please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much in advance.
Other options for listening to the internet
And I’m sure you already know, but just in case I leave a couple of visual impairment help links:
To access YouTube content;
To listen to the internet with nvaccess screen reader https://www.nvaccess.org/download/
On mobiles; settings/accessibility/tallback
On iPads; settings/accessibility/voiceover
Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!
Since in the previous post we talked about taking care of body health, now let’s talk about taking care of mental health. We all know how to be happy, and since childhood we have been told that in life we must be happy, but the truth is that depending on what our life is like, we are not often happy for one reason or another. It is clear that it also depends on where we were born, how we have been educated inside and outside home, on the opportunities that life has given us, etc.
Life is simple, but we complicate it. We need little; feel useful with a job, relate to others, and have enough money to meet our basic needs (food, water, some clothes, and a place to live).
I recently watched a comedy film about happiness, and it was enough for me to remember how little we need to be happy (it’s titled “Hector and the Search for Happiness” from 2014). It’s good from time to time to be reminded of it.
It’s funny, but I think we take more care of body health than mental health. I’ve at least done it that way out of ignorance. In fact, it’s not even rightly seen that we take care of our mental health. I remember being asked in a job interview if I received psychological support, such as whether it was a bad or an indicator of a functional disability or skills. The truth is, I’ve never been there, but I’m sure we all need one.
Let us not forget how our health affects the way we deal with challenges and difficulties in life, and let us not forget that we must develop healthy mental habits. Again, I only share my experiences, just in case someone else didn’t know why stress is bad.
On the one hand, one day I was struck by a doctor saying in a talk, that it is better to study healthy workers, to be able to determine the aspects that influence it, but I was more struck by the fact that he said that we caused stress on others, and in work as well, so we should realize and improve the method with which we communicate and relate with our colleagues. It’s obvious, but it opened my eyes, because I didn’t have it internalized. I still have a hard time thinking about it before I act or talk.
On the other hand, a colleague shared a radio interview with psychiatrist Marian Rojas Estapé (interviewed by a madness called Cristina – she doesn’t say the surname). And after listening to it several times, I learned what I should and shouldn’t do, and decided to summarize and share it with friends. I share the summary of the interview below.
WHY SHOULD WE REDUCE STRESS?
The way we decide to respond to problems influences the outcome
Attitude before any circumstance determines how I respond to it
Happiness is how you interpret what happens to you, it depends on your view of reality, your mood
All emotions are preceded by a thought
Emotions activate and deactivate our cells, our bloodstream and even genes
Emotions activate neuro discharges, small substances that go to cells, and activate or deactivate membranes
The result may be that we have “happy” cells or “sad” cells, “resentful” cells or “rabid” cells, and that influences diseases
There is a substance of the body called cortisol, a cyclic hormone fundamental to survival, because without it we would not be here
In the face of threat, alertness, or fear, we activate cortisol
The level of cortisol at night is low, and throughout the night it rises, and has the highest peak in the morning when it makes you wake up and be active
A person who is constantly facing a threat (and if that, and if that…), then the body secretes cortisol, and segregates it equally when it happens to you like when you imagine it
My mind and body do not distinguish what is real from what is imaginary, and it has the same impact on the body
Cortisol is also positive as cortisone, because it is a very potent anti-inflammatory
When I live constantly on alert (and also counts to be alert all the time by notifications on mobile), with a threat or with fear, then the level of cortisol does not drop, and becomes an inflammator, removing all the defenses of the body, affecting the memory, affecting concentration and sleep
If the cortisol level is not low at night we do not get a good sleep, and the whole organism is intoxicated
Many depressions come from permanent warning states, and many psychiatrists believe they are inflammatory brain diseases (for this DO NOT use Ibuprofen)
WHAT SHOULD WE DO? (almost every day)
Exercise, because exercise eliminates cortisol
Educate thoughts: educate the inner voice so that it doesn’t make us self-boycott
Disconnecting more often from electronic devices, and looking for other stimuli that are rewarding (it will take us about 3 days, but “getting into airplane mode” gives us self-mastery)
To be assertive: to be able to respond to what happens to me without being aggressive. I must express it, because “if I swallow it” the cells get sick (but this does not mean expressing for example; “how horrific your jacket is”)
You have to let the brain disconnect, relax, and connect with its inner world, because it transforms the brain and heals (e.g. reading a book and listening to classical music, walking in the countryside, an interesting conversation, a little wine with friends, etc).). And all this without thinking about work, without looking at the time to get home, and without phones or devices.
Don’t obsess about taking advantage of time (if we have chronopathy or illness of time), because it’s a risk factor for being inflamed, and could lead to a panic attack or a heart attack. You have to learn to slow down.
