How not to get crazy, to become wise, to make a perfect life and to turn a piece of purposeless soil into the heaven on Earth.
What you need, or the way we did it:
Type of people: : an ideal family where both parents are a bit crazy. Age between 20-100, children can be a bit younger. I am very happy that we are not alone (I am not going to name the others but I feel that the number of such people corresponds to the number of lands, which keeps on changing).
Land: a large one, 1-hectare or larger. If you do something wrong on one part, there is still abig enough are for further wrong doing and believe me, next 10-30 years you will not know what boredom is.
Literature: veľa – a lot of literature – about permaculture, design, Mollison, Holzer, Kravčík, also about Anastasia and about… Buy those books in Slovak, Russian, German, English, Persian language… Reading all those books has several advantages. You will promote a book market which has been stagnating last couple of years, you will practice reading at night and in foreign language if the book is an original version. And the best thing – it will be useless in the building your land according to common sense (or permaculture, as some people say). However, you will at least get the picture. Hurrah, analphabets and those who dislike reading, there is no need to despair.
Extra ingredients (which are a must): communication, ability to receive advice, to watch nature, to refrain from pushing things and having a good mood.
Once you have all of this, we can start.
The land is chosen according to your feeling, cardinal points, sloping, strength and direction of winds, quality of soil, but most frequently it depends on availability.
So, we already have the land, let’s move on.
Take a small chair on which you will be thinking about (you can also weep or scream) the way how to finance the land and how to follow the steps suggested by our recipe.
With Barborka (a member of my family aged between 20-100 – a beautiful wife who loves me, our children Miško and Šimon, our dogs and nature – yes, this is the person standing by my side😊), at the beginning and after recovering from cold (we were sitting on the ground, on the blanket later on), after bringing good mood and creative thinking (believe me – we did support winemakers, too), after reading everything available on the market (it was easier for Barborka because she graduated from environmental studies and permaculture design, and she was on friendly terms with soils and knew a lot about this topic), we started to think what to do next.
Landscaping and seeking the water.
Once you comply with several formalities (landscape proposal, drawing applications, duty stamps…), we can get started.
Men – it is a child’s dream. The man is the head but everybody knows it is the woman who turns the neck.
An excavator (a tracked excavator, of course), a bulldozer (4.5 m blade), Tatra trucks – I manage everything. My dream came true – I am the boss, manager, master of the world. I feel like crying. Even after realizing that one hour for all the machinery costs around 120€-140€ and one hour without me would cause another 3 – 4 hours of repair, which corresponds to a holiday for 2 people by the sea. On the other hand, if the machinery is used efficiently I can save several salaries 😊.
Suddenly, we find out that we spent a quite a lot of time on the land. We are creating a relationship together. Soil – Man. We know how the winds blow, how the sun is shining, migration of doe, when the sun sets down, however, when I need to pee (or the other thing), there is no way to hide. Everybody is watching me. They have been waiting for this moment, the moment I cannot bear it anymore and they keep on watching… crouching down and … I manage it like an exhibitionist, but I am feeling cold. And the word IneedtopeeandIamfeelingcold is bad and too long. We buy a caravan and place a latrine (a dry toilet) there. Barborka designed the interior. Come and see. I do not wish to sound boastful but it is a Sistine chapel among dry toilets. And that view from the toilet – JT would pay a million.
We already have a hole (someone might call it a lake which gets filled during the spring), a mound (I had to put the soil somewhere) and a caravan, a latrine, so let’s move on. A pier (hopefully there will be water in the lake one day). A terrace with a hammock. It is because you will be so f…. tired after working in the summer that your back would like to rest at least for a moment. After such workout, your trainers of CrossFit, aerobic, Zumba and other meaningless exercise would feel jealous. You will understand that one hectare is impossible to cut with a scythe. We buy a compact tractor. The angular belt gets torn, the wheel gets lost, the spring flunked. We don’t give up, we keep on repairing it.
We sow alfalfa (your loving grand doe will graze it, too), we prepare elevated seedbed. We buy manure, compost. We grow plants. We plant the first trees in the mound, windbreakers, we consider fruit trees. Everything turns to green colour, bloom, we are happy. We explain children what the nitrogen-fixing plants are. We explain that the nature is predictable just like the game of chess, and my men can play it really well. We collect the first peas to find out ….,
It is not the game of chess.
Doe is not a grand animal any more. They are boars (we have wild boars, too). They start to compete with you. They try to prove they were first here and do not like changes. Tulips, corn, kohlrabi, peas (to freak you out, as a starter they chose what requires greatest effort to grow).
You build a fence, they jump over it.
You try to find the address of hunting association nearby.
You regret your effort but you never give up.
Until now, a very tired Peter has been writing this article when Marcelka called to say that she already needs to publish it.
If you like it, write and it will continue.
Peter, Barborka, Miško and Šimonko Choma