Weekend Coffee Share – At the garden plot & some big news

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! This week I’m inviting you for a hot beverage at my garden plot. There’s coffee, tea, and blueberry soup on the menu. I love having some warm blueberry soup during the colder months. It is very tasty, filling, nutritious (vitamin C, vitamin E, and a ton of antioxidants,) and gives you a lot of energy. 

I had made plans to visit my garden on Sunday, and do chores at home on Saturday. ..but after finishing the chores mid-day Saturday there was no reason not to enjoy the gorgeous fall day outside. 

I feel a little stronger than last week, and definitely a lot stronger than the week before (I had a nasty cold/flu three weeks ago.) I rode my bike to work one day this week (Thursday,) and yesterday I rode up to my garden. It’s 4 flat km/2,5miles to work, and 6,5 km/4 miles straight up a steep hill to my garden. I will admit that it was a little more challenging than usual, but totally doable. I’ve listened to my body, and I haven’t over done it. I love riding my mountainbike, especially through the forest. It makes me feel alive, the next best thing after riding a horse.

Yesterday it was the first time in three weeks that I visited my garden (due to being sick,) and almost all the leaves on the trees and bushes had fallen. All of a sudden I had a view of the little lake below the garden. The place looked totally different. I sat down for a while listening to the wind, and the birds. It was a glorious afternoon. 

Some of you may remember that I did an experiment and planted some fall crops the last week of august? I harvested the last carrots yesterday, it was about 2.2lb/1kg. Next year I will start my fall garden a little earlier, and at a better place, this was not a prime location, just a left-over spot under some berry bushes. The carrots are delicious though! My plan is to eventually have garden beds covering most of the grass on my plot, only having small paths in between garden beds. It’s a work in progress, and I’ll do a little bit at the time. The potential makes me very excited.

I do have some other big news this week. Two years ago when my children and I moved into the apartment where we live now I was super thrilled that it was close to their schools, and for me that was the most important thing, making it easy for them. However, since we moved here there’s constantly been building projects all around us. It’s starting to feel a little crowded in more than one way. This year they’ve built two HUGE apartment complex right next to us. The other thing is that I’ve been dividing the living room to make a small bedroom for me in one of the corners, giving my children the two actual bedrooms in the apartment. It’s been OK, we’ve all loved the apartment in many ways, but when my children told me that they would appreciate a more quiet place outside of town I started to look for one immediately. ..and we will move into our new place March 1st. It’s only a short distance outside of our little town, and there’s a bus stop outside the house. It’s in a very beautiful area, and the apartment has one more room (yaay). It’s a small, brand new apartment complex, (in the US it would have been advertised as a townhouse.) I will keep my garden plot, and the kids will stay at their old schools (it’s only 15-30 minutes on the bus, depending on what bus they take.)

I’ve been giving it a lot of thought, wether we should stay where we are, after all my son turns 18 next time and wont be living at home forever, but it all landed in this decision. It’s important for everyones peace of mind to feel comfortable at home (and I don’t want my son to feel that he has to move out before he is ready. You become of legal age at 18 in Sweden, and it has been a norm to move to your own place then for many years, however with everything going on in the world that has become too expensive for many young adults.)

We are  a family that appreciate being surrounded by beautiful nature, living a quiet life (but still close to everything we need.) We are all excited about the move. It’s an area I like a lot, and I’d like to try living there to see how it is, and perhaps purchase some land nearby later on. 

How is your week? Are you into any Halloween celebrations? We are going to decorate a pumpkin today, and make some Halloween cupcakes. Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share.

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – Circular Economy

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? This week I’ll happily invite you to sit at my balcony and enjoy a cup together. Thank you everyone for the uplifting comments when I was feeling under the weather for a couple of weeks. I feel so much better now. How are you?

I’ve been taking things a little easier than usual, not back to full capacity yet, but I’ve been able to enjoy some lovely nature walks every day after work. Nature is still sparkling with golden yellow tones everywhere. 

Since we are sitting at the balcony with warm beverages in our hands, it’s slightly chilly outside, I would point out to my little balcony garden. Don’t you think its grown a little since last week? It’s the celery that impresses me the most, it still keeps coming back. I eat all the celery there is thinking that this is the last fresh celery for the season…and it keeps coming back! I’m most grateful. I really like having celery in my salads.

I eat at least one big salad a day, usually with lots of avocado, celery, spinach, perhaps some feta cheese or cottage cheese (sometimes both,) and some type of beans for protein. I’m going to have some more coffee. Do you need a refill?

What are you up to this weekend? I’ve been writing on a school report, cleaned the house a little extra (I’ll tell you the reason next week,) and organised my family’s closets. I use an app where I sell all the things and clothes we don’t use. I try to go through our things on a regular basis so that we only have what we actually use, that way it doesn’t get cluttered, and someone else can put the things we don’t use on a regular basis to use. The app let you order a special bag where you pack all your things. When you done packing you choose a date for pickup, they come and get the bag, they advertise your stuff, sell it (they take a percentage, how much is depending on the value of the item,) after selling an item you can choose to get the money deposited to your bank account, or get credits in the app (where you can purchase other peoples unused clothes and items.) The app is an effort towards a circular economy. 