If you are taking anti-depressants or anxiolytics, then include omega3 in your diet, because it has been shown to be a powerful brain anti-inflammatory that improves mood
By the way, omega3; “They can be found in foods such as fish, fish oils, milk and seaweedgrown.”, and depends on what it is taken, the CDR intake can be between 250 milligrams and 4 grams (Source Ministry of Health .- http://www.aecosan.msssi.gob.es/AECOSAN/web/seguridad_alimentaria/noticias_efsa/2012/efsa_omega3.htm)
But the best tips to take care of our mental health will be given to us by a collegiate specialist, in the following link;
I write this post, because I think most of us are misinformed about how we should feed ourselves. I’ve been learning while stumbling, habits that I’ve been doing wrong all my life, and that I’d learned in the family. I grew up with Mediterranean food culture, but as I entered the labor market, my eating habits worsened, especially at lunch. I admit that I have also not been consistent making daily exercises.
We need time to buy fresh chemical-free food, and we need training to know how to combine and cook them properly. After many years, the responsibility of acquiring knowledge about how to bring a good diet arose before our child was born, and the result was devastating (insecticides, pesticides, fungicides, pesticides, chemical additives, GMOs, tiny labels of ingredients or in another language, organic products mixed with others that are not, etc.). All legal, but with studies showing signs of not being healthy.
Only drink water then?, yes, but in a glass bottle. And where do I buy vegetables, fruits, cereals and legumes without all the aforementioned suspicious components?, and how do I know that what they tell me is true?, and where do I buy the dairy for the child?. There is no choice but to look, keep searching, asking, keep asking, and when you find it, then trust on them, unless you find the official organic seal in the product. Here I leave a link to the official European information regarding this seal;
I found a farmer years ago who has his own small grocery shop, and who tells me which products he grows organically (which are not all the products he sells). So I end up buying his seasonal and organic products.
I buy dairy products on a 90% organic farm (because there is a grain that animals eat and that they cannot guarantee to be organic). I bought raw goat’s milk (need to boil it), and I currently buy yogurts and cheeses.
They are both transparent small firms, and both of them have offered me to go to see their fields or their farm (also to see how the animals live, how they milk them, how they clean the facilities, etc.). And you don’t have to warn them when you’re going. These are indicators that you can look for to build that trust.
We no longer eat as much fresh fish, since we learn about the micro-plastics that enter our organism through fish, which in turn ingest it in the plastic-infested oceans. Besides, where I live, we don’t have access to fish farms that give organic feed to fish.
And we stopped eating meat before that, because we read about legal antibiotics that are given to sick animals, hormones, GMOs cereals, the way some animals live and are treated, etc. Now we only eat white meat sporadically, even though we eat organic eggs (did you know that an egg has to be fertilized for a chicken to be born?).
And what else can we do?
We all know what healthy habits are broadly; do not smoke, do not drink alcoholic beverages, eat a healthy diet, exercise, relate to others, etc.. But the training that we have received in this regard most of us, except those who study these disciplines, has been through the transmission of traditions and customs from generation to generation.
Almost everybody has heard sayings such as; “take hot milk with honey” for the cold, or “have a coffee to wake you up,” or “you can use the same oil for salad and frying.” Well, it turns out that the hot liquid overrides the properties of honey. Similarly, coffee must be taken at a certain time, because the human body already generates cortisol in the morning to wake us up (in some cases it can decalcify as well). And the extra virgin and virgin oil retain its cold properties, and to heat is better the high oleic oil (which some brands call “soft”).
Reducing the consumption of saturated fats is brought out even in the jokes (on Monday I´ll start the diet, but I will not say which Monday I refer to). Below you can read the World Health Organization’s recommendations on the intake of saturated fats; https://www.who.int/features/factfiles/obesity/es/
We must be alert to the various studies of the possible effects of legal additives such as carrageenans, also called E-477 (I learned about them because a brand of whipped cream did not put the amount included of E-477 in its products). Now I only buy whipping cream with a single ingredient; milk cream. Especially to make homemade ice creams in summer;
COMMISSION Regulation No 1129/2011 of 11 November 2011. Official Journal of the European Union L 295/1
Also look at the possible effects of GMOs, and when the label says “non-EU originating” (they are not governed by European standards). Here’s the link to a Greenpeace guide to know which brands and products carry or not GMOs, which while not up-to-date, has helped me to make right decisions many times;
We should not assume that legislators have all the necessary information when it comes to voting on laws. Nor should we assume that manufacturers and producers are not trying to influence legislators. For example, on 5 March 2016 a total of 21 European countries voted to ban, in their respective countries, the cultivation of the MON 810 maize GMO, and European parliamentarians representing Spain did not;
To find out how much proportion we should eat from each food on a plate, I recommend watching the infographic of the following link (study conducted by Harvard University); https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-eating-plate/
I also leave you another link on how to eat healthy, and more on physical activity, from the World Health Organization; https://www.who.int/es/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet
Y no olvidemos como afecta a nuestra salud la manera en la que afrontamos los retos y dificultades en la vida, y no olvidemos que debemos desarrollar hábitos mentales saludables. Particularmente, te recomiendo leer sobre el estrés y el cortisol. Puedes leer un resumen haciendo clic en el enlace al final de esta publicación.
