So hello. Welcome to the first post of this blog, in which I shall explain a little about who I am and what I shall be writing about.
I am a 21-yr-old graduate from the UK, currently taking something of a gap year in Europe. I'm supporting myself by teaching English while I work out what I want to do with my life, and while I try out various interests and hobbies.
Over the last year or so, I have become increasingly interested in the life-cycle of the things I own and use. We use things without really thinking about where they've come from and where they're going to after we're finished. I am increasingly a supporter of the do-it-yourself mentality. Earlier this year, I completed my first blanket, which I crocheted from wool accumulated over a decade of unfinished projects. I've rarely felt so satisfied and proud of any achievement. The act of physically making something both useful and (sort-of) decorative was, strange to say, empowering.
This has combined with my historian's interest in the old methods of doing things by hand, which are now less and less common. I want to learn some of these skills for myself - and top of the list is spinning.
This overlaps with ecological concerns about the manufacturing and disposal processes of the things I use, and I also dabble in making my own cleaning products, cosmetics and (most recently) growing herbs.
Finally, the name of this blog. A meadow orchard (also known as a Streuobstwiese) is a traditional landscape layout found in Western Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The mixture of plants encouraged wildlife whilst providing fruit to local communities. As this blog will contain a variety of topics, mostly related to doing things from scratch and in an eco-friendly manner, this seemed an appropriate name. Finally, it has long been a dream to have an orchard of my own. Ideally in a walled garden, accessed by a gate hidden by ivy, tucked behind a stone cottage with a log fire and gabled windows...