Quinta do Martelo

If you have ever wanted to step back in time and see how people lived in the old days, there is no better place to see this than at Quinta do Martelo.  This is a still functional organic farm on the island that also doubles as a hotel, restaurant and museum of the way things were on this island.  I should mention, some of these old school items are used by farmers here that have not invested in technology.

Right now I have a grad class going on here as I am working on a Master's degree in Human Relations through University of Oklahoma.  The professors come here and the professor for this course is also the VP of outreach, meaning he is pretty important when it comes to our program.  Since he is here, the lady who oversees the Europe OU programs is also here visiting, so out site director rounded some of us up for a day trip, complete with lunch, to Quinta do Martelo. 

I took tons of pictures, but I will share some of the highlights with all of you.

These are some carts that are actually still common here.  They get hooked up to a horse or donkey and they will pull them as a mode of transportation.
This is used for drying corn.  The corn is placed up high, and you can see the little circular wood pieces around the legs of this, which keep the mice off of the corn.  The wood hut below is a dog house, so they could keep a dog to scare people away who might steal the corn.
This is the entrances to one of the original houses, which now contains rooms that may be rented out for a rustic vacation stay.
This is in the original kitchen and is a recreation of how they may have lived.
This would have been where they cooked and did food prep.
The original oven.
One of the rooms for rent.
This is attached to a drain pipe from the roof and will collect rain water, and then the bamboo pipe connects the two so the overflow goes to the second jug.
This is where animals, like pigs, would have been kept.
These roosters made soooooo much noise.
This farm was originally an orange grove, and some of the trees remain and still produce fruit.
Men were out working the fields.
We spotted a tree with some kind of unidentifiable fruit, so we broke it in half, and discovered it was a really old fig.
One of the old buildings.

Here is where an ox would have been attached to this corn grinding machine.  The ox walks around in circles, with the eyes closed to avoid dizziness, and the vibrations made in the machine were what caused the grinding to occur.
This is the machine from a distance.
The corn was placed in here.
This was the mill inside where the grinding occurred.
Another stone building.  This is the traditional architecture of the island, but since earthquakes have damaged these, new technologies are now used and most places are concrete or cement.
This is set up inside as a museum to see how they did their handicrafts.
Lots of old tools have been collected by the owner and put on display in the work room here.

The have some woven items here too.
This was in the basement of this building and this table is where they would have placed grapes to be sorted through to eventually use for wine making.
Here are some old pottery items.

An old pottery wheel.  It still turns.
The kiln for firing the pottery.  This is how they would make the clay tiles used in roofing.
A replica of an old time barber shop.
The shoe maker's room.
The distillery.
Last stop was the grocery store.  Well, the museum version of how this used to be.

Inside the store.
It looked so realistic and so old.  I guess it was realistic because little has been changed here and they still have many of the old things here.

Yes, this is a knife and I bet it could still be used.
Since there was still time before the restaurant (which is upstairs from this "store") opened for us for lunch, the owners brought us some snacks of traditional foods to try.

We had the typical cheese of the island.
This is a corn dish.
This was a spicy leaf, which looked like seaweed and may have been.
This dish was amazing.  This was warm fava beans topped with onions and seasonings.  This is very common on the island and is often served at bull fights.
We enjoyed some cheeses from the other islands.
This was red wine mixed with a sparkling orange type of juice.  It was actually very good.
Then we checked out the parlor in the back room.
Next up was lunch.  After we sat down, another American group came in and then a larger Portuguese group came.  From what I understand, this is truly a place to enjoy the culinary taste of the island.  It is very well known around here, and they do a fair share of advertising.  We had a planned trip, so we did not order of the menu, which made it a little difficult for me, but I was pretty stuffed from the food downstairs, so it was not a problem.
Upstairs they demonstrated the process of using this grain for drying the cheese.
First they served soup, which contained meat, so I bypassed this.  I believe this is a very traditional coup on the island, and I am not really sure of the name.
Bread, which was fantastic, as usual.  I must say that in the US I would never have eaten butter, and now I know what is wrong with butter in the States.  It is not real butter!  The butter here is fantastic, fresh, without preservatives, additives, anything like that, and you can truly taste the difference.
They served a tray of meat delicacies.  This included pork ribs and blood sausage, which is very big around here.  They also served yams on this tray.
This was what I ate for lunch.  This is fish alcatra.  For more info on alcatra click here.  It is a traditional island dish and way of cooking.  Usually it is meat, but some places will serve it with fish, which was good for me.  Sorry about the floating head.  I know it may not look attractive, but around here they usually have heads and tails with the fish.  You just have to get used to it.
Dessert was two kinds of pudding.  I know this does not look like the pudding you are used to, but this is what they call pudding here.  It is similar to a custard or flan dish.  The top is orange and the bottom is a honey pudding.  I liked the honey better.
Here is another traditional dessert, the sweet rice.  Just like rice pudding.  It was heavenly.
As we left, the provided us with little souvenirs.
Inside was a book about the farm, a map of the sights here, a candle and a little soap.
It was a great day and fun place to explore.  I can't wait to take Ryan back there and we can look around and enjoy a good meal.

Updates:  I want to apologize for not being able to comment on your blogs as much as I would like, but with having class at night all week and though the weekend, it is tough.  Also, make sure you check back Monday because I have a good surprise that I think everyone will like.

QUESTIONS:  What is your favorite museum?  Do you have any places locally the serve traditional meals in the old world ways?


Beth said...

It's not quite local, but I've always loved going to Colonial Williamsburg and eating at the old fashioned restaurants there!

Shannon, Tropical Eats said...

In Largo, FL we have Heritage Park that has lots of old cottages and buildings from the area that the city preserved. It's so neat to step back in time!

I lolled at your comment that the roosters were sooo loud lol. :) Have a great weekend!!

Mari said...

Wow what an amazing experience! I felt like I was right there with you, great pictures honey!

Sook said...

Oh what a fun post! I am not sure how I would have survived the old days without a microwave or an oven...

Arizona bankruptcy lawyer said...

Enjoyed the authentic photos. Seems like you had a great adventure. Thanks for posting your experience.

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

This is so interesting. I really am a sucker for the romanticized old-time way of farming and doing things. If only life could slow down to the way it was before...although I'd want to keep the computer invention. But is it possible to keep computers and slow down like the old days? Probably not. Fun pictures!

Special K said...

My favorite pic was the yellow table and then the one with all the wrenches on it. It seems that MOST farms here in Europe are small, thus making organic more affordable and accessible. How breathtakingly educational is it to explore where our food actually is birthed? Thank you for sharing!

eatingRD said...

oh my gosh I want to come visit! So many adventures and I love sightseeing history like that :)I haven't been to too many museums, but loved seeing the history of Charleston awhile ago Have a great weekend!

Corinne @ Green Grapes Blog said...

Wow--what a cool post! Thanks for sharing all the pictures! Very interesting to see where we were to where we've come!

My fav museum= Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston...very cool:)

Have a great weekend!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

These pictures are pretty neat. I have to say, I would have loved to live like this. It's a simple life, yet I'm sure for them it wasn't so simple, it may have even been slightly advanced? It's just very interesting to me. And..they had olives!! YEAH! Thanks for sharing these photos Melinda. I love all the history lessons I get from your blog :)
HAve a nice weekend!

Rachel@Coconut Crumbs said...

Melinda, this is a true photo documentary!! great! good luck with your grad class, and don't worry about the blog comments-we all have the busy times. For museums, I love the smithsonians. Although I went to NYC's Museum of Modern Art in January and loved it too!

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