Getting ripe!

To better understand my excitement you have to know, that my living space is tiny. I have neither a garden nor a balcony, but I decided to grow tomatoes on windowsill.

Because of zero experience, I investigated suitable varieties on internet. I chose for two with feminine names, both starting with V. I would like to think that V meant victory, but it was V like Venus and Vilma.

I spent my time with them from seeds, trying to grow strong plants and kill permanent doubts.

I have already harvested a few of gold Venus fruits. They were extremely small but yummy! And there are still many of them on plants, waiting for the right size and color.

Vilma should be slightly bigger and red, see the picture above. I couldn’t wait to taste and check the redness every minute. Approaching the goal, my impatience and salivation rate increases.

It’s too early for evaluation, but it seems to be clear that efficiency of growing tomatoes on windowsill isn’t high. On the other hand it brought me adventure of growing and harvesting yummy fruits, even small in numbers.

Call me crazy, but I think I will repeat it next year again! Your experience and recommendations for a gardener without garden are welcome.

With love and humility,

Ivana

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To be a bee

Walking through the blooming landscape and foraging medicinal plants means to have an instant contact with bees. And I tell you, I admire them!

They live in society, where everyone knows the place and duty. Most bees belong to workers, that we meet humming around blossoms and collecting nectar into cups on their legs. Do you think they have time to chat how the queen is not so accurate or the drones are lazy?

I admire the logistic of them. Imagine how many flowers bloom at the same time and each of them hopes to be pollinated on time. And some blossoms are blooming for one day only! A small mistake in logistic could bring lack of fertility and loss in crop.

How do the workers know where to fly and keep the efficiency so high? Is there a structure of managers? Do they have plans and motivation meetings? I am curious to know.

The drones are specific group of bees in the bee society. They are kind of “macho” bees and I believe that some of male human beings will happily catch their job of dreams, to fertilize the queen and lay at home on eggs if they need to be warmed. Nobody force them to work and feed the family. Hopefully it doesn’t sound too feminist. I am aware that the job of dreams is compensated by a short life of drones.

And of course there is her Majesty the Queen! The biggest and very unique bee sits at home on the throne, letting the others work for her. Who wouldn’t change?

I wouldn’t. The queen is important with no doubts, but sitting at home all the time with responsibility to keep healthy future of the whole society? This is hard job in very limited space. I will likely change with the workers, flying cross the country and touching blooming flowers every day. Although they work hardly I believe they also have some fun and opportunity to watch the world.

With love and gratitude to bees,

Ivana

Playing with the Elements, Part 4 – Earth

Earth is the result of all previous elements. It is a solid mass with internal structure and growing potential. Even if it’s cold on the surface, there is always a hot core inside. Like the planet and its hot magma.

Meeting rules, discipline and responsibility usually means meeting the cold surface of the Earth. We don’t like them, trying to get fruits of results even without them. Or we tend to take too much discipline and responsibility, trying to improve what is natural. In the first case, you see the effort to jump directly into the hot core without protective suit and suitable skills, while in the second case you see the effort to wear too thick protection that prevents access to heat. And the most important lesson of the Earth element is to learn how to balance it.

Growth belongs to the Earth for sure. Depending on the project, the growth can be microscopic or giant. Viability of the Earth is measured by growth not by the result in absolute value. So don’t be hungry for too much, the healthy growth must be reasonable.

The first and necessary condition for the growth is the roots. We easily understand if we talk about plants. But talking about the roots of us, we need to consider our own history on personal, family and/ or national level. Before we change anything, we need to accept our origins without hesitation. Then our roots are healthy and we can get a bigger harvest with less effort.

Harvest is the golden point of the Earth element. And it doesn’t matter if you want to harvest grain, money, children or houses. Always you need to follow specific rules and invest each of previous elements. And because we are all unique, there is no exact recipe how to proceed and how much to add. We have to try and learn from our own mistakes.

Talking about the harvest, there is another important lesson. Do not eat the whole crop and always save a part of it as a seed. Taking care about seeds is the promise of future harvest. And that’s why the protection of women and children is important.