And just in case you don’t know, measure what you eat out of the 5 white poisons
Los 5 alimentos que se pueden convertir en “venenos blancos”, si los tomamos en una proporción mayor a la establecida diariamente son; sal refinada, azúcar refinada, harina blanca refinada, arroz blanco, y leche de vaca en adultos. Pero ¿cómo se puede calcular correctamente la ingesta diraria de estos alimentos?. Si ya es complicado calcularlo haciendo comida casera, más aún si comemos fuera de casa, o si comemos alimentos procesados.
We have to reduce salt intake, but do we quantify how much salt we eat every day?. I try not to eat anything processed, and I put only a pinch of salt on the food. Below you can read the World Health Organization’s recommendations on salt intake; https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/salt-reduction
We need to reduce the consumption of sugar, and sugary drinks, but do we quantify how much sugar we drink every day?. I was surprised to discover on an ingredient chart that the whole grains my son ate contained 17 grams of sugar per 100 grams of product. Or that the cereals which I eat, whole and organic, contain 6% of sugar which come from an 8% of raisins. Below you can read the World Health Organization’s recommendations on sugar intake, sugary drinks in adults and children; https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789241549028 https://www.who.int/elena/titles/ssbs_adult_weight/es/ https://www.who.int/elena/titles/ssbs_childhood_obesity/es/
Reducing the consumption of cow’s milk in adults is not as popular, but we should also take it into account. Below you can read an article in the British Medical Journal on milk intake in adults; https://www.bmj.com/content/349/bmj.g6015
We must reduce the consumption of refined flour, because it does not contain all the nutrients of the cereal, as is the case of whole 100% wholemeal flour. In addition, overheat some foods, such as those that contain starch (such as too-roasted white bread), can lead to acrylamide that would be toxic to health.
We must reduce the consumption of white rice, for the same reason as refined flour, and replace it with whole rice.
Here’s an article on the benefits of eating whole cereal grain by the British Medical Journal
There are many ways to recycle, and there are also many ways to reduce harmful emissions to the environment. Of all the ideas I have read and seen for years, I interpret that success is assured when we make the change, however small, such as covering the cauldron when we cook.
For my part I recycle as much as I can; plastic, glass, cardboard, paper, oil after cooking, oil that drains from canning, batteries, appliances, some aeorosol that is still out there, thermometers, drinking pipes, etc. Even if it’s a small piece of debris or a tiny wrapper, I also recycle it.
I also break down some packaging containing more than one material, to properly recycle as much as possible. For example, I break the coffee capsules to remove the coffee, so that I can recycle the plastic. Another example is that I break the cardboard boxes of table handkerchiefs to remove the plastic where the handkerchiefs come out, and so I recycle that plastic plus the cardboard box. Another is that I cut the metal bottom of some cardboard packaging, etc.
I try to buy in bulk, or unpacked products, but I don’t always get it. And unfortunately, I don’t have room to “compost,” and recycle organic. By maintaining an ecological diet I contribute to the lower consumption of GMOs, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc. And by not consuming meat, I contribute to the lower consumption of animal antibiotics, the lower consumption of natural resources, etc.
I also try to buy aluminum-free hygiene products, and less aggressive cleaning products (because many show the text “Organic”, but don’t specify how they do it).
One idea that occurred to me when I started reading about the carbon footprint of companies, and that had to do with my experience in the Logistics department, where we compressed the cardboard and plastic packaging after the replenishment, is also to compress the space between packaging at home. The less space between packaging, the more capacity the recycling container will have, the fewer paths the authorized waste manager will make, and the less harmful gases the truck will emit. As a result, we can reduce our carbon footprint with our daily recycling habits.
In distribution jobs we cut and folded the cardboard before compressing it, so at home it occurred to me to also compress the tetrabrick and stack them on top of each other. In this way, more packaging can fit in the container.
