Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Flour Dumplings - Mehlspatzen

1. English
2. Deutsch


This is an old recipe of my grandma, that is: it is from her cook-book of 1927 with adaptations by her.

  • 500 g of flour
  • 250 ml of water or milk
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • if you have it: a bit of fresh yeast (how much that bit is, nobody knows ... well ... I take half a teaspoon of dry yeast - it works fine)

Friday, August 16, 2019

Chickweed - Vogelmiere

1. English
2. Deutsch


Chickweed grows a bit all over my garden beds and pots. It's a great addition to my salads and one can also make pesto with it, just substitute basil with chickweed and you will be astonished how great this tastes. Remember to cut it into small pieces before processing it in a blender, since the centre of the stem has a little string that is not easy to process in there. Chickweed also grows in winter under the snow, so it's definitely one of the few fresh winter plants. It has also a number of medical properties: it is said to reduce inflammation and to be beneficial in the case of fragile superficial veins, just to mention two.

Further reading:


Vogelmiere wächst irgendwie überall in meinen Beeten und Töpfen. Es ist eine super Zutat zu meinen Salaten und man kann auch Pesto damit machen. Man ersetzt das Basilikum einfach durch Vogelmiere - und: es schmeckt wirklich toll. Bitte nicht vergessen, die Vogelmiere klein zu schneiden, bevor sie in den Mixer kommt. Ihre Stängel haben einen Faden, der im Mixer nicht zerkleinert wird. Vogelmiere wächst auch unter Schnee und gehört somit zu den wenigen frischen Winterpflanzen. Die Pflanze hat auch medizinische Eigenschaften: man sagt, sie sei entzündungshemmend und sie helfe bei fragilen Venen an der Hautoberfläche, nur um zwei zu nennen.

Mehr lesen:

International Mother Language Day fan page on facebook

I think about this fan page over and over again. It comes alive once a year, only to "sleep" again until the next 21st February. Many people caring about their mother language. Well, there was a time when we reached near 10,000 people with a group. We then were 15 admins and also there the main activity was around International Mother Language Day. The group was then deleted by facebook for whatever reason.

But why do we care only once a year? Why don't we care every day or at least once a week?

When one of the languages of this world gets lost, loads of wisdom gets lost with it. Wisdom not only about words, but also about living, medicine, plants and so much more. Is language loss and biodiversity loss correlated? What if everything from poisoning our planet to using materials that pollute our environement is correlated as well?

What if we start to preserve each day a bit? A bit of a language, a bit of our planet? Hmmm ....

Image from Pixabay:

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Paprika - Einkochzeit

Man findet viele verschiedene Angaben, von 30 Minuten bis 90 Minuten bei 100 °C. Von nur mit Essig bis ohne Essig.

Ich persönlich koche Paprika bei 100°C 60 Minuten ein.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Origanum vulgare

1) Text in English
2) Text auf Deutsch


Oregano is said to be:

  • Antirheumatic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antispasmodic
  • Diaphoretic

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Calendula in Tomato Sauce with fried Mozzarella - Calendula in Tomatensoße mit frittiertem Mozzarella

This is the picture story for the recipe in my book to come :-)
Please note that I take most photos with my mobile, just for a fast documentation, not to have the best shots ever :-D It is just a matter of time - or I cook or I concentrate on photography.

Hier die Bilderstrecke für das Rezept, das in meinem Buch enthalten sein wird :-)
Nur kurz eine Info: ich nehme die meisten Fotos mit meinem Handy auf, also einfach nur um die Schritte zu dokumentieren und nicht, um tolle Fotos zu machen - entweder koche ich oder ich konzentriere mich auf Fotografie :-D

Calendula: basic notions - Calendula: Basisinfo

1) Text in English
2) Text auf Deutsch


Calendula - also called pot marigold, having the scientific name calendula officinalis - and indeed it was the "pot marigold" that intrigued me.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Thoughts about theories concerning our future

