April 2021 I started to eat a lot of apples and try to differentiate the taste from different species.
One day I have bought an apple from a local shop near the village where I live. Immediately, after arrived home. I was so hungry so I picked one apple, washed, ate it.
The first bite was so sweet! Like oh! (I’m not a big fan of sweet apple.) I looked at the side of the bag, it’s labeled ‘Fuji’. I don’t know how this happens but Fuji is a too-sweet apple for me.)
I’ve heard this apple before when I was in Thailand. I remembered my mom also loved it back when I was a child. We were walking in the fresh market. I heard she got excited to see the fruit stall that had Fuji apple. But remember nothing by that time. I didn’t enjoy eating apples much.
I love local fruits much, much more! Mangoes (and definitely we have many species and I love them all! Especially those that grow in my front yard, back yard, and in the village (public mangos where everyone can pick them for consumption in the household.)
Living in Germany it’s not easy to have exotic fruits at hand since they cannot grow here. Hence, I started to learn to consume more fruits that grow around instead. Because it’s cheaper, fresher, and tastier.
After that ‘Fuji’ apple. I started to eat apples more mindful and observe closely the taste and the texture. I happened to love eating apples more than I used to. Once you learn there is more than one type of that kind of fruit. Life is more interesting & fun.
So I bought a lot of apples at that period.
One day I become to wonder. Apple grows everywhere in Germany, why are we buying them in the shop? Especially, when you have your own garden! Spend the money for what you can produce with your resource doesn’t make any sense!
So I started to keep the apple seeds and grew them. I don’t know if it’ll work though. I just have to give it a try. At least doing something And that thing is important to me because I try to lead my life with sustainable living. If this works, it will save a lot of money, more than that safe the fuel, the cost to travel to go buy in the shop, less transportation because people like me grow their own fruit in their space. Finally, this will save the world because we consume less from the store (which needs transportation, that hurts the earth from the plastic + containers for delivery and from the fuel uses for the cars.)
Self-sufficient practice is the real sustainable economy. Because when everyone can truly live on their own, produce their own foods, help themselves. Then the power will not go only into one hand as it happened right now. That the big companies have a bigger hand.
This idea hits me so hard. Until I have to do something about it. I couldn’t stand the idea of giving power to the rich (in money) man alone. I know changing the view of the society is hard, especially when that society is big like global. Even it’s hard but it’s possible.
We can dream big but always start with small.
So my strategy is: to begin with myself, practicing the self-sufficiency principle to create a sustainable economy and lead to a sustainable food system. Plus maintain & taking care of my beloved nature & the earth.
Though, I mentioned earlier in this article that I don’t really like a too-sweet apple. I started seeding some different species of apples. Fuji apple, though, found to be more robust than other types (Japan plant engineer seems to be the best in this job!) And it’s growing slowly at my balcony right now with another type, red apple which appeared to have less success rate than Fuji. (I planted three of each. Only one red apple works while all three Fuji plants keep growing!)
What else can you grow in the cold country?
This is just the beginning. I know, somehow, it will fail at some point. But I also know that it will work in the end. We just have to learn what works and what doesn’t. I’m sure that finally, I will have apples in my yard (maybe in the next 2-3 years.)
At this moment, I also researched more about fruits that grow well in this climate (I live in Germany). Interesting that people actually buy them from a store/supermarket (and it’s popular) even it’s local fruits! (Some are not local but they grow pretty well in a cold climate.) Below is the list that (truly) makes me wonder.
I can understand that some plant needs space because it’s a tree. Germany is living an urban lifestyle. People mostly are living in the apartment. But some bushes like blueberries can grow in the pot if they really want to. It needs a small space. And blackberries grow wild (like a weed). Sometimes they grow next to the pavement.
Growing fruits maybe is not easy to the condition people live in the small apartment but veggies that grow well, quick, and doesn’t need much space are definitely do-able.
So this year, not only grow veggies in my garden (which I started last year, this will be the second year.) I do also a balcony veggies project to prove that it can be done to grow your own foods in the limited space. I hope this will encourage people to produce their own foods in some ways.
Even it’s a small action. But thinking about it, one person does one thing, it seems small. But when 100 people do one thing, means 100 amplifications. That becomes huge and powerful!
Therefore, never think that you are small. You’re not!
Whenever you take a tiny action, it’s a huge change already!
Daughter of The Soil
P.s. when I wrote the title ‘a new wave’ of self-sufficiency practice, this only applies to the western country. Because in the developed countries or third world countries, this is not new. We are still living with this lifestyle until today. And I found that these people are not poor but it’s practical. And people who live this lifestyle are not thriving to be rich (in terms of money + prosperities) or run after the money because they do not see the need for it. They know they have plenty to eat. They live an abundant life with all-year-round foods & veggies. If they pay attention and learn from nature, they even have medicine in their yard. Hence, power is in everyone’s hands. Especially, the ones who produce & provide.