Gardening is one of the best hobbies. Even with a not so green finger there are enough plants that just love to grow no matter what. One seed into the earth, some care-taking and whoooop hundreds of seeds or leaves or fruits or flowers. Some snapshots of the last season.
Salad from beet root and zucchini with borretsch and nasturtium (Kapuzinerkresse) flowers
Porridge with red currant and blackberry – great jams too.
Sunflower seeds – pure or roasted
Apples and pears in all shapes and tastes.
Blackberries and red currants. Fire beans and tasty wild tomatoes (green & yellow)
white, black and red currant. red and green gooseberry.
herb pesto and nasturtium.
the tastiest radish ever
flowers as gifts, for teas, for bees or just for the eye and nose
Sadly our sunshade umbrella broke. Now it’s turned into a vertical garden frame for sugar peas. It can be used for any climbing plants like beans, peas, nasturtium etc.
Insects pollinate flowers and regulate pests – it’s part of a natural cycle. Creating a habitat for a diversity of plants and animals supports this cycle (let nature do the work, she is more experienced with keeping a balance).
If you have trouble with aphids – commonly known as vine louse – you don’t really have an aphid problem, you have an earwig and Co. problem. Or rather a deficiency. By creating a habitat for these insects you can support biological pest control.
A really simple version of an insect hotel is build with a ceramic pot filled with straw and covered with a potato or onion net.
Hang it up on a tree or you balcony and talk about it!
Vertical gardens are great for a balcony or other small outside areas. From plastic bottles you an easily and quickly build you own – reducing waste & cost. Here is a great description with pictures on how to build your own: http://containergardening.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/bottle-tower-gardening-how-to-start-willem-van-cotthem/
The picture shows the start of two small towers as I had only a few bottles – all in different sizes. I mainly use glass and avoid plastic wherever possible. So I gathered them from my family, sat down for 10mins to read the instruction, another 10mins slicing up bottles and squeezing in dirt and strawberries and YAY to the start of my new vertical garden.
I will probably continue it whenever I come across more bottles – I am not in a rush.
For anyone interested in sustainable design of gardens and other human-environmental ecosystems I can recommend this free Permaculture design course www.permaculturedesigntraining.com.
Permaculture offers practical techniques to find sustainable solutions and promotes creation rather than consumption.
PermaWHAT? The word derives from Permanent Agriculture and was coined by Australian Bill Mollison and Japanese Masanobu Fukuoka. A fundamental aspect of Permaculture is observation and designing with nature. Some call it “edible landscaping”. Others include urban structures and housing as well as social aspects of community management (e.g. non violent communication). It is a holistic method – but you can pick and choose also and it is much applied in creating gardens. Well that is how it got me started – It really makes sense and has the tendency to inspire other parts of your life. I started off with a herb spiral in my own garden, took the online course and am now going to participate in a community project for rural food security in Madagascar.
Now back to the course: There are around 40 video lectures with different teachers on designs, patterns, plants, climates, soils and water. These will give you an idea about gardening the Permaculture way. One method presented is e.g. a plant guild which is a form of polyculture with plants of different function, size and needs (rather than monoculture where there is just one plant prone to diseases and soil degradation). Those plants exchange nutrients, attract pollinators, improve the soil and provide food. This is basically a way of imitating nature patterns – just that the plants are edible and at your doorstep. There is a beautiful free ebook on plant guilds e.g. the walnut guild here www.midwestpermaculture.com. Permaculture makes you look at nature in a different way.
Design to harvest sunlight.
Diversity of plants, local focus, resilient systems, perennial species and use of edges are some of the key principles. The other 40 course videos are on greywater system, housing, social permaculture, urban applications and offer some site visits. There is also a forum to ask questions and for those interested can take a test and get an official PDC certificate.
Permaculture sums up indigenous knowledge and many techniques where practiced by former advanced civilizations like the Mayas or Inkas. Nowadays the internet facilitates a global knowledge exchange and network. Be inspired.
Start creating abundance!
This site is a collection of inspiration for a creative green life. Rather than merely consuming we can create an abundant world. Looking at things from another angle, through a different lens or out of the box is easy when you open your eyes and heart. Not assess and possess but observe and appreciate. There is abundance when you look at Waste as Matter Out of Place (MOOP). Or at weeds as potential medicine. Here you find some photos and thoughts on ways of recycling things and rethinking the use of others. So that you waste less – material and money.
There is beauty in age, a story in everything.
As life is complex so is this site trying to cover many of its aspects. The Belly with topics all around food as this is what fuels our brain and body, influenced our sleep and mood. The Hands with art and craft inspiration on upcycling. The Head - thinking, reflecting and progressing. The Heart - a collection of the favorites.
A separate area deals with MOOP - Matter Out Of Place (rather than waste) and what you could do with it. Here the upcycling inspirations are sorted by raw material.
Some ideas are from me, others I’ve found in life. Some are products you can buy where the link leads to an affiliate. This means I am receiving a small percentage of the sale as a reward for recommending a product. I am not getting rich but it motivates me to run this site and putting in much time and thought. These are only truly recommended things like the Mooncup. However most links and ideas are on things you can easily make yourself out of an old, broken good or some unused item. Like this beautiful boot pot you can see in the picture. Making use of your worn out shoes by turning them into an outdoor flowerpot.
Enjoy following and participating in a creative green life!