A circular economy (also referred to as circularity and CE)is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible. CE aims to tackle global challenges as climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution by emphasising the design-based implementation of the three base principles of the model. The three principles required for the transformation to a circular economy are: eliminating waste and pollution, circulating products and materials, and the regeneration of nature. CE is defined in contradistinction to the traditional linear economy. The idea and concepts of circular economy (CE) have been studied extensively in academia, business, and government over the past ten years. CE has been gaining popularity since it helps to minimize emissions and consumption of raw materials, open up new market prospects and principally, increase the sustainability of consumption and improve resource efficiency. 

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

I’ve used the sellpy app for a long time now, and I am very happy with how it works. My daughter (10 years old) also uses the app (with my help) to renew her closet with seasonal items. Among other things she purchased a winter jacket that would have cost her mama $200 in the store for $20 worth of credits in the app. (She got the credits from selling unused toys and clothes that no longer fits her.) I am a big believer in the concept of circular economy as one step towards a sustainable lifestyle. 

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. How is your week?

Love,

Maria

Weekend Coffee Share – Sustainable Choices

Welcome to the Weekend coffee share! Can I get you a cup of coffee? Or tea? Just like last week it’s a good thing that this is a virtual cup of coffee we’re sharing, the damn cold that’s been lingering around our household doesn’t give up. I’d say that my children started to feel slightly better on Thursday, and my son is completely back to normal. My daughter and I still have a way to go. That said, I NEED to be back to work on Monday. I can’t believe I have missed a whole week. All I’ve done this week is resting and making sure we all eat healthy food to make us feel better (= a lot of celery from the garden, large amounts of sprouts and salad greens, fruits, and many cups of herbal tea made with various different herb from the balcony garden enjoyed with large amounts of honey, and of course I’ve added garlic to every soup and stew I’ve made this week.) If we were having coffee I would try to make you speak as much as possible, both because I am truly interested in how you are, and to save my voice. How are you?

Since I’ve had a little more time than usual to think this week I’ve been thinking a little bit about my blog. I choose the name Green Dreams for my blog mainly for two reasons; because I like to consider the environment in my daily choices, and I absolutely love to grow my own food. I am working towards my dream of living a more self-sufficient life, growing the majority of my food myself. I’ve decided to be more conscious about including something about a sustainable lifestyle in every post I make on the blog. It’s something I often write about, but I want it to be something that you can expect to find in one way or another, when you visit my blog to read a new post. If you want to read more about some of my choices towards living a more sustainable life you can read about that in the very first post here.

This week I have literally not left the apartment to do anything else except taking the garbage out. Therefor I’m going to share the progress of my balcony garden this week. I did not do all of this the same day, but rather a little bit every day. A few minutes at the balcony here and there is the only thing I’ve done besides resting in my bed, trying to cure this stubborn cold.

MIner’s lettuce October 15, 2022.

The Miner’s lettuce in my winter garden is really starting to grow. It’s wonderful to have this great source of vitamin C close by.

Unless you live very far north it’s not too late to plant Miner’s lettuce. They do best if they are planted 4-6 weeks before the first frost. They can be planted outside as an edible ground cover, or in pots (likes the one I have at my balcony.) They thrive in almost any type of soil, but do best if they are not planted in direct sunlight (if it’s too hot the plant becomes bitter.)

Broccoli September 11, 2022

I mentioned last week that I planted my broccoli too late this year (new growing zone for me.) I had ten big containers with broccoli to figure out what to do with, since the nights are colder now, a couple nights have been in the mid 20’s.

I discharged some leaves that were yellow, it was only a few leaves. I cut the stem 1-2 inches from the soil, and harvested the whole plant. I rinsed the plants thoroughly.

I cut the plant into pieces, the stem in tiny pieces and the leaves slightly bigger. After cutting them into pieces I parboiled everything lightly in a big pot for a few minutes, with some herbs and salt. I drained the water.

I used some of it to make a vegetable soup, and still had two containers for the freezer. Even if I didn’t succeed with my broccoli in the traditional sense, it gave my family some nutritious and delicious food. Next year I am going to plant my broccoli earlier 🙂

This left me with ten empty, big pots. I added some bokashi compost to the pots and planted Jerusalem artichokes in them. A co-worker gave me some Jerusalem artichokes ten days ago. I had plans to plant them at my garden plot last Sunday, but then I woke up not feeling so well that day, so it didn’t happen. When I realised I might not be planting them this weekend either I decided to plant a few of them in pots, something I’ve never done before. I did some research and found out that a lot of other people had done it successfully, so why not try? I only planted one in each pot, after reading about that most people plant two or more and wish that they hadn’t done that. One Jerusalem artichoke can grow 6-10 new ones. I’m excited to see how this experiment turns out. We’ve eaten some of the artichokes my co-worker gave me, and they were delicious. I still have some left, and I’m hoping to plant them at my garden plot some time next week. I already have a spot in mind where I believe they would thrive. Jerusalem artichokes is a perennial, you leave a few in the ground and they will produce new artichokes next year. If you plant them once in a good spot, you’ll likely have Jerusalem artichokes for the rest of your life. I want to find more crops like that! Is there something exciting growing in your garden at the moment?

Thank you Natalie for hosting the Weekend Coffee Share. How is your week? What are you up to this weekend?

Love,

Maria