It has been a long time since I have written anything on this blog. Rest assured, it does not mean I stopped gardening! Life just came in the way of expressing myself here. A lot has happened which I am now ready to share with all of you!!
Good and bad news
First of all the bad news. In the last few years I have suffered a gigantic burn out. For lots of reasons really, in the beginning mostly because of work but after a while with help from a fantastic therapist I realised there was more to it than “just” work. One of the realisations is that I am a big introvert. Whooptidoo what a surprise! Looking back on my life I found out that I pretended a lot to fit into this extroverted world we live in and it was catching up on me. So for the past year and a half I have worked on myself and used all my spare time and energy to grow veggies which left not a lot of inspiration for writing. So that was in short, the bad news. There is a lot of good news as well!!
In the summer of 2016 we finally got chickens. If you remember, I am afraid of chickens, they are mean looking creatures with dinosaur feet and flapping wings that are out to get you! So I put of getting chickens for a long time. But any proper farm needs chickens, not only for the eggs but they are great for eating your kitchen scraps, their poop can be used on the compost and they can clear a veg bed in a heartbeat, even if you did not intent them to do that…. I bought some books to read on the art of keeping chickens, Roger build a coop and off we went to get 4 young chickens of a gentil variety on the market in Bastogne.
In the beginning I wouldn’t even go into their inclosure, watched from the sideline as others would take care of them and realised that wont do. So slowly but surely I set foot in the inclosure and was terrified that they would run up to me, but I stayed put and I observed. After a few weeks I dared to pet one of the chickens, another few weeks later I dared to pick up one and now I am as good as cured from my fear of chickens and have come to love them really. In spring 2017 we got another 2 chickens of a different variety and later that season 4 more. There is a reason for the extra chickens which I am going to explain now.
Fair is Fair
When I tumbled into my burn out I lost my job and looking back it was the best thing that could happen to me. In the year before my colleague Sara said she wanted to sell things on a market, she wasn’t sure what but it would be a new experience, something she had never done before. At that time I was hugging the edges of a burn out and my mind was not at all ready for something like that but when she told me a year later she knew of a woman doing fairs in Luxembourg I knew I needed to at least to have a look. I was terrified, on the brink of an anxiety attack but in I went and I met this wonderful woman who, by chance, is a country woman of mine and a lovely woman above all. I told her about my farm, our chickens and the veggies I grow and she got all excited.
The people in Luxembourg, as in other parts of the world, want to know where their food comes from, they want honest fresh food and products and I could provide that. So I went home and I couldn’t sleep with all the ideas going around in my mind. The next day I started planning making products for the next fair and I felt the excitement running through me and I knew right then and there I was finally on the path I am supposed to be. We started selling the eggs of our chickens and people went coo coo for them so hence the extra chickens.
I wanted to get on the foraging train as it was up and coming and I started to look differently at the nature around me. Suddenly I noticed the blackberry bushes that had been there al along on my morning walks with the dogs, the nettles and the clover on my land and the only thing what I thought was “is it edible and what can I make from it”. From that time on I went to this fair every month and met a lot of passionate people who create beautiful things and some of them introverted like me so I felt at home. I could be myself and with every market I relaxed and do you know the most amazing thing? People love the things I make!