So, how the element cycle works? First, we need a flame of interest and feed it with wood and oxygen, and later build a shelter for it.  Oxygen means Air and Air means thinking, moving and socializing. At this stage, we feed the original interest with information, share it with other people and flexibly adjust it. The warning point – don’t lose the origin because of too many influences. If you decide to give up, return and find another flame of interest. But be sure it is your flame and no one else.

Once you have your own flame with enough oxygen, let it bubble into the water. Water means emotions, dreams, intuition and time. Don’t hurry, let your heart and inner voice comment and slowly adjust. Don’t forget that water is lazy and quiet. You cannot listen while loudly thinking. Water often speaks through images or music, so don’t expect the same language like from the mind. Be alone with your project for a while. Let it sit and be sure on the level of water before you continue.

Then recheck that your original flame of interest is still alive, keep feeding it by appropriate amount of oxygen, and keep honesty of your emotions about it.

Pour this blend to the potential of your roots, and with regular work and patience you should harvest enough. Most of the harvest is for eating and living, you deserve to celebrate the success. Never skip the celebration! And part of the harvest is the wood and shelter for another flame of your interest. It is the seed for future.

And this is how the cycle works. Once you understand the steps and the order of them, you can apply it to anything in your life.

I would appreciate your questions or comments.

With love,

Ivana

In case you missed Playing with the Elements, Part 3 – WaterPlaying with the Elements, Part 2 – AirPlaying with the Elements, Part 1 – Fire

 

Hunting mushrooms

I would say that people are divided into two basic groups: either they love eating mushrooms or they hate it, nothing between. I belong to the lovers!

In my country, gathering mushrooms is very popular. It is a kind of national hobby, which probably comes from the bad times when people were looking for food in forests, whether it was during various wars or like in my childhood during Soviet occupation. I already remembered a bit of that mushrooming in the restricted area in the Pine Tree.

But even today, when you can easily catch anything including mushrooms in supermarkets, the summer forests are crowded by mushroom hunters. They get up early in the morning to be first in the forest and pick up the best pieces in the largest amount. Even the main evening news deals with mushrooming in the season. It often looks like competition rather than fun.

Most population gathers mushrooms of the family Boletaceae, because they are easily recognizable and delicious to taste. Who has never tasted schnitzels from these mushrooms, has missed much!

However, there are many species of mushrooms. One of my high school teachers was a mycologist and used to gather mushrooms throughout the year, even in the snow and winter. Once he took the whole class into the forest and I remember how I brought colorful mixture of mushrooms back to home. Unfortunately, my traditional mother forced me to throw away all the beautifully colored species except of Boletaceae.

Since that, many years have passed. Even summer is gone and the main mushrooms season with it. But the sun was shinning and I wanted to bring some nice trophy from the walk. This time, it was strangely colored mushrooms. I double checked them on internet, cooked a tasty dinner, and so far I am alive! 😁

With love, Ivana

The Elixir of Youth

The fall is definitely coming. It’s not just the morning mist, but also a lot of ripening fruit on the trees all around. You see the branches laden by fruits as they bend to the ground like the elder people often do. And both are full of experience and perhaps full of wisdom.

In my opinion, there are two most attractive seasons in nature – spring and fall. You can easily compare spring to the freshness and innocence of youth, and fall to the maturity and experience of the old age. Even the colors could bear this comparison – bright, fresh and vibrant colors in the spring and heavy and earthy colors in the fall. We can take an example.

Some time ago, I wrote about the elder (Sambucus nigra) at the time of its youth when it was in full bloom, I called it Elderflower Princess. The proud and cheerful girl now became a modest and wise old woman. The royal blood still circulates in her veins, but she has no need to demonstrate. In dust around the roads she patiently awaits those who know or are interested to know her quality. And there are plenty of them!

The most common and probably the most pleasant way how to consume elderberries is syrup. I do not exaggerate too much if I call it the elixir of youth. Sugar kicks the energy up and the fruit makes the energy better circulating throughout the body. A wide range of vitamins and minerals makes the body more resistant to virus and bacteria attacks, a small amount of sedative terpenes helps to calm tired nerves. Elderberries are among the most powerful antioxidants, it means they strongly prevent healthy cells from harmful effects. They keep us as young as possible.

It is easy to remember: the fruit of Elder protects our body from being much elder.

I wish you happy and rich harvest!

With love, Ivana