The lay of the land

I clearly still need to get the hang of this, blogging… The last time I gave you a story was when launching this blog in December. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening here in the meantime. We have been working on many different things, and to be completely honest with you, I find it really hard to find time and motivation to sit still behind a computer screen while there is so much to be created and maintained outdoors. Nevertheless, I will do my best to be much more frequent in posting in the future, because I believe it surely is worth reporting about.

We reshaped the entire vegetable garden with the vegetable patches according to the design posted earlier.  I sowed many vegetables already, First inside and in the greenhouse, and now in the garden too. It is wonderful to see everything growing and evolving. I never really thought of gardening as a hobby before, but jesus I really love it so much. There’s basically not much I’d rather do and it feels so fulfilling to me. First, I tried to gather as much information as possible on permaculture principles, companion planting, how to keep your vegetable patches fertile, how to manage weeds etc. and I’m trying to apply as much of the theoretical knowledge in practice as possible. So far, it works all really well, every day things look a bit different and my thumbs are getting greener and greener. Following posts will go more into the detail of this.

And WE GOT 2 PIGS! man, it’s hard to describe in words how much joy these animals bring me. My father visited us at the end of February and he brought the first one as a surprise gift, Jambonnie. She is amazingly cute, super smart and she thinks she is a dog. At first, she spent a lot of time with the dogs and she now has learned how to bark, she sits like a dog and she scratches herself like one too. Since it was a surprise gift we did not have any enclosure to keep her in, so she stayed in the garden in front of the house. Which was really a complete disaster. The lawn was destroyed within days and she couldn’t stand the fact she wasn’t allowed to enter the house (like the dogs). She joined us on walks, and really followed us and the dogs everywhere. Since she is so social, we decided to give her a friend. We built a nice and large enclosure first, and checked on “Le Bon Coin” (the French Ebay Kleinanzeigen/Marktplaats) to see if there were any pigs offered in the area.  And so, we found Bert. Bert is a different kind of pig. He is cute, not in a pretty way, but incredibly cute and he has elf ears. He is not so used to humans yet but thank god they like each other a lot. In the upcoming time I will try to spend more time with him, so he gets used to having us close around.
Furthermore, 5 kittens were born last week and 1 chick! Meeega cute.

We are also busy with building 2 small bedrooms, an extra bathroom and kitchen for volunteers to stay with us and we are excited about the fact that we will be able to host them soon and get more help. Together with volunteers we will build new animal enclosures, do maintenance work in the forest and veggie garden, construction work and much more, depending on everyone’s talents and interests. If you feel like a volunteer getaway to nature in summer, you know who to call!

Having been here now for about 8 months, I can say that I am so happy I made the decision to do this. I feel at home and at ease. I feel that I am working on the most wonderful project, that is always and ever expanding. I can’t say it has always been easy, there are times that I miss the easiness of seeing my friends, and the easiness of ordering food (yeah I know, that’s not really in alignment with our self sufficient ideas, but hey, giving up comfort isn’t easy!). Also, the first couple of months my entire body was feeling sore. Switching from a city life where I spent 40 hours a week sitting in an office, to the country side, where most of the work requires physical effort, was something to get used to. But now, I think I really got a bit stronger, my muscles are not aching as much anymore, and my body feels rather healthy and fit. Honestly, I never really knew what that felt like, seeing my past “going to the gym and go running” – failures, and nights indulged in alcohol consumption and very little sleep, but it’s really very refreshing and I would surely not want to trade it back.

The winter wasn’t that hard here either, people here kept on asking me if I was ok in the winter being here, and I just thought to myself, dude, I spent 5 winters in Berlin and I apparently experienced the coldest winter in the last 350 years in Sweden, this is really peanuts. What helped too, is that you are still outside a lot, and with many spruce trees around, much is still green and not grey. Nevertheless, I am so happy it is spring! Seeing nature waking up so close all around you makes you feel like something inside you is awakening too. New energy, new vibes, new happiness. The days are longer, and so, everything is to be enjoyed and admired longer too…

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