We moved to Switzerland last year and it has been a transition. We were living in Bulgaria before moving here and spent almost four years there. After a time, Bulgaria did feel like a home to us in many ways… and Switzerland is now gradually beginning to feel like home to us. Meeting people and doing the things to help us feel settled has helped in that regard.
The Swiss are very protective of the environment. There is good reason for this, because the country is really beautiful and the Swiss people go to great measures to keep it that way. Additionally, they have great respect for their natural resources.
Going to events and meeting others who are like-minded has also helped us to feel more comfortable in our new home. Our family recently attended a festival about nature in Basel. It was wonderful to see what is happening in Switzerland with regard to natural living, sustainable farming, and the latest eco-friendly technologies.
Here’s what we saw:
This organization is called “City Tomatoes” or “Stadt-Tomaten.” They encourage individuals to grow tomatoes wherever they are, even in the city. Their mission is to provide food and seeds to people and to allow for diversity in seeds. They even provide people with seedlings to get started. All that is required is a visit to their website, registration, and downloading a coupon to get a free seedling from an heirloom seed dealer. Stadt-Tomaten (http://www.stadt-tomaten.ch/home) has even sponsored a photo contest so that people can submit their favorite tomato photos from their garden. The organization wants to keep organic, heirloom seeds safe from the monopolizing international seed companies, and they see this as an opportunity to inspire citizens throughout Switzerland to grow food right in their own area. They encourage people to save their seeds and share seeds with their friends, family, and community.
This display was really interesting to me because we’re currently living in an apartment. We don’t know exactly when we’ll be in a place that will provide us with more room to grow our own vegetables. So, for now we have to make do with what we have… and that means trying our hand at vertical gardening, as seen here. We have a long balcony that stretches the length of the apartment so we’re going to see what we can do with it.
This organization called “Keinkaufswagen” (http://keinkaufswagen.ch/?page_id=30) takes discarded grocery carts and turns them into urban garden treasures. They do the planting for you and you can take one of the grocery carts home or to the office to share with your community. Their mission is to encourage more urban agriculture.
The kids absolutely loved all of the animals…
This festival went on for several days and the whole family had a wonderful time. We most certainly will be back next year.
Live well and be happy! 🙂