Complete self-sufficiency includes many aspects of one’s life from growing your own food to being self-sufficient with electricity, water, and other necessities. And although I would love to one day be completely self-sufficient, I’m taking it one step at a time. So today I’m going to focus on my current goal – being self-sufficient with vegetables.
I’ve been thinking about self-sufficiency for a long time. The first time the idea of not having to go to the store for anything else than oil and salt crossed my mind about 10 years ago. It was the time in 2008 when the global economic crisis occurred. The crisis showed how dependent we are on the goods that await us on the shelves of the stores and how quickly this same good can become inaccessible if we lose our source of income.
With the passing years, my idea of self-sufficiency evolved – I liked the fact that I didn’t have to go shopping for weeks at the time and I was still able to prepare food that was healthy and nutritious. Not to mention how the lack of grocery shopping impacted the size of my wallet.Continue Reading
After my blueberry post I’ve decided to write about another homegrown berry species. Today I’ll be writing about red, white and black currant. One of the most widespread but at the same time often overlooked species of berries in the home garden. Currant plants can be found in many Slovenian gardens. It seems that many people don’t know how to use the currant berries, because of their tart taste. Currant is therefore less popular than its other distant relatives from the berry family. I also quietly blame the modern media for the unpopularity of currants – we are constantly told how healthy the berries are for us, but most commonly mentioned are strawberries and raspberries, despite the fact that the currant is in fact a real bomb of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. In addition it’s also ridiculously easy to grow and care for.Continue Reading
It’s been little over a month since we greeted a new family member in the House by the woods. I plan to share my birth story in one of my next posts. This time I will focus on the three garden produce that has helped me through my pregnancy, preparation for the birth and continue to ease my post-natal period. It is recommended to eat as many fresh vegetables as possible during pregnancy. If it’s home-grown it’s even better. 🙂Continue Reading
Good weather, enough time and my long-lasting wish for new perennials have lured to Primorska – the southwest region of Slovenia. Over the weekend I visited Golob-Klancic, the biggest perennial nursery in Slovenia. They are known for their wide variety of perennial flowers and edibles. For two years now I have been cultivating and perfecting my vision of gradually changing my garden to a farm-style garden.
It seems that this week will end as it began – in the name of homemade drinks. My last post of the week is dedicated to my newest invention – it’s dandelion iced tea. This likable combination is the result of my current obsession with the healing roots of wild plants. In the last week I foraged roots of dandelion, chicory and comfrey. I must admit that I have come across the healing properties of these plants just this past summer and ever since I have read about them I have patiently waited for the autumn as it’s the best time to harvest them. Because when the plants are preparing for wintering they’re storing the medicinal substances in the roots. The common saying goes that all the wild roots should be picked in months that have the letter “R” in their name. So SeptembeR couldn’t come fast enough this year.Continue Reading
Today I am writing about cucumbers – those common, larger cucumbers that we mainly use in salads. In spite of the fact that the summer (and with it this year’s cucumber season) is lowly ending, my cucumbers are still producing. Maybe it’s because of the hot summer, or the fact that I sow them pretty late this year due to germination problems. I hope that these couple of lines will serve as an inspiration for anyone who hasn’t already to try and grow their own cucumbers next year.Continue Reading
Who hasn’t heard of tarragon – aromatic culinary herb that is mostly used for baking sweets. The most common use of it in Slovenia is as a filling for potica, which is a traditional Slovenian pastry. Not a lot of people are aware of its healing properties and the use of it in tea mixtures or as a dietary supplement. It contains a lot of vitamins, potassium and other nutrients that have a proven positive effect on our health. There are two different varieties of tarragon: French and Russian (or Siberian). French variety is smaller, has tinnier leaves, seldom blossoms and is more aromatic than its Russian brother. Russian variety can grow up to 1,5m in height, has somewhat bigger leaves, blossoms annually and is hardier than the French variety.Continue Reading
You’ve probably heard of catnip (Nepeta cataria) which is loved by cats. During my research of (what I thought to be) an unknown mint variety that is growing in the edge of my garden since the beginning of time I found out that if was actually lemon catnip (Nepeta cataria ssp. citriodora) which is pretty common in Slovenian gardens and commonly mistaken for lemon balm. Unlike real catnip, her lemon sister doesn’t attract cats and has a pleasant citrus-minty smell. While catnip’s blossoms are purple-blue color, lemon catnip’s blossoms are white.Continue Reading
I’ve decided to experiment and try out a new approach in the garden (or better yet – by the garden). I’ve decided to grow tomatoes in containers. Homegrown tomatoes have been a big wish of mine for the past few years but it just didn’t work out due to environmental conditions in my garden.Continue Reading
We all know that vegetables are good for us, right? The one that we manage to produce at home and we put our time and effort into it usually tastes even better than the one we buy. Not many vegetables can surpass the garlic in its health benefits. So this post is my ode to homegrown garlic. All my attention and efforts were repaid this past week when I harvested my garlic. Garlic’s health benefits were known long before Google. They were known and written about in the old Egypt and also by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It’s also well known in Chinese medicine.Continue Reading