It took me a while: I was planning to write this life school blog for some 2 years, and I finally got written and published the first post of my new blog. I hope you’ll like it! I hope you enjoy all posts and all my observations, stories, poems and life lessons which I have experienced during many decades living in Europe, Latvia, as well as later in Ontario, Canada.
I was just cropping photos and thinking: it was such a blessing to grow up without any internet and without any mobile devices. I suppose, childhood is the perfect time to learn about our surroundings and nature. That is a great time to find out what each herb, grass and flower can do for us, how they can help and what they can cure. I had a grandmother who taught me everything she knew about plants, flowers and herbs when I was about 5-6 years old. We moved to a small town afterwards, we had a garden, just like everybody in Latvia did, but meadows and forests belong to my early childhood.
I also remember when I arrived in Canada, I saw lots of lawns, every house had it, and most backyards were lawns, too. That was when I thought: what a waste of land and soil! I think, it’s wrong to kill all dandelions, white and red clover, other small blossoming weeds, even nettles, because bees desperately need them. The flawless lawn is boring. If every house had flowers and blossoming weeds, we would not need to worry about losing bees. secondly, every plant and herb helps maintaining or improving our health.
It is, thankfully, summer, and summer means planting, weeding, growing and watering plants. I am very happy to have a huge backyard this time. I haven‘t turned it entirely in a garden yet, but if we stay here long enough, I probably will. We rent, and that means moving often and starting a new garden again.
Here are the main reasons why even very busy people should grow some herbs and some basic vegetables in their backyard. It’s not about money and financial gains because starting up a small garden is not that cheap. It is about the huge health benefits. That also means that kids learn nature directly and take part in growing their own meals.
We obviously can buy everything at the grocery store and farmers market. The latter is a better choice because of a shorter shelf life. However, the soil has been depleted so terribly during the last decades that vegetables and fruits we are consuming at the present moment have only 30% of the mineral, vitamin and nutrition content compared to what they had in 70-s. When we add to this processing time, packaging time, time of transportation and sitting on a shelf, we cannot even dream that this fruit or vegetable compares to some extent with the vegetable or fruit which we picked in the backyard or garden.
There are plants which grow themselves. As soon as we have put them in the ground, they’ll only require watering and a few – also minimum amount of a fertilizer.
I love strawberries because they grow wildly and require attention only two times a year: in the fall when we need to detach the new shoots, and in early spring when we should sort out the entire strawberry field or bed. After that, they just bloom and grow, and all one has to do is pick them when red. Isn’t that fantastic? Secondly, you get twice as many plants in the next year, 4 times more in the third year, and so until your backyard is a strawberry field. Just kidding, but still, it’s an easy plant to grow in mild climate.
The simple or Italian parsley
Lemon balm: so beautiful, so good for us, especially for people who suffer from high blood pressure and anxiety or similar disorders
The other plants which grow absolutely effortlessly are herbs: basil, dill, parsley, mint, sage, rosemary, lemon balm and thyme. They have extreme contents of healthy stuff inside, yet, they don’t require practically any work. Dill can be sown every month as a sub-plant for other taller plants. It is a really friendly neighbor to cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, radish and similar. Dill grows very fast, and just 1 teaspoon of chopped dill with any salads, soups or potatoes, etc. provides us with a large dose of live!!! vitamin C. I will review in other posts all possible uses of dill, parsley, lemon balm and other backyard plants.
The insanely healthy plant: dill for every condition
There is still time to plant and sow many summer herbs and vegetables. Radish and lettuce are ready in a very short time, so eat and put new seeds in the soil.
Crisp and red: eat right away
The biggest advantage of growing herbs and vegetables is that we really can be sure how clean they are and what we have used when growing them. Only tomatoes and cucumbers will need a bit of fertilizer (2 times a season is enough), everything else grows practically on its own.
Flowers: endless source of pleasure
More strawberries, these are the first ones this year
I have strawberries in pots and everywhere else, we used them for sketching
Enjoy the pictures from my backyard! I appreciate your comments!