A while ago we had the on-arrival training with the ESC. It was sadly online but they really tried to make the best of the situation. One task we had during the training was to create projects in groups. The projects could be anything and if it was possible we could also go through with it and carry out the project. Everyone in my group wanted to do something outside that we could actually do. When I was younger I was active in a nature-protective organization and I remembered that we talked about doing gorilla-gardening with seed bombs. I was a bit sad because we never actually did it in the organisation so I suggested that that could be our project. The others in my group thought it was a good idea so we went for it! One in my group is a graphic designer so she made this very nice informative paper on how to do it and what it is. Seed-bombs are balls that consist of clay, solid and seeds that you throw in dull areas that you want to brighten up with some beautiful flowers or other plants.
I actually made the bombs after the training which was very easy here because the soil is so clayey. It was super-easy and when they dried they got very solid but didn’t crack which I was a bit concerned about. Right after I made them we went to Ljubljana to meet some other volunteers and we stayed with one in my project-group. Therefor I brought some of the seed-bombs so that she got to throw some as well. I have some left still for Maribor and Jarenina and my plan is to go and throw them so that I can see if they grow at all and work.
I am so fascinated with this type of actions where you bring nature into citys. I think it is a really good way of both brightening up and also sending a message. When I get back home I think I will continue to make seed-bombs so that people around me always can enjoy a bit of nature.
Tip: Back the Mac’n’Cheese. For this, the pasta and sauce is placed in a baking dish. Mix a few tbsp. breadcrumbs with melted vegan butter or oil. Place the breadcrumbs evenly over the top of the pasta. Bake for 20 minutes at 200 °C until the topping is golden brown and crispy.
Right before easter we cut back the willows behind the greenhouse. Willow is a really special tree that can be used for so many different things, baskets probably being the most recognized. I have always liked to create things with my hands so the straight willow branches laying behind the greenhouse felt like the best chance ever to give willow a go. Of course I went to YouTube for some help concerning inspiration and some practical information on how to even get started. The first idea I must give the credit to a co-volonteer because it was not mine, I rather just stole it or got inspired or whatever (it’s all fine no feelings hurt). Anyway, the idea was to build a willow fence in the garden which I think turned out really nicely. When I started I thought it might take a few hours but no it took the whole day. But it was very enjoyable work and fairly easy!
The next project was to make an attempt on making a willow basket. The first struggle was that I think I let the willow try for a bit too long in the grass so they where a little bit too dry when I started. The method of making it was rather straight forward and not too difficult to understad, although I soon discovered that the challenge when you work with natural materials is that not all the materials are the way you want them to be. No brach is the other one alike but I think that’s also part of the charm. Anyway, the picture below is my second attempt, the first one didn’t turn out as round more like a water drop if you looked from above.
A while after doing the fence we took down the upper, old orchard and when we collected the tree-branches and trunks there were a lot of really straight ones that could be used as building material. I immediately thought of building a bench, I don’t even know where it came from but it felt right so I went for it. I had a bit if the same experience as with the fence because I thought this also would take a day or something but of course it didn’t, it took two weeks. The first step was to prepare all the branches, meaning cutting them the right length and flatting out where the joins are. I did all the sawing by hand so my arms were dead in the evening the first day. When I started to assemble it was very unstable and wonky so I but in extra support diagonally but I had kind of already thought I would need it. Because I work with fresh round wood I also had to pre-drill all the holes for the screws but some branches still cracked. When I was finishing the last of the assembling I had the bench on the table for better reach and I was climbing on the table and fell of and sprained my ankle. Therefor I had to wait over a week before I could finish it by weaving the sitting area and the back support, hence why I took two weeks. In the end I was very happy with it, almost so happy so that it was worth spraining my ankle :)
I really liked working with willow and I am very thankful I had the opportunity to do it. I think I learn a lot, especially that it always takes longer then I think. The only sad thing now is I have run out of willow, but there is always a new spring coming.
WILD GARLIC PESTO
In biodynamics, it is said that the cosmic forces of the planets Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and, Saturn influence life on earth like the sun does.
The Moon, Mercury and, Venus, being the planets within the radius of the sun, influence with the sun together plant growth and life above the earth.
The so-called far distant planets Mars, Jupiter and, Saturn influence life within the earth. The roots of the plants and certain minerals then lead the forces up to the plants and all life above the earth.
In these first few weeks, I noticed how humans as well are influenced by the forces and energies reaching them from above. But also how we are nourished and as well enlightened within by our roots and by what connects us to this world and ourselves.
With these two important energies that I felt, the one that makes me connect to space above me and with the one that wants me to grow deeper roots, I started a journey in many ways here in Slovenia. A journey that will hopefully make me grow and evolve in many directions.
Referring back to biodynamics: It is said that seeds, to germinate need to reach the highest stage of complexity in their physical structure. After this stage is reached it will fall apart to a little chaos or the dust of the world. Only in this form, it is susceptible to the cosmic forces and the universe. This process is called the terrestrial organizational process and it exposes the seed to the constellation forces that will let it develop into what it is meant to be. Like that in each seed, there is imprinted the reflection of a certain cosmic constellation and so it is in the plant that will grow from this seed.
With this in my mind, I'm looking forward to learning and evolving to higher stages of understanding and complexity, since this might be needed to be influenced and affected by the forces of the cosmos. I accept the chaos that might follow if that will make me grow towards what I'm meant to be.
This is the time of the year when many seeds are sown and many plants are planted. The imprint of the universe in every plant and the enormous effect that the sun and light all the cosmic forces out there have on life is visible for the ones open and understanding towards them.
After winter and darkness, light and life are coming back into this world with every morning that the sun is rising a bit earlier and is warming every soul a bit stronger and longer.
The sun is rising. New life awakens in this world.
All the souls being touched by light are coming to life.
So are you.
You are human and alive.
Look up in the sky and remember the light inside you. Feel within and listen to your soul.
It says you could be light too.
It says, take the light in. Gather it. Strive towards it. Until you are light.
Now you can shine like the sun. You don‘t need the sun anymore.
Your soul is lit and it will shine forever. Even in the night. In darkness. Like the moon and the stars.
So all of this is kind of new to me. I have never been on an organic farm before, not even for a visit, and certainly not a biodynamic farm in Slovenia. Therefor it has been a lot to learn and a lot of new experiences this first month but I am still looking forward to all that is to come. The first impression I would say was just wow! To everything from the knowledge of agricultural to the verity of plants and crops. One of the things that I also got aware of was how limited my knowledge of different plants are. Therefor I want to share some of the beautiful salads I have never heard of before and find very tasty. I find it really cool how many different plants there actually are, I mean if you are used to live in a city and go shop in the nearest supermarket the supply are often limited to some iceberg lettuce and if you are lucky some seasonal modernity. So to get to the point of it here are some salads and their name.
Mustard Asian salad
Curly red Asian salad
Sometimes it is not easy to cook with regional and seasonal products. Since cooking and baking is a great passion of mine, I have considered publishing a monthly recipe as inspiration. I try to use as many products as possible that are grown or produced here on the farm.
The seasonal vegetables are either freshly harvested as local outdoor products, come from unheated greenhouses or have been stored over winter. There is also a large selection of dried or processed foods such as sweet corn, tomato passata, oil, vinegar, black beans and so on.
BLACK BEAN HUMMUS
All the veggetables you have on hand or like, I used:
Fill the pancakes with black bean hummus and roasted vegetables. Add some chopped kale, lettuce or fresh herbs like parsley, cilantro or basil.