Don’t buy firecrackers for New Year’s Eve

Firecrackers are not good.
They are not good for your and your neighbors health.
They are not good for the environment.
They are not good for your wallet.

Firecrackers produce particulate matter.
The amount of particulate matter produced by firecrackers in just one night at New Year’s Eve
is equivalent to the amount of particulate matter produced by 15 percent of all cars around the whole year.
This particulate matter is dust which is so tiny that you hardly can see it;
but it can lead to lung diseases.

Instead of wasting your money,
rather give your money to homeless people.
Even in Western countries there are so many people
suffering from the basic needs like shelter and food.
Be a good example and give your light to others in need.

Love, your Papa.

Small Distance

It is not easy to write these words.
I am here; and you are there.
No room, no time can seperate us;
’cause true Love is stronger than life.

Your small beating hearts;
your tiny hands in mine;
embraces played big parts.
All memories of our time.

Memories keep the distance small.
Tears, as signs of our connection.
Soon you’ll get strong and tall.
So put your Love into action.

Jesus loves you no matter what.
Trust in Him and put Love first.
Turn on your bright light
and make a difference to this earth.

It is not easy to write these words.
I am here; and you are there.
No room, no time can seperate us;
’cause true Love is stronger than life.

I love you and always will.
Love, your Papa.

Don’t waste food

There are so many people in this world suffering.
They are suffering, because they have nothing to eat.
I also made this experience this year.
I can tell you, it is one of the worst feelings you can have.

In our western society it is common to throw away food; just like that.
On the other side, if you see fathers, who come home with no food
and children, who are crying, because they are hungry, it breaks my heart.
Please listen to this: it is not good to throw away food.

Put on your plate just enough food that you will eat for sure.
If you are still hungry afterwards, you can easily put more food on.
Sometimes we put too much on our plates; that can happen.
If that happens, don’t throw the leftovers away.
Keep them for later or share with your brothers and sisters.

Love, your Papa.

Building a Solar Dryer

Wouldn’t it be perfect, if we can harvest fruits and veggies in our own garden the whole year through? Well, in some countries this is possible; but not in every country. In general I would say, you have warm summers and colder winters, which makes it more difficult to grow plants during winter times.

Today I want to show you, what you can do to still have the benefits of your own fruits and veggies the whole year through. It is not a new method. It was already used in ancient times. Today we are building our own solar dryer or solar dehydrator. And the good thing is, instead of using hours of expensive electricity with an electronic version, we get our power source for free: the sun.

The method is quite simple. Cool air enters a solar collector where it is heated as it passes along a hot black metal. It then rises into the dryer where your fruits and veggies are placed on shelves. Also the building is not that difficult, if you have the right tools at hand. It is the planning that takes a lot of afford, if you want to avoid buying all the needed materials for lots of money in a hardware store. Besides the hinges for the door and the paint, I used the materials that can be found or grow already in our garden like the bamboo for the shelves; the rest I bought for little money on a junkyard.

1) Gathering materials

2) Making a plan

3) Start building

4) Start painting

5) Finished project

Crop Rotation for your Veggie Garden

Every garden needs a little bit of organisation. Before planing your own veggie garden, you need to be aware that there are basically two types of crops: the ones which are taking nutrition out of the soil, and the ones which are putting nutrition into the soil. So when you divide your veggie garden into several garden beds, you can rotate the plants across the beds over the years.

The two most important benefits for a crop rotation are: on the one hand it stops the soil from getting depleted and on the other hand it avoids the building up of pests as some plants are prone to diseases.

The groups that are taking more nutrition out of the soil are the following:
– Alliums (like Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots) and Umbellifers (like Beetroot, Carrots, Fennel, Parsley, Parsnip). They both can share a bed.
– Brassicas (like Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish)

The groups that are putting more nutrition into the soil and that you can harvest are the following:
– Legumes (like Broad Beans, French Beans, Peas, Runner Beans)
– Miscellaneous (like Cucumbers, Peppers, Pumpkins, Sweetcorn, Tomatoes, Zucchini)

There is actually another third group. The plants that are also putting more nutrition into the soil but that you can not harvest. They protect the soil from erosion and keep the beds free from weeds as well. After you have planted them, let them grow for a short time and then dig them back into the soil. Wait a month before you start planting your crops. They are called Green Manures:
– Legumes (like Alfalfa, Clover, Fenugreek, Lupins)
– Miscellaneous (like Buckwheat, Grazing Rye)

Besides the green manures you can of course put some mulch onto the soil to prevent the weeds from coming back and to prevent the soil from drying out.

Salads (like Chicory or Lettuce) you can plant everywhere where space is available.

Potatoes I would plant in a separate bed as they can be prone to blight.
And don’t forget to label what you have planted.