This is an answer to a question about Valentina Zharkova's newest paper in a group on FB:
Well in its past Mother Earth had times that were much hotter and times that were much colder than those we are living in right now. Valentina Zharkova, in terms of solar cycles, says what has always been true for me: there's no need for menkind to intervene, Mother Earth is

Just a nice photo by my daughter - photo taken near Effelder, Thuringia

(c) Luna Cretella, all rightsreserved

Sunburn on crops

I am really not sure if this is actually kind of a sunburn, but mainly the leaves of peas and beans are having some kind of trouble with the sun. I cannot move the two pots with peas on my balcony into shade, but I could do this with the beans. The peas got more or less devastated. They went all dry while the beans only have some parts of the leaves "burnt". No, it is not a pest, it can only be the sun. I have a similar situation in the garden:

Corn growth ... it seems to be quite late - and weak

Last week we were driving to a village next to our home and I saw the many corn fields. The plants seem to be so small and all those open gaps. I will drive along that road again next week and take pictures. But still

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Harvesting time for berries is at it's highest point :-)

A short update from my side ... it is really hot over here  - African heat. 32°C at 8 PM. We just came back from the garden of my father-in-law. There were so many redcurrants and gooseberries to harvest ... well ... now my family gets

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Zitat von Albert Einstein

Phantasie ist wichtiger als Wissen, denn Wissen ist begrenzt.

Zitat von Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Es ist nicht genug, zu wissen, man muss es auch anwenden.

Quote by Pete Seger - goods and their properties

If it can't be reduced, repaired, rebuilt, refurbished, refinished, resold, recycled, or composted, then it should be restricted, redesigned or removed from construction.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Extending my growing space

Yesterday I harvested a handful of sugar snap peas and had them for a snack. I am far away from being able to have enough food for my family, though it is getting better step by step.

In order to grow more, I do need growing surface and I need crops that go beyond salad.

When I started with my first garden bed in 2014.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Medicinal plants that grow in my garden or nearby

Thanks to a conversation on facebook, I tried to list which plants with medicinal properties are growing in my garden and I noted that there are so many, when I start to list them. Maybe it is good to have a list :-) so here it is:

  • basil
  • calendula
  • dandelion
  • lactuca virosa
  • oregano
  • parsley
  • peppermint
  • sage
  • sambucus nigra
  • stinging nettle
  • thyme 
  • yarrow
  • echinacea purpurea
  • cardus marianus

Thursday, June 06, 2019

How I got into Gardening

Actually I am answering to a question here, and I do it on my blog, because I believe that this question comes up over and over again when we talk with people. Said that I am also curious how you got into gardening.

When I was a little girl my grandparents had a garden where I often went to help my grandpa. It was there where I learnt many things I still do today and many particulars are "coming back" to me bit by bit. At that time

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Skills, skills and again ... sklills

This very likely is going to be another one of those blogs, where I consider what we really do need to learn for the future. What our children should learn at school.

First of all: what is a skill?

A skill refers to an activity one needs to train and learn to do "whatever". It is practical knowledge. When you are skilled you have the ability to do something in such a way that things work out fine.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Time for the first salad from my own garden - Der erste Salat aus dem Garten

Finally ... the first salad from our garden. Made from onion greens, salad leaves and pea greens. This year the temperatures were so low that not even the peashoots wanted to grow ... I only have some from the balcony up to now, where it is definitely warmer than in the garden.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Flashback - My garden on May 20, 2015

When plants protect one another - Magenta Spreen

Magenta spreen ... my husband hates it, because it literally invades every small angle in the garden and it is loads of work to clean up. On the other hand I love it, because it protects little seedlings from cold weather and is one of the first crops one can harvest in bulk.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Hablitzia tamnoides - Caucasian Trailing Spinach

Picture by user Daderot on Wikimedia Commons
License CC-0
Today I received a seed package with a special plant: Hablitzia. It is a trailing plant, the leaves of which can be prepared just like spinach.
There was no way to find out if it is hardy enough for our climate. It is sold as a perennial here in Germany, so it should resist some frost. While here it is sold as an ornamental plant, it is a food plant in the region it comes from, the Caucasus, and therefore I will use it as such. The seeds will go into the soil the coming week-end. Having 10 of it, I will put them in three small pots and then we will see ...

