A full moon into the journey
A month in the new house, lots of impressions. We finally found our mailbox, so that we could read up on all the letters and wonderful wish-well cards we got.
We live just south of a small town. It was a medieval center of trade, but since the 1600s, it was surpassed by most other towns in our province. There are pro's and cons to backwater places. The main advantage is that there is plenty of room and real estate is affordable. I suspect that another pro of old centers is that the choice in those days of where to settle was more dependent on good soils and favourable growing conditions. A negative is of course that there are fewer employment opportunities and less money sloshing around in these forgotten, charming towns.
The town has lots of lush green areas, where all kinds of trees grow, both wild trees and planted varieties. The soil seem to favour cherry trees - there are quite a lot of wild cherry trees and now is the time to enjoy the bountiful harvest.
The farmland in the south of the town, where our place is, has very light, sandy soils. We have a fine sand soil, which is good for a tree nursery since it is easy to dig trees in and out, and the roots can freely develop. On the other hand, the nutrient and mineral content is low, so the production of vegetables and nuts is for most crops lower than on a rich, laomy soil. Therefore, we will have to add significant amounts of organic matter and minerals in the coming years.
The previous owner left us some plants that we now take care of. Two absinth plants, that both are struggling in the dry sandy soil. Artemisia absintia is supposed to have medicinal qualities and has been used to flavour and invigorate vodka since hundreds of years. According to the Van Gogh-legend, it is also good for painting inspiration... We will try to do a bottle or two of absinth-tincture.
We take the bike path (previously used for train tracks - a straight line into town) north and when we just arrive in town, we turn right to the small lake. There we can enjoy an afternoon swim. We have had a few days of record heat here (38C) and the water is exquisite.
The first month was intense, with lots of visits from friends and family, while we tried to get everything in order. It is great to be welcomed by so many wonderful people! In the coming weeks we will also try to get to know the neighbours...