Spring is in full swing now. After a very welcome wet and rather cold period, it is now sunny and warm. The trees are in full leaf. Our land seems to be recovering well from last year’s drought. It also helps that we hardly mow. We see many different types of grasses emerging, and everything is blooming. Even the bare sandy patches are now well covered.
This spring, we planted our first four large vegetable garden beds, and after a slow start due to the cold, everything is growing very well now. I check on the peas, zucchinis, tomatoes, salads, and flower beds that I planted in between multiple times a day. Since we don’t have taps or running water outside yet, we installed a water tank from which we fetch water with watering cans. It’s a time-consuming task, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more soothing than hearing the splashing of water in the watering can while I remove blades of grass from the vegetable garden.
These are the kind of moments that are also much needed to escape the intensity of the days here. The renovation has reached a point where we need to be present often to make sure everything falls into place and make various decisions on finishing touches: should the power outlet in the kitchen be horizontal or vertical? Sliding to the left or to the right? Sink on the short or against the long wall? Things that fill your head and aren’t necessarily inspiring.
The hours we can spend on what we’re truly passionate about (although I do enjoy decorating as well), provide much-needed energy. This month, we spent a morning with the Association de la Forêt Gourmande (food forest foundation) who helped us identify the edible plants, shrubs, and trees on our property. The leaves of the lime tree turn out to make a delightful salad, and you can make fritters out of acacia flowers – just to give an example! With Fabrice and Aurélie from the association, we’re working on a plan for the layout of 4 hectares of grassland, which we’ll divide into different zones. One will be a wet zone where abundant rainwater can seep away slowly, and where we’ll plant edible marsh and aquatic plants. Another part will be a more traditional food forest with edible shrubs and trees, where you can wander through, indulging in snacks, in the shade. And besides our vegetable garden, we’ll create a second edible garden with perennial edible plants.
Meanwhile, we’re busy organizing two concerts this coming weekend, on June 2nd and 3rd. The first artists will arrive tomorrow. Although we can’t accommodate them here yet, we’re thrilled to have artists visiting again with whom we’ll create beautiful things. We’re looking forward to long evenings at long tables with delicious food during sunset, having good conversations about life. A week of togetherness and celebrating life, away from the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam or Athens. The power outlets will have to wait for now.