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Gardening and Using Less Plastic

Lollo Rosso and some pea shoots I also use
for salad in this case on my balcony.
Like all so often I am connecting various themes: in this case gardening and using less plastic. We are living in a time of rising prices because of different reasons: drought, ecotax (that is eventually going to come), floods in some places, late frosts or whatever else. For many people around the world this means that they cannot afford to buy organic and “nude” vegetables and fruit anymore, since they have to choose the cheaper food. One consequence is that again more food with plastic packaging gets into the shopping cart.

Well, we can do something that

    • provides us with natural and healthy food,
    • makes us carry less stuff home,
    • lets us save money which in turn we may spend for better choices.

Gardening - and up to a certain extent, one can do this also inside - even in the smallest apartment.

To start off, you need just a container with holes in the bottom, some soil, some seeds and water. I would suggest to start off with radishes and salad. When I started many years ago, I buyed some seedlings of salad and grew them on my balcony. I still do this today, even though I do have a small garden - sometimes I buy seedlings, sometimes I use own seeds. If you wish to start with seeds, I suggest to start with radishes, because they sprout fast, which is more satisfying for a beginner.

I nowadays mainly get presents that deal with gardening, so this can be a suggestions for your family, but make sure to exactly tell them, what you are searching for. The best way is a “to-buy-list” on the fridge or somewhere everyone can have a glance :-)

But now let’s take a look at where you avoid plastics:
Salad in 99% of the cases is sold in plastic bags. Rucola and similar small leaves are sold in trays or bags (of plastic). By growing your own salad (I will post articles about single types), let’s suppose you need salad for one meal a week, just to have any number, you will avoid 52 bags plus having a higher amount of nutrients in your food, because you harvest when you eat.

Many other examples of food that is easy to grow is to come … start one step at a time and you will love what you eat and feel good, because you definitely “ARE PART OF THE CHANGE”.

The German version of this blog has been posted on Plastik sparen. License: CC-BY-NC-ND

Monday, May 06, 2019

Magenta Spreen - Tree Spinach - Chenopodium Giganteum

Magenta spreeen, though it is an annual, I do count it among my perennials: seed once, let it grow and go to seed and you will have more than you can eat.

The seeds of this so called tree spinach distribute all over the place. When the plants start to grow I thin them out and, depending from what I am cooking, I use the little plants in salad, stews, soups and when I don't use them right away, I dehydrate them and afterwards put them in my blender to cut them into small pieces. Once done I mainly use the dried parts together with other dehydrated greens in soups or stews.

When I pick them, I choose those that are a bit bigger and I go through my garden beds once a week to harvest.

Lamb's quarters is a close relative to magenta spreen.

Time ago I found a video where someone was substituting part of the wheat flour with magenta spreen flour and made bread ... not sure if I like this, because the green bred looked a bit weird.

Be aware: once you have it in your garden and let it go to seeds, you won't be able to get rid of it again. The seeds survive in the soil more than one year and come up spontaneously, when they feel like doing it.

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Sharing seeds with people in need

In a group on one of the social media platforms I am a member of there was a question about "where to buy seeds for small money". This question brought me back to thoughts I already had a couple of years ago.
Many of us preserve seeds and we always preserve too much. Other people need them due to various reasons, may it be that they are starting their garden, may it be that they were flooded or whatever situation came along.
Up to now I also buy part of my seeds, because I am still building up my garden, now I am going to get 5 varieties of pole beans and 5 of bush beans that were grown in over 700 m and therefore support some more cold weather than the usual beans.
Wouldn't it make sense to have seed banks maintained in many places all over the world where one can apply to receive seeds just paying the postage or even receiving them for free, when there is someone who would pay for the postage? Wouldn't this be a way where people simply start to co-operate and create real-life networks? Wouldn't this be a further step for many to assure self-sufficiency?
One of the big examples for me is Navdanya by Vandada Shiva. She has done great work so far. The only thing I would change is: I would not collect seeds in a central place, because central places generally are more vulnerable. It's like with distributed computing: storing in many places is safer and much cheaper.

