A couple more steps have been taken towards the road of self-sufficiency since our last post on this blog.
The first is that we have already found a buyer for our apartment! The compromis de vente (this is an initial agreement) has been signed and now we wait. The buyer has a limited time to arrange the funds at the same time a notary will be engaged to do all the checks necessary to ensure that everything is legal and above board. It all went extremely fast but we are happy with the amount offered. Waiting longer for the chance of a higher offer is risky business, especially given the state of the world at the moment. Also, we want to have the funds available so that if we find the perfect place to buy in Sweden over the winter then we will have the money ready to buy it.
For those of you who may be interested, we have been using websites Hemnet and Booli to search for places to buy, although there are not too many online in the area we are interested in, it is that remote! In our case it's better to be there ourselves and mingle with the locals. That seems to be our best chance of finding our dream house.
The second is that we have started making a food plan.
We are complete freaks about Indian food (like you can’t imagine!) and so have many, many ingredients we have to ensure we have a sufficient amount of to last at least 6 months. Sweden does have supermarkets of course, but we don’t expect to be able to buy the more exotic ingredients.
So we have made a plan for the amount of food we need during the time we’ll be staying in Storuman. This includes spices such as kasoor methi and amchur powder, as well as fresh ginger (we estimate to need 5kg!) that we’ll buy here in advance at our regularly frequented Indian grocery store. Onions and potatoes they have up there, but of course, we’ll take some to have a comfortable start.
But this is just a plan for our camping trip. The bigger question is what we’ll be able to grow ourselves once we have our own piece of land?
Some people have told us you can’t grow food in the north of Sweden. Well, we are not going to the very north of Sweden. In fact, we are not even passing the Arctic Circle and we’ll have daylight 24/7 in the summer, which means your garden will grow a lot in a short period of time (and the summers are much shorter of course).
We will also build ourselves a massive greenhouse. This is a must! That doesn’t mean we can grow whatever we want (cardamom, clove and cinnamon trees will take years and won’t survive lower temperatures), but we’re still going to try.
Our main staples will be onions, potatoes, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, lots of herbs, leafy greens and other root vegetables. The rest is just to try and see what happens.
Now the vegans would be proud of us at this stage, but we do like to mix things up. So Vince will put his handy work to the test with another big project; building a chicken coop. We dream of having several types of animals, but will start with chickens and take it from there. Goats are on the list, as well as pigs, but one step at a time.
We believe that most foods can be healthy, as long as they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, