How about having coffee in my favourite forest this week? This is a pine forest a few minutes from my house. If you take a closer look at the ground it gives a great promise of a delicious harvest of lingonberries and blueberries in a couple months. I love foraging in the forest. This is a pretty typical forest for my region Dalarna, in Sweden. This is the region I was born in, where my family comes from. I’ve spent a large portion of my life away, but about six months ago I found my way back, and I intend to stay. This is home.
Blueberry plants – Blåbärsris
Lingonberry plants – Lingonris
Speaking of the forest and its wildlife. In Sweden we have an estimated 300-350 wolves, around 35 is believed to live in Dalarna. It could be a lot more according to some sources. There is a large wolf habitat 13-20 miles from our house. This week they’ve been hunting down one wolf there for safety reasons. He’s been wandering in to a small town in the area one too many times. Occasionally there’s been livestock and dogs lost to wolves, but not on a larger scale. I’ve personally never seen one in real life. We also have bear in the woods, which I haven’t seen any in this region either. I know they are there. When I lived in Gold Country California I had black bears on my property and saw them daily. I’ve seen bears in other places in California on many occasions as well, but never (in the wild) in Sweden.
There is one big difference. In the US you can carry a weapon for self defence, I did in areas where I felt that it was needed, it’s not like that here. I have adjusted my life to another model since moving back. I do not go far into the wilderness alone, since I don’t have my German Shepherd or my Glock. I also live in the outskirts of the outskirts of a town, and not by the end of a long dirt road, far from other people. I will one day, but then I will have a couple good dogs with me, and likely get a hunting license so that I can own a riffle. For now I feel rather safe from predators of all kinds, and I enjoy having walking distance to several forests and lakes. Do you need a refill on your coffee?
I finished reading Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living earlier this week. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads. It’s a must have for anyone striving to live a selfsustainable life. It covers the basic of a great variety of subjects such as; gardening, cooking, canning, fermenting, candlemaking, soapmaking and farming. I really like the attractive design and modern approach to homesteading. The photos throughout the book are of very high quality and the descriptions very easy to follow. I really enjoyed reading it, and I know I will go back and try different ideas for years to come. It definitely earned a spot in my bookshelf.
It’s been a cold week, and I still have all my vegetable seedlings inside. Some are big now, and crave more sun. May 1st is a bank holiday, and we are enjoying a three day weekend. It is raining outside, the air smells very good, and I can only imagine how green it is going to be! May is usually a warm month, and I am looking forward to it. One of my favourite months in Sweden actually. I really like spring and fall, the temperatures, planting and harvesting – just good, happy times. How is spring coming along where you are?
How are you? I sure hope that you are staying happy and healthy in these crazy times. How are things in your corner of the world? Take a refill on that coffee and tell me about it in a comment!