Photo from pixabay.

Friday, May 03, 2019

Garden today - 3rd May 2019

What I actually did:

* I harvested some lemonbalm that started to overgrow my seedlings
* Parsley got sawn in place
* Dill was sawn in place
* Spinach was sawn in place
* I covered up the places where my cat messed around with the soil (in the garden beds)

And then, here you go with a rare picture for the month of may: my daffodils are flowering now and not like usually around the second week of April.

Well, indeed these are cold times ... some frost is to come along and the three tomato plants (bought ones - the seedlings are not even out) and a cucumber plant I received as birthday present are cuddled so that they stay warmer. The tomatos will be covered completely during the night. They should well make it.

Cook what you have - May 1st, 2019

Well, yesterday was cook with what you have day ... so I had a look in my vegetable basket for stuff that needs to urgently be eaten. And there was
  • one hokkaido
  • one huge leek which I bought as being "not so nice anymore"
  • one tomato
  • one carrot
  • sunflower oil
  • Salt
  • Chilie
And there you go ...

First I added some oil into my pot and then added the leek after having cut it in small pieces.

Then I added the hokkaido cut into small pieces.

Please do never throw away the seeds of squash ... I will show you in nother blog, what you can do with them.

Then I cut the tomato and the carrot into small pieces.

And added them in my pot.

I just kept stir-frying all for a couple of minutes.

Then I added salt. A tablespoon full of salt I would say.

And a teaspoon of chilie.

I mixed it well and had everything stir-fry some more.

Since my family loves creamy stews, I added three tablespoons of flour.

And again I went on stirring ... and frying :-)

As next step I added aprroximately 1,5 litres of water and let the vegetables boil until they are almost fine to eat.

That's the moment, when my Italian years come throug ... I added approximately 300 grams of noodles (also spaghetti broken into small pieces are fine). And let everything cook until the noodles are how you prefer them (mine are always rather al dente ...).

Well, and here you go ... that's what it looks like just before eating. I just sprinkled some dried parsley on top. Btw. I always get parsley from a neighbour, since it simply doesn't like my garden ... it won't grow.

P.S.: And yes, this is a one pot meal - I truly love to cook things in just "one pot" :-)

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Compost Toilet - for the Garden and why not ... also Home

Some years ago I met a person who had a self-built compost-toilet. It was just a bucket with a box around and a toilet seat mounted on that wooden box. She always had a soil/dry leave mix in another bucket. She put a first layer of soil in the bucket and everytime one used the toilet some more soil was put on top. This went on a separate compost pile in her garden to be left for two years, So there were three piles. Acutally also the Aztecs (if I remember well - or another people) used human made fertilizer.

Photo from Pixabay under CC-0 License

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Weather for the coming two weeks

Well it is supposed to get warmer. At least the nights below zero seem to be over and by Wednesday it should be 5°C during the night and 10°C during the day (max 5°C today). Then it should get up to 8°C during the night and 16°C during the day, which is fine. No rain for the coming 2 weeks, like it seems ... hmmmm ...

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Legal data is online, but needs some nicer layout ...

Well, I just added the legal disclaimer in German and English, because these two languages are those I mainly use. Occasionally you also might find some text in Italian, Franconian or Neapolitan. I will have a closer look at the layout during the coming days, but what is relevant is that the page is up-to-date.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Back to Blogger ...

As of to day I will write blogs here again. I just got annoyed by needing too much time to maintain a website with CMS. Continuous updates, resolving problems etc. Yes, I can program, but most of my friends follow me on various social networks and therefore it just makes more sense to post photos here on the blog and via the social networks.

I am just downloading the data from my website and will then add things here.

My legal notes will be updated asap ... just have to copy them over here.