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We end our fantasy trip (see part 1, part 2) in Northern Spain. Soaked in sunshine, Spain has long served up alluring sights, sounds, and savory delights. Northern Spain, is especially well known for it’s cuisine and culture. The following itinerary takes in the delicious delights of La Boqueria in Barcelona, learning how to cook Catalan dishes, the tapas bars of Logrono, wine tasting in the La Rioja region, and pintxos tasting in the famed bars of San Sebastian.

Day 1

Your first stop is Barcelona, the heart of Catalan country. Shake off your jetlag by diving headfirst into the chaotic colour and mouth watering aromas of La Boqueria, Barcelona’s most famous food market. Sample the jamon – iberico, bellota or Serrano – and Manchego cheese on offer, then find a seat at one of the tapas bars while enjoying the hustle and bustle going on all around you.

Day 2

On your second day in Barcelona, take a wander around this easy to navigate city and visit the famous Sagrada Familia, a cathedral designed by Antoni Gaudi, Spain’s most famous architect. Other sights include the beaches of La Barceloneta, the rambling Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter.

Day 3

Book a Catalan culinary course with one of the many cooking schools available in Barcelona for a hands-on learning experience of the local cuisine. Classes are mainly conducted in English and run between 3-4 hours – you’ll even get to sample your own cooking at the end of it! Learn about the secrets of Catalan cooking, including how to cook with botifarra (pork sausage) and picada (ground and herb nuts).

Day 4

Leaving Barcelona with a heavy heart and full belly, take the train to Logrono, the heart of Spain’s wine country. Here, in the jumbled streets of medieval Casco Viejo, let instinct be your guide as you tapas hop through the city. Each bar usually specialises in one divine, delicious dish – wild mushrooms cooked in butter, grilled chorizo, fishcakes in béchamel – so if you want to sample as much as possible, keep moving. If you stick to the vicinity of Calle del Laurel, you can do no wrong.

Day 5

La Rioja is one of Spain’s most famous exports, and it would be a shame to leave without trying some of the region’s award winning wines. There are plenty of wineries within Logrono itself, ranging from small, boutique family run businesses to new, modern behemoths with cutting edge technology.

Day 6

From Logrono, it is a short 2 hour bus ride to the culinary center of Spain – San Sebastian. With its stunning beaches, historical architecture and thriving art scene, San Seb, as it’s affectionately known, offer a whole different take on Spanish food. Take in a txikiteo, a pintxo bar hop – the Basque equivalent of tapas – in the Parte Vieja, pintxos where have been elevated to tiny, bite sized, edible works of art.

Day 7

Glorious San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per square metre than any other city on earth, with 16 stars in total. Dine in luxury at Arzak, Akelarre, or Berasategui, which all hold 3 Michelin stars each; or if you can’t get a reservation, try your luck at Kokotxia or Mirador de Ulia instead – the experience will be as transcendent.

On your final day in San Sebastian, look to a traditional cider house, or sagardotegia for your last supper. These establishments are located a little further away from the city center and serve delicious meals to accompany the local brew. Ask your hotel concierge to organize this for you. After eating your fill, catch the train from San Seb back to Barcelona. The journey will take you five and a half hours.

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How To Get Organized For Spring On The Farm

by Erin Weaver

Spring can be one of the most beautiful seasons on the farm. The sun is coming out again, flowers are popping out of the ground in bursts of color, and baby animals are on their way. However, equally, spring can strike fear into the hearts of even the most optimistic farmgirls. If you haven’t planned ahead, it can easily become a three-month-long struggle of breaking up hard ground, sowing new crops, and birthing a seemingly endless stream of livestock.

There are several simple things you can do to get ahead before spring hits your farm. Put these spring organization tips into place on your farm so you can enjoy the fair weather without the associated stress.

Inspect The Premises

Take a proper walk around your farm and make note of any buildings, fences, or pieces of machinery that need some attention. This is the perfect time to pinpoint potential repairs or replacements before the hustle and bustle of spring takes over. You can sort these issues out over the quiet winter season, or make plans to get them sorted in the months ahead.

Test Your Soil

You’re probably preparing for spring sowing, so now is the time to test the pH and nutrient levels in your soil. This will help you plan out potential crop types and fertilizers so you can avoid over-fertilizing and help your soil to stay healthy, fertile, and well-managed.

Start Weeding

Weeds can seriously hamper new crops, so take the time to plan out a weeding process or even get started with the weeding ahead of time. You might be weeding manually by hand or using a cultivator. Whatever the case, breaking up the ground and making it fresh is important for the health of your future crops.

Make A Crop Plan

Take some time to plan out what crops you’ll be planting, where you should plant them, and when. Some crops take far longer to grow than others (think corn and tomatoes), while some are super quick. You can maximize your space and pave the way for a good harvest by planning out your crops ahead of time.

Get Up-To-Date On Animal Health

Birthing season is on the way and you want your animals to be in good shape throughout. Have a vet check the health of your livestock and make sure that all of their inoculations are up-to-date. This will set you up for a healthier and less hectic season ahead.

Prepare For Newbies

Use the winter to get your farm ready for all the new animals that are going to arrive in the spring. Make sure that you’ve got all the necessary bedding, feed, water, and supplies necessary for your new arrivals to make birthing season less hectic.

Be the farmgirl who’s ready for spring by doing some smart organization ahead of time. You’ll thank yourself later on when you’re not running around in a frenzy for the rest of the year.


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