Weekend Coffee Share – February

Can I offer you some coffee? Or tea?  My son and I went to pick up some more moving boxes today. It’s only three weeks until the move. It is starting to feel very real. I’ve packed some of our things, and I’ve sold some furniture that won’t be moving with me (my red couch and the outdoor furniture that I had at my balcony.) I’ve shared the app that I use to sell my old clothes with before, and I use a similar (but different) app to sell, and sometimes purchase furniture. I purchased the used moving boxes with that app, (sold by someone living 900ft away.) I think bartering and trading is a great way to promote, and support a circular economy, when possible. How do you feel about purchasing pre-loved things?

Some of the moving boxes we bought today, and hopefully will finish packing this weekend.

A very empty living room!

I did some crocheting this week, working on that baby blanket I talked about last week. Besides that, and some school work, it’s mostly been work. Nothing special, but nothing too bad either (there’s always tons of things happening at work.) 

Outside my window right now, 5pm Saturday. It’s about 14F/-10C. A few hours from now it’s the first of a series of an annual song competition that my daughter loves. It’s about the only Swedish thing that she absolutely loves. We usually watch each competition together, with some extra delicious snacks, while debating who’s going to win. 

Melodifestivalen (Swedish pronunciation: [mɛlʊˈdîːfɛstɪˌvɑːlɛn]; literally “the Melody Festival”) is an annual song competition organised by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR). It determines our representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, and has been staged almost every year since 1959. In the early 2000s, the competition was the most popular television program in Sweden; it is also broadcast on radio and the Internet. In 2012, the heats averaged 3.3 million viewers, and over an estimated four million people in Sweden watched the final, almost half of the Swedish population. The festival has produced six Eurovision winners and 25 top-five placings for Sweden at the contest. The winner of Melodifestivalen has been chosen by panels of jurors since its inception. Since 1999, the juries have been joined by a public telephone vote which has an equal influence over the outcome. The competition makes a considerable impact on the music charts in Sweden.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melodifestivalen

How is your week? What have you been up to this week? I hope your week is fabulous! Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share

Love,

Maria  

Weekend Coffee Share

Hi, how are you? Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? I don’t have a lot to share with you this week. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday was a regular work week, busy, busy, busy. On Thursday morning my daughter woke up with a high fever, and I stayed at home with her Thursday and Friday. She still has a fever, but not as high as in then beginning. She is rather poorly and I’m just trying to make her as comfortable as possible. Nothing much is happening around here. (I am grateful that I am able to stay at home and take care of my Princess when she is sick.) We watched a little bit of an equestrian show from Amsterdam, “Jumping Amsterdam“. It was fun.

Earlier this week I ordered some yarn for a baby blanket. A good friend of mine is having a baby in June. My friend is in many ways a complete opposite of me. She is a shopaholic and have already bought tons of baby clothes (for a whole army of babies.) My plan is to give her a unique handmade gift that she can’t purchase in any store. I’m going to crochet a baby blanket for her baby. The baby shower is in five weeks, and I am hoping it is going to be finished by then. I’ve carefully selected the yarn, it is very thin, organic, and recommended for the summer time.

How is your week? I bet you have more things going on than I have at the moment. Tell me about it in a comment! Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – some green dreams

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Tea? How are you you doing? 

I have a few fun things related to my goal of a more sustainable life to share with you this week. We received another box of 11 kg/24 lbs organic oranges from our adopted tree in the CrowdFarming project. So yummy! I have some stored at the kitchen counter, to encourage the kids to have av healthy snack, I refill them daily. The rest I store at the top shelves of the fridge.

I received an email earlier this week telling me ”We would like to welcome you on board the INCREASE Citizen Science Experiment (CSE) and thank you for registering.” (I wrote about the project here.) YES! This is going to be so much fun! I will get the bean seeds for the experiment in March, which is a perfect time to get started here.

On Thursday I received some valuable feedback of the research overview I’ve written for the upcoming research I wish to do about improving practices of teaching sustainability in kindergarten. I still have some details that needs adjusting before handing in my final contribution, but I am much closer to my goal, and excited to get started. 

This week I’ve also enjoyed some most inspiring gardening videos. I’m trying to learn more about food forests. I have a five year plan for my garden, adding some perennials, and some new garden beds every year. If you are familiar to gardening, my approach is a multi-layered garden. Sort of like a mini food forest, with the canopy layer already provided slightly outside my plot. A food forest mimics a natural forest where a variety of plants grow together in a diverse ecosystem. By modelling this concept in the garden, plants grouped together complement each other, and take advantage of microclimates in the garden, it increases biodiversity and ensure healthy soil and plants. This year I am going to plant a couple fruit trees as a part of an understory layer. I am thinking of 2-3 apples trees, as they thrive in my area. When they mature they will help to serve as a windbreak for my garden beds. I already have a wonderful shrub layer (mostly a large variety of different berry bushes,) part of it was established before my time, and I’ve pruned the existing vegetation and added more variety to it. In the spring I’m adding some gorgeous Oriental Poppy Plants to my herbaceous layer, to attract bees and butterflies. One of my gardening neighbours gave me some seed from her flowers by the end of last season. In the rhizosphere layer you’ll find vegetables like carrots, parsnip, and beets. For my ground cover I am going to plant a lot of strawberries this summer. The vertical layer this year will be different varieties of beans.

These are the common layers of a food forest:

1. Canopy layer – big trees (nut/fruit)

2. Understory layer – smaller fruit trees.

3. Shrub layer – berry bushes

4. Herbacous layer – culinary and medicinal plants

5. Rhizosphere layer – root crops

6. Ground cover layer – edible plants/living mulch

7. Vertical layer – climbing vines

You don’t have to have all layers to qualify as a food forest, but usually a food forest have at least three of these layers (often one or two fruit trees, a ground cover, and a herbaceous layer.) I am by no means an expert on this subject, it’s more like reading/watching videos and then going outside and practice ”learning by doing”. My garden plot is a great place for experimenting, and perfect for now. Eventually I do want to create a larger food forest, and become more self-sufficient. 

How is your week so far? Have a wonderful rest of your weekend! Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love,

Maria