Slow Winter : Planning For the Summer

New Year is that time of the year when many set goals for this year, like getting fit, exercising daily, quitting smoking. I always set a Goodreads reading challenge.

At first, there’s energy and excitement to start something new and hope to see the results soon. However, many resolutions are abandoned after the first week into the year. It’s all getting harder to keep up due to our busy lives, you come home tired and push off your resolution for another day. Or the weekend, or when the weather is good outside.

New Year starts in the middle if Winter, when our bodies had been running on Winter mode, making us less energetic and more keen on hiding indoors among the loved ones and our cosy habits. It is more beneficial for us to spend this time in comfortable clothing, warm beverage at hand, planing for the warm days ahead. That makes it difficult for you if you decided to join the gym, a yoga class, or other post-work activities. I know there are people who don’t struggle to attend their classes, but it has became a habit in many years. There needs to be a strong purpose to keep doing what you promised.

I am no coach, but enjoy planning ahead and think that’s a good way to spend time. It’s so exciting to have a vision for something to happen, then take a notebook and a pen, and start planning by making lists, drawing plans and checking up certain stuff online. I felt filled with excitement despite doing nothing more than imagining. The anticipation of doing something is halfway fun, as cheesy as it sounds. I also came across this zero waste planner for 2020.

Photo by 

Glenn Carstens-Peters

 on 

Unsplash

Plan a garden. Why? I have been thinking about inspiring more people to get their hands a little dirty and grow food for themselves. This idea came out in my mind more than a year ago, when I previously worked at a garden centre, and was excited to meet young people like me coming asking for an advice to start their garden. They live in the big city, usually, in a block of flats, yet they want to grow their own greens. Most of them also have children and want to teach them how to sow, grow, and harvest. Since I became interested in zero waste lifestyle I realised that gardening is actually a sustainable practice. Locating seeds and necessary equipment waste-free is a bigger challenge, but here are some suggestions:

  • use toilet paper rolls to sow and plant directly into the soil, they are biodegradable
  • buy coconut fiber (coir) rather than peat, or make your own compost. You can have a composter even inside your plant. Why avoid peat? Peat industry is destroying swamps, and it’s not a renewable resource. Be friendly to our planet.
  • browse for more gardening without plastic ideas here (they also have a garden planner app!).
  • I discovered an online seed shop that ships their orders plastic free, but lost it. Will update if I find it. This site(non-affiliate) also packs their seeds in beautiful paper envelopes
  • make plant markers from wine bottle corks, or use to make them with cookie cutters and clay.

Photo by 

Markus Spiske

 on 

Unsplash

You need as much as a windowsill. There you can grow lettuce, rucola, onion leaves, even strawberries. As well as various herbs and spices. Or maybe you would like to try and grow microgreens. They provide us much needed vitamins and can be grown all year round. All you need is microgreens’ seeds, a special growing container or your own, some water. Or grow them on wet tissue. Or in some soil. The difference between water-grown and soil-grown is that the ones grown on water can be taken and popped in mouth right away. The ones grown in soil will have to be cut above soil level. Eat as soon as they sprout first leaves.

Do you have a balcony? Brilliant. You can grow anything from aforementioned to bigger vegetables like radish, cucumbers, tomatoes, even potatoes. Vegetables like eggplant or pepper will need a greenhouse to grow, good for those who have a piece of land. Cucumbers and tomatoes can also be grown inside, while radish, a pumpkin or two, salad and other greens like rucola, herbs and spices, maybe beetroots or even potatoes can be grown from smaller to bigger gardens (find various ideas among

these pins

). Consider your available space and start planning for your vegetable garden. Start sowing indoors in March-April, depending on vegetation length. Except for peppers and eggplants that need to be sown in February due to their longer vegetation. If you have children, ask them to join you in gardening and surely both adults and children alike will enjoy watching the plants grow.

Photo by 

www.zanda. photography

 on 

Unsplash

If you choose to stay indoors for the winter, or skip a day at gym, why not start planing for your own garden now? You will start propagation soon, and harvest greens in no time. Gardening is not only sustainable, as it can save you money on food costs, but make you feel happier. Hands dirty, and food you bring to your table when you know how it was grown – it’s a life to strive for. Now I’m going to plan my own garden and buy the seeds.

 

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