Remove the lid, fold out the lashes that the tetrabrick has on the top and bottom, compress the packaging so that all the air comes out, and put the lid on quickly. You can do the same with plastic water bottles.
You can also take advantage of the inside of a yogurt packaging, to compress inside the plastic of cereals for example. You can put small glass jars, into other larger ones, etc.
If you have more ideas to recycle and to reduce emissions, other than buying an electric car ?, please contact us and we will publish them.
I bought two urban gardens six years ago, because I started reading studies on the possible effects of GMOs, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, etc. We start by planting herbs such as parsley, mint, basil, etc. When the caterpillars ate everything, we continued to plant something “useful” like carrots (which came out tiny), beans with which I made a few tortillas (but was invaded by a white bug), etc. We continued to plant strawberries, raspberries, cherries, etc., and grew beautiful, but it hardly bore fruit. And we also tried Cherry tomatoes, but although I got to collect twenty Cherry tomatoes at once, they come out small and not enough to make a salad.
So we opted to plant peppers over a year ago, and they have lasted without using anything except water, and remnants of organic soy drink and organic whole milk (mixing the liquid left at the bottom of the tetra brik with water). We’ve collected a lot of green peppers, and some red peppers. We gather them green because they start to show black areas at the top, but some of them mature well until they turn red. Its size is medium, larger than a fist, so it serves as an ingredient for a recipe.
Now I tell you how to do it, but the great trick is to replant the seeds of the peppers we eat, so that production does not stop. This time we have done it by germinating the seed first, and using natural guano before planting (it is suitable for organic farming, and we will use it only once more within a month as dictated by the instructions).
Extract the seeds from an organic pepper, and put them to germinate as when we did in school. A container with kitchen roll paper in the bottom, moistened with water, with the seeds on top, and covered. One trick one neighbor told me is to put them on top of the internet router, to get heat for 5 days (leaving the ventilation gaps free of course).
Remove the soil where you will plant the seeds to oxygenate the soil (I did it 1 day before planting). If you want, pour and spread evenly the amount of natural guano indicated by the package. And water a little.
The brand we use from natural guano shows an amount for “before planting”, and another amount for the following month, in the case of peppers. For other vegetables, it recommends a third dose two months later.
I recognize that the first few times we did it, we did neither germinate the seeds nor add guano or anything, but consequently, the production was low. We started to see results after planting seeds, and more seeds.
If we see the seeds germinated, then we can plant them. . We must see some green tails coming out of the seed, as shown below. We sink the finger a little into the ground, and we make a bunch of holes separated from each other, like when you draw a 3-striped board. Then add in each hollow 1 germinated seed, cover it with soil or substrate, and water well.
Water (with rainwater when possible), observe, and remove weeds. We have to water in the early morning, or in the afternoon when the sun starts to set, and the soil is not hot. And watch out for watering a lot, because in our case the urban garden have underneath a water outlet hole, and all the nutrients of the soil go out there. Put a container under the urban garden just in case, and if the water comes out, then you can use it to water the next afternoon.
Since we don’t have gutters, we put a bucket under the awning, and wait. We already have water, better than the tap one.
First the stem will come out, then the flower, and then the green pepper. If it matures and starts to turn red, then great.
But it’s also good for eating if it starts to turn black on top. From green it passes to black, and then to red. Below you can see that the pepper on the left is not yet completely red, when the one on the right is still green.
And if a bird comes to eat the worms and bugs on the ground, ask the children to make scarecrows with recycled products (1 stick, aluminum foil you’ve used, 1 sack, 1 bag of colors, markers, and imagination).
Thank you very much for the visit, and see you soon!
Stopping for a moment when working at home, to do something with the family, especially with children, is fun and also improves your productivity when you get back to work. If working at home already had multiple advantages, being with the family makes it even better. It is the positive part of lockdown, even if this type of coexistence is more difficult (sharing resources, respecting the little space and time of each, etc.).
So how do we work from home in ShopCanarias.es? , well, making work more flexible and interspersing work with attention to the family, and with household chores.
Crafts are a good option to feed the imagination, and if we recycle, then great!. Enjoy creating the characters you want.
2 packs yogurt
1 carton (inside)
You can also have fun changing the use of other elements to make crafts, such as making fun shapes with these balls with spikes to adhere to each other. Do you want to decorate your shoes?.
Another alternative is to invent characters and games with the toys you already have.
You can have fun and disconnect with building games, which motivate and incentivize imagination, creativity, and teamwork, as in the following video from our YouTube channel;
And if you want to do other things as a family, then try making recipes, and try planting seeds for you to eat healthier foods;