Filling up the gaps 2011-2018

As we count last cold days and prepare for the new garden season I want to fill the gaps related to most important things in the past, before writing about ongoing projects. I will explain better what I worked on up until now along with specific locations.

At the Danube riverbank, there is a cottage/house which we renovated last year with surrounding garden. Our weekend warrior’s team with a bit different context than usual consisted of me, my mother and grandmother and we worked on many different projects on the land with a focus on having fun. We were able to manage sturdy Maclura tree that grows as a hedge. The tree is famous for sharpest thorns and it has been heavily priced by Native Americans as good for making bows. I planted Cedar tree that outgrew me by now, while my brother and grandmother fully recovered old and dying almond tree.

I started my first vineyard with 8 grape trees and I learned that it is good to grow it together with roses, as they have common pests that tend to attack roses first.

There is a rest area below 5 huge walnut trees in which shade I grew grass, pines, grapes, a lot of berries and couple of fruits along with my favorite fig tree. Besides a lot of planting, I worked on many things in order to reach current state, like adding a lot of new topsoil or installing the watering system.

At that time I finally got my focus straight on finishing my studies and slowly transition into my professional career with the first couple of jobs. I have been struggling with many new things that came up and I found out that the period I spent in Krcedin has been healing, stress releasing and in general amazing. I soon learned to appreciate hard physical work and found that the time I spent in my small garden could make me forget all the bad things that happened during the busy work week. It was a practice of focus, and I realized that there are no boundaries when you tackle problems with everything you have.

The first expansion I gained was a plot next to Danube cottage; it is on the North Slope and upon purchase was overgrown with trees, shrubs and a lot of blackberry vines. I wanted to manually work on the cultivation of the land thus saving all the plants I need. But, as I needed an excavator for greenhouse project I deployed machines for the task of clearing the jungle as well. I removed all the growth saving apple and walnut tree and started 2 projects there: mentioned greenhouse and pilot orchard.

Sloping land came to be my favorite. It is, in general, cheaper to purchase as a conventional machine driven agriculture prefers flat ground and it is easier to collect water while avoiding dump and wet areas. Also, next piece of land I bought was on the top of the small hill and I loved the idea of avoiding any herbicides, artificial fertilizers to run downstream to my property. All the projects I am working on will be perfected and built on this property as it can accommodate it all.

Finally, in the garden next to the house we live in, I am focusing on vegetable and herbs garden with front yard that should be park-like rest area. Growing vegetables proved to be hardest as I wasn’t so experienced. As expected, there were many failures and successes across 3 years and I am still focused on learning as much rather than getting abundance. I am currently testing raised bed garden, a lot of different mulching methods, spices garden, perennials integration and a lot of other projects.​

It was easy to learn how to enjoy being outdoors and in nature. I listened to birds singing, observed wildlife, swam in the river or just thought while I watched the Danube in all its glory and it all made my life different. I was trying to find a specific use for everything that surrounded me while discovering my place in all of that and learning about nature and its mysterious but simple ways. As I was constantly placing pieces of the puzzle, the big picture seemed to elude me, but my new expanded horizon was always amazing. I found out that all of that motivated me to improve everything I did at my job, personal life, projects and all the things I worked on. It was a process and something that did not happen overnight but soon it changed the way I organize time, what I eat, things I enjoy and in general improved my life.