Top of the blogs
Which blogs you decide to follow inevitably depends on your interests, and what you want to get out of them. I follow some for their practical advice – and for inspiration about how to live life in a sustainable way; others, for the glimpses I get of life in the beautiful countryside of France or Italy; and yet others for fun – sailing in the Aegean from the perspective of an armchair could not be better, while cooking Italian-style may, or may not, be translated into action here at home in Egypt.
One blogger who is teaching me a lot about cultivating the land sustainably is Rebecca at http://treeseeddreaming.com A naturalist, now resident in New Mexico, she clearly has a wealth of experience and writes about an incredible range of subjects, from building raised beds to making your own wines.
Recently, she kindly pointed out to me that we are already developing our own landrace varieties by letting herbs and veg go to seed and either allowing the seeds to germinate in situ or by collecting them for sowing next season. This is fascinating – I had not previously thought about approaching gardening in this way, but she has inspired me to a new way of looking at it and perhaps even to creating our own unique biome here in New Cairo.
The there is the question of the raised beds: the practice of hugelkultur means loading old, unwanted timber (e.g. fallen branches and trunks of trees) into the base of the beds in order to provide plants with a) nutrients and b) moisture through the growing season. Now this takes my obsession with adding organic materials to the beds to a new height – or maybe depth – and I need to look into it.
Other bloggers come up with amazing ideas about how to live daily life making as little impact on the earth as possible, and I love these. So: http://pioneeringthesimplelife.wordpress.com is full of ideas including such gems as putting out the dog’s hair collected after grooming her for the birds to use in nesting. This appeals hugely to my sense that everything in this world has a use – a second use – and maybe even a third use.
Then there are blogs that I follow for sheer pleasure. They tell me so much about how others are living on, and cultivating, the land in other parts of the world. Among my favourites is http://afrenchgarden.wordpress.com in which I see (amazing photos!) the garden blossom through the year, the bees visiting and loading up with pollen, and the recipes that arise every so often when there is a glut of fruit.
One to cherish. Indeed they are all to cherish: there is an extensive community of bloggers out there writing about everything from do-it-yourself home improvements to spirituality, via cooking and travel. What a brilliant resource!