We try to minimize our negative footprints on this planet, by choices of lifestyle. By buying second hand, reducing, reusing, remaking and recycling, and all that. We also try to minimize our costs. By spending less, working less, living more.
I’ll start to put little Sörefors on the world map for you, it’s in Östersund, in Jämtland, in Sweden, in the North, in Scandinavia, in Europe, on Earth.
Roughly around there.
Here we do kilometers, and others do miles. We do metric, and others do – other. 😉 So I’ll measure the distance in hours driving. (I once drove from Cairo, through Suez, over the Sinai, across the Red Sea to Jordan, on to Syria, Turkey, and on through the Riviera, across Europe up to Östersund. It took a few weeks. Magic memories.)
It takes little over an hour from Sörefors to drive to Åre, which is one of Sweden’s most renowned ski resorts.
It takes little over six hours to drive to Stockholm, where almost all of my clients are.
It takes about thirteen hours to drive to Malmö, where the Nordic Games Conference is, that I was fortunate enough to visit last year.
Normally we go by train, but it’s impossible to measure distance in time nowadays, since the trains are often late, or cancelled. Sorry SJ.
It’s cold up here in the winters, temperatures outside (at least nighttime) are below freezing for almost six months. This winter it got as cold as -38°C (-36,4°F). Cold.
So we use wood fire to heat up our little cottage. It could definitely do a lot better with a little more isolation so that’s an upcoming project, but for now there is a fire going from early morning until we go to bed.
That makes a lot of ashes. We only use pure birch, fir or pine wood so the ashes are very clean. And full of calcium, magnesium and potassium for our plants and soil.
We also drink a lot of coffee. Not like the Fins I’m told, but close. We use a reusable coffee filter, or a French press, so our coffee grounds are also very clean and contain nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. Where wood ash is reducing acidity coffee is acidic so I think they work well together. But I am no expert, just a happy cottage gardener trying my best to use natural ways.
To collect and save all ashes and coffee grounds for spring I use a really old metal bucket, to use on our flower beds when the snow melts. Ashes can also very effectively be used as anti-slip when temperatures vary and everything gets covered in ice.
A while back I shared how we use old pallets and pallet collars that we treated with a wonderfully tar smelling goo and filled with straw, horse poo and soil to create beds for our raspberries. Remember, this is written in Swedish, google translated to English, if something sounds weird. 🙂
Come spring, and time to pimp up the soil and compost again, we’ll have ashes and coffee grounds to add to the horse manure that we get from our neighbor. This can be sprinkled on top of the lawn, on flower beds, and sparingly around our berries. Not all berries and fruit like wood ash so especially blueberries and raspberries should have little to none, but since I mix with coffee a little goes a long way.
Only these past few weeks I’ve seen the word ”SUSTAINABLE” everywhere. In my social media flows, in different reports, and posts, and even in fashion magazines. I am thrilled! I have a dear, dear friend who works as a photographer for one of the larger fashion magazines here in Sweden and she just did a piece on sustainable fashion. I am beaming with pride and joy, for her, and the world. More sustainability for the people! Fist raised.
Have a wonderful weekend!