March

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It has been a beautiful month in the garden and now more than ever we realize the importance of supporting the local eco system by encouraging nature to run wild in most parts and use part of the land for growing food and medicinal plants. With the increasingly grim reports of the virus ripping through communities and countries, we have found solace in the simple acts of engaging with wildlife and plants. We believe that life cannot go back to the way it was before this pandemic as capitalism has stretched the natural resources well beyond limits. This is the time for starting a more harmonious relationship with nature and we are great admirers of Mary Reynolds and her ARK project that is gaining strength throughout the word. You can read about it here.

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We think humanity has a real opportunity to steer away from mindless overconsumption and build strong communities by producing food locally, eat what is in season, have holidays close to home, work from home when possible and share ideas and skills in new and creative ways. Many small local businesses are struggling at the moment all across the world but when the lock down is lifted we need to support all of the wonderful people who work hard to create a sustainable and vibrant local community. We must put Mother Nature first. We believe it is time to shift our aims and values away from “what can I get?” and concentrate on “what can I give?” We think Jane Goodall sums it all up pretty well in this video.

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 In February over one hundred frogs came back to visit our small pond where they were born and now the water is absolutely teeming with tadpoles.

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In the annual vegetable garden we have been harvesting kale and sprouting broccoli every day for the past three weeks and started to clear the beds for the spring planting season. For many years we lived in places without a garden and back then we “grew” most of our vegetables inside. Sprouting is a great way to add nutrients and colour to our diet and we wrote about it in a post a few years back. For information about sprouting and tasty recipes please visit the wonderful Sproutpeople website. If you are at home this might be an ideal time to explore this easy and cheap way of producing food.

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The lockdown in Ireland has given us time to study from home but also all work together on putting up a small poly tunnel for tender crops and seedlings. It has been lovely working together for a common goal.

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Around our main circle spring is well on its way and we have been busy weaving a low fence around our cardoon and artichoke beds. We cut back a lot of our bamboos and coppiced some ash trees for materials. This should stay in place for at least five years. We still have one fence to complete.

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East

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South

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West

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North

We hope you will all stay safe and well in the challenging weeks and months ahead. Our hearts are with all the frontline workers in hospitals and in food production and distribution. We are staying at home and living as self-sustainable as possible to try and stay out of their way. It is not a sacrifice but a privilege to spend time close to nature and with each other as a family. We are very lucky to have running water, a home to call our own and a piece of the earth to be the guardians of. Many many people in poorer countries are not so lucky and for them the crisis of this virus will be much more devastating. We need to give them as much solidarity and help as possible.

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11 thoughts on “March

  • What a lovely post, Maria. I am in complete accord with your sentiments about the current situation and aftermath, and also the solace that living close to nature brings in difficult and worrying times. Like you, we do not see lockdown as a problem; here in Spain we are not allowed to go further than our garden but for us that is no hardship, it is always a joy to be at home and we spend most of our time here anyway. I am optimistic that once this is all over, there will be much change for the good; in the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy the precious time together with your family and all stay safe and well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Lis!
      It is so nice to hear from you and to know that you are doing well on your land. We are busy here with seedlings, sewing projects and cooking food from the garden and it is great to see the younger members of our family getting more involved with all that is going on in the garden. I wish you all the best and I bet you are busy too. In nature there is never a dull moment. Stay safe! 🌹☺

      Liked by 1 person

  • Since there was no garden here before (outside of the landscapes), we had plenty of time to build a new one. However, since it will be quite a while before it produces, but we would like to avoid the supermarket, we have been enjoying the produce from the forest more. We would not have done that otherwise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is great to hear. Foraging for food is fantastic. We have been eating so many salads and stir fried greens from the wilder parts of our land. Stinging nettles are amongst the most nutritious plants you can eat. We use them to make pesto. Have you got them over there? Stay safe! 😊

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      • Yes: https://tonytomeo.com/2020/03/28/six-on-saturday-greens/
        Since turnip greens are not so abundant, the nettles have been my favorite. I really should be removing them from near the trails anyway, because others hike around out there. Although I do not remove the stolons, I remove the stems near the trails before they bloom and go to seed. Those that go to seed are farther back. I get some of the bloomed and seeded stems later for tea.

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      • Nettle tea seems a bit odd to me, since it is also a vegetable. I just dry it as such because it does not last all year. However, some of the other teas are wickedly potent, like Saint John’s wort.

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you like nice flavor, I would not recommend nettle. It tastes like spinach, which is fine as a vegetable, but not so good for tea. Saint John’s wort has an interesting flavor that I sort of like, and might even be rather good with the right herbs, but it knocks me out! I used more than what is recommended because I prefer a rich tea, but it was as potent for me as it is supposed to be! Not many herbs do much for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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