Quoting Challenge – Day 2


, , , , , , , ,

My dear Halee from 2blueeyes challenged me, some time ago I have to admit, for a 3 day quoting series. Thanks to her  I can do something I was dreaming of. I’ll invite you to be my guests at a very honorable coffee round. We are meeting with three writers I admire for their savior vivre, their wit and of cause for their writings. As the gentlemen are not contemporary writers the place to meet would be an old fashioned coffee house in a style of the traditional Vienna cafes or Parisian tea rooms where the small and important things got discussed over a small black coffee or an Earl Grey tea.

Rules for the Quote Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog post
  • Post 1-3 quotes a day for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate 3 blogger each day

Today’s nominees are:

Agastya Kapoor की दुनिया


Nigel Boldero… | Old School Garden
Please join me to meet Oscar Wilde, Lord Byron and Aldous Huxley. The conversation is progressing and all gentlemen agree that the world they have known is not getting wiser today. Men still doing the same mistakes and just a few seems to learn from history.
That’s when Oscar Wilde is mentioning

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.


Aldous Huxley agrees

Facts don’t cease to exist because they are ignored.

And Lord Byron claims

In secret we met – In silence I grieve, – That thy heart could forget, – Thy spirit deceive.

At that point of the conversation the hot black coffee was served and the topic changed to discuss the great invention mankind has done since…

All portraits pictures soured via




Quoting challenge – Day 1


, , , , , , ,

My dear Halee from 2BLUEEYES nominated me, some time ago I have to admit, for a 3 day quoting challange. It was a good experience to go though all the proverbs from vocally educated wise people. I actually love reading quotes. So thanks to Halee for challenging me. By the way Mark Twain is one of my favorites to quote, especially his bon mots about Germany and the German language make me always laugh as they are all true!

And here we go.

Rules for the Quote Challenge

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog post
  • Post 1-3 quotes a day for 3 consecutive days
  • Nominate 3 blogger each day

Today’s nominees are:


Nature has no boss

Brianna Sommer – For You
That was administrative preamble.

The quote that came to my mind immediately is the one I am starting with today.

When the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.

According to Quote Investigator: The earliest instance located by QI was in a collection of essays published in 1972 titled “Who is the Chairman of This Meeting?” A chapter called “Conversations with North American Indians” contained comments made by Alanis Obomsawin who was described as “an Abenaki from the Odanak reserve, seventy odd miles northeast of Montreal.” (The book uses the spelling Obomosawin.) Obomsawin employed a version of the saying while speaking with the chapter author Ted Poole.
When I grew up this very quote was a sticker from Greenpreaceand almost everywhere stuck on. I am a bit sad that this true proverb seems to be out of fashion these days.  Probably we should revive this fashion again as it is more true today.

Abandon flowers from mass production


, , , , , , , ,

Flowers are beautiful. In early spring flower blossoms are a source of joy. After an always too long and dark winter the first colorful buts are welcomed by everyone. People buy flowers for gardens and balconies. And they buy cheap as now there are so many offers of blooming flowers for a few cents. In the city the administration prepare the public spaces for spring. The decoration needs to be switched. I would consider a park as an organic organism. The whole park is a bigger organism consistent of various plants. According to the assembly of the plants the park would naturally look different at every season.

But parks can also look artificially like a cheap stage decoration. The decoration is easy changeable. Than the flowers act as a fast decoration tool to add color to the stage. The natural nature of a living plant is changed to be just an subject, to fulfill a purpose.

Is that sustainable to plant blossoming followers and exchange them after a few weeks to be replaced with a new sort? The old get thrown away as they are out of duty.

Industrial production of flowers or herbs is a mass market with mass production. The purpose is to have the flowers or herbs ready to sell fast and simultaneously at a certain time. For followers it means lot of blossoms buts at the same time. After the blossoming period, after a few weeks the plant is exhausted and will die.

I have tried to keep some of those industrial grown flowers alive. With primroses I had some success, but it is noticeable that in a normal environments without the nourishing chemical liquids to push for plenty of blossoms the plant is going back to normal growing pattern. If one compare that with the excessive stage it was bought it is for most people dissatisfying. As a result those plants get thrown away, as they aren’t of any use.

The plants are cultivated in mass production and in monoculture to be sold in the shops.

Since Henry Ford’s famous quote: sure, customers can have their car in every color they wish, as long as they choose black.

We have learnt that industrial production at the assembly line is best when just one sort is produced. Individual or customized design does not support the economies of scale.

What does that mean to our flowers? In the garden centers you can buy a primrose these days for about 0,50 Euro Cent, for US Dollar just add 0,02 or 0,03 cents to the equation.

Now imagine the whole seller is getting a mark up, probably we have some shipping in the distribution chain. Strip another mark up for logistics. Than you are close to the production price. Not much left, just a few cents profit per plant. Therefore the production needs to be massive to give the producer his earnings! This makes clear that producer are motivated to produce plants as cheap as possible as long as the market price is shrinking. The perceived incentive to support biodiversity is minimal.

