It is a big joy to see the plants you cared about growing, flowering and producing fruits and vegetables. Having a garden gives an opportunity not only to grow your own vegetables, but also enjoy little self-made-nature, particularly if we mention current situation (telework, 24/7 locked in a small room, etc). This is sort of an escape, as result of the current COVID-19 people are changing their housing preferences, like the following article suggesting the urge of having a balcony.

A small garden in the balcony with automatic irrigation system

However, growing plants require continuous care. The most time consuming part is irrigation and it is the part that should have no room for failure. Just forget to water your plants in a few scorching summer days and all your efforts will go in vain. Luckily, automatic irrigation systems exist in the market. I decided to invest on a brand irrigation timer and sprinklers and pipes and then I set them up in my garden. Now that the most time consuming task is done automatically, the only thing left then is to fertilize occasionally the soil and sit behind and watch with joy the growing plants. Well, that is what I thought.

A couple of slugs enjoying tabehodai inside my paprika

My last year gardening experience showed that slugs are not only capable of halting shinkansen operation, but also wreak havoc in your garden and harm your babies whom you gave part of your soul to grow. At the beginning of spring when I saw them for the first time, slugs looked so cute and I didn’t see what they were capable of. As the lettuce started growing, they began to have vegetables tabehodai every night. Even worse, they were waiting for my paprika to reach the ripening stage. Then an army of these little cute monsters jumped on them and made holes at every paprika leading them to perish just a fews days before the due date to collect them. Since then, I learned a few methods to get rid of slugs. This year, I used a copper ring method and it has been successful to prevent slugs midnight raids so far.

Nevertheless, last year was a fruitful year, even though I couldn’t reach self-sufficiency of vegetables, I could have several dishes with vegetables freshly picked from my garden. The most successful plants were tomatoes, piments, eggplants and parsley.

Harvest at the end of the week

From a cost point of view, the investment on the infrastructure costs more than the value of the vegetables collected. However, in this second season, I expect the returned value will exceed the initial investment.

Author: Mahdi

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The COVID-19 crisis is a reminder that the world is subject to frequent challenges, which you can notice easily in Japan, where earthquakes, typhoons, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods are common. Japan is a country with relatively a few natural resources and narrow arable land that makes it largely depend on its trade partners. In times of crisis like we have now, the economy shrinks and countries tend to shut down their borders. As a result, the supply of essential resources to Japan can be either slowed or cut completely. What makes things complicated is the geographical location of Japan as an island in the pacific ocean with no close borders with other countries, adding to the risk of its isolation. Under such circumstances, not only governments, but also citizens should play an active role and carry on responsibility to prepare for the worst case scenarios. Due to the frequent natural calamities citizens of Japan have a high sense of awareness and preparedness. However, this may not be enough for a prolonged crisis, a more sustainable approach is required to enhance self-sufficiency. Higher sustainability can be achieved by acquiring particular skills and preparing necessary tools.

The aim of the coming series of articles is to introduce a few hobbies which can bring you a step closer towards self-sufficiency.

Author: Mahdi

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We are happy to announce the results of the vote for OUIAA logo designs and Slogans.

Best Rated Logo: Martin

Best Rated Slogan: Sourabh

A big thank you to the members who submitted their contributions to this competition

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