The biodiversity of all species on our planet is shrinking year over year. According to the  WWF site the annual extinction rate of species to disappear from earth is calculated to be between 0,01% and 0,1%.

How do we stop this extinction of species? Start with your balcony or yard. Buy heirloom seeds and grow your own plants, flowers or vegetable as you like. A normal grown flower plant may not look as dramatically beautiful as in a garden center, but it has its natural beauty and will stay with you and give you a tight connection to Mother Nature.

Amazon Fashion en Vogue ?


, , , , , , ,

The other day during lunch break I flipped though a Vogue magazine that was available in my favorite coffee shop.

I love vogue and Harper’s bazar to get inspirations on style. I adore the adds as well as the photo reels. I guess you know what I mean. The pictures in Vogue are for me the non plus ultra of design and style, a pice of art. 

But this time by opening the first pages, which usually have the most luxurious adds I was shocked. Between the pictures of Prada, Gucci or Armani, I saw Amazon and an other online shopping portal. What is its going to tell us about the divergence of online shops into the stylish fashion industry?

Is it the ritterschlag of Amazon and the like. 

Or is it the contrary that our famous fashion labels lost their individuality. They can be replaced by a consumer portal. 

The add suggest that the customer is no longer asking for the like as Gucci or Armani but instead looking for the Amazon fashion. The individual designer brand could become interchangeable more easily. The brand loyalty could switch to the wholesaler instead of the producer. As a result a new powerful intermediary is locking itself into the distribution chain. 

As of today the fashion labels show the trends for the next season in their courture shows, their pret a porte shows are slightly downgraded to show fashion that people could actually wear. Recently this cycle has been extended to mid season shows and ready to wear shows. The inspiration from those looks is adopted by all various fashion labels up to the fast fashion labels such as Mango, Zara and you name it. 

The fast fashion labels are still recognized as producer of fashion whereas Amazon would be a distributor or whole seller. 

The widespread internet allowed fast fashion labels to run their own online platforms as a subelement to their shops or flag stores. That vertical distribution is quite common as it is a down ward integration. 

In the case of Amazon and other whole seller they are establishing a buying power and strengthen their position in the chain. 

So far so good. But the fashion industry is not really known for their sustainable production. The production is highly suspected to be unethical at all. So what will happening to the prices in production when the competition has increased and the intermediates have more buying power? 
I would leave this necessary debate to an other post. My concern is should a fashion magazine that considers it self as “high class” support such behavior. Should they take the money for those adds? Should art not also includes an ethical lifestyle?!

Just questioning!

 Source: Vogue Germany, 10/11 2017 edition

Late New Year resolution and inventory


, , , , , , ,

Iventory The winter hit us very hard this year. All is covered with show and the temperature are unusually fierce. Even at sunny day we do not reach temperatures above freezing point. The winter greens such as kale are gone by now and my always reliable Burnett is under the snow. Luckily the forecast was good and predicted this cold temperature ahead of time. We could move all apples from the outside storage into the house cellar. The storage cellar is not heated but temperatures would not drop below freezing point. It keeps the apples fresh for some weeks. The wall storages are full of jars with canned plumes. For our daily breakfast we still enjoy fresh apples or open a jar with plums. The goal is to have sufficient supply of vegetables for winter. I would like to minimize the daily groceries to only basic items. I am still way ahead. But a change is already noticeable. 

 1. The kitchen waste mostly is used to compost and the garbage bin is almost empty. 

  1. The expenditure for food is reduced 

  2. I feel better by eating homegrown food

The plan for this year to extend the amounts of plants but also the variety. Over Christmas holidays I studies the new seeds catalog and prepared my shopping list. I need to improve my compost and fertilizers skills.

Fermentation – a first try 


, , , , ,

Fermentation and preservation The winter is coming and food storage needs to be filled. Since quite some time I planned to give fermentation a try. Actual lively discussion in several posts about fermentation indicates that it is enjoying a revival. The first thing that comes in mind is the German sauerkraut! But when taking a closer look at the Asian cuisine, a lot more than cabbage can be fermented. Almost all sorts of lettuce, cabbage and root vegetables such as carrots or red beets can be preserved. The Corean kimchi Maang Chi or the Japanese cuisine, e.g. fermented soy beans in Miso etc. has a lot of dishes that uses fermented ingredients. Just as a first try I did not followed a kimchi recipe, which I definitely will try. But used an easy to do beginners approach and substitute the regular Asia salat with my home grown Red Giant for recipes see here.Easy made recipe
Fermented sauerkraut was used by sailors in ancient times to have a supply of vitamin c that is necessary to prevent scorbutic disorders. The process of fermentation sets off lactic acid bacteria which supports the human digestive system. Fermented food is naturally probiotic.

The chemical process converts sugars such as carbohydrates to organic acid by using the lactic bacterias. The condition has to be anaerobic. Which is easily created by covering the food with salty water so that the food is not exposed to air and its oxygen. In the closed jars the fermented food can be stored easily several weeks or month – over winter.

I have used a bigger jar of glass. Traditionally special pottery is used with weights to cover the pot. During the process of fermentation the food should be pressed and protected against sun light. But to start with a glass jar is serving the purpose. Don’t close it with its cover but stuck a drinking glass with water as a weight into the jar. Put it in the shade in your kitchen or storage. After a week or two the fermentation is mostly done

Harvesting – a virtual Thanksgiving


, , , , , ,

Processed with MOLDIV

The first gardening year is almost at its end. Let’s celebrate a virtual thanksgiving!
This year encouraged me to convert more of the grassland into a vegetable garden. Just going outside to pick something for dinner is a great satisfying feeling. And I get spoiled, by the taste of it.

I had a gorgeous harvest on potatoes Potatoes, your friendly soil support
Sweet corn, beans and peas.
Those I tried out for the first time. The seeds grow well with a decent harvest. Those sorts seemed to match the soil. Still I have supply from kale, pastinak and a delicious Asia salat, called Red Giant.
The salat can be used row – salat, or steamed like a spinach sort of vegetable dish.
It contains mustard oils and thats how it taste, like mustard. I am very pleased, I love mustard and the snails don’t like it. Yep! Got ya
On the down side, here is the dining menu of my snails.
Carrots, broccoli, zucchini, pumpkin. They had all and I had nothing.
With pots on the terrace I could save beans, kale and sunflowers.
This year the tomatoes didn’t like the wet June and July. They where very shy this year, but last was fantastic. Last year the tomato sort ox heard grow enormously.
The fruits did well, I had tons of plums Caning plumes and the sugar dilemma and berries Summer Berries
The outside storage is full of apples and kiwis.
Preserving food

Environmental Cautious and Challenges


, , , , , , ,

What does it need to be environmental cautious?
Do we need to engage in challenges and post it in social networks?
I am reading a lot about zero waste challenge, buy less and minimalists challenge not to forget all the hype about vegan diet.
Don’t get me wrong I think all trends are great, necessary and truly the right move forward.
Our earth is suffering and men did their fair share to treat Mother Earth purely over the last decades.
For me the disturbing factor is that I miss the final outcome after those challenges. What’s happening after the 30 or 100 day challenge? In my mind it should result in a thoroughly rethinking of the behavior. Don’t you agree?
If the social networks promote a change in behavior and foster that people think about the consequences of their behavior, I’ll be more than happy.
But back to the opening question. What does it need to be environmentally cautious?
Actually the question includes the answer!
To be cautious 
We need to think about that our behavior has consequences for the environment. That’s the key. Be aware of what we are doing.
For me the turning point was a special edition from Le Monde Diplomatique. In cooperation with the German Heinrich Boell Foundation they published a meat atlas.Meta Atlas 2014
The consequences about our meat factories became very clear to me. The mass production of meat does not only harm the animals but also impact the humans, the environment, the atmosphere and supports famine and diseases.
I made the decision to stop eating any food sourced from animals at least in industrial countries.
After I realized that me as an individual can have influence on the market with my buying power I started to rethink all my habits of consuming goods.Coffee cups and waste

Caning plumes and the sugar dilemma 


, , , , , , , ,

Recently we had a lively debate at home, about sugar! Do we need sugar to preserve food? 

Is sugar a “good“ ingredients such as in homemade marmalade or at canning fruits. Or is it always evil and should be replaced. In homemade marmalade or for caning sugar does not only adds flavor but is mainly used to preserve the fruits or vegetables. 

My first source of wisdom is always my “ancient“ cookbook from 1900. It’s beauty is that it was edited before electrical devices have been invented, speaking here of a fridge! Clearly all recipes are referring to sugar to preserve fruits over winter. By referring to “newly“ invented method of pressure caning, they highlight the advantage to reduce the amount of sugar vs. the older method of water bath caning. But still sugar is needed, or isn’t it?

Ok, our ancestors where in favor of sugar, but what about new technologies today? 

A research of the Internet brought only the option of deep freezing. I personally don’t like that method because of the watery taste when food is defreezed. And the equipment consumes massively power and the storage space is limited anyway in a normal household. 

I am running into a dilemma, wasting electricity and have defreezed food I don’t like or preserving with sugar. My stand is to can with sugar as a method of choice. I really do not consume much sugar, neither in drinks nor in food. So I can justify it and make use of the positive properties of sugar. It chemically reduces the exposer to get moldy. The sugar crystals wrap up the organic structure of the fruit by cooking. After it is cooled up the sugar crystals prevent oxidation as the fruit is not directly exposed to the oxidation process. 

Do you have alternatives? Any ideas? I would like to know if you see a similar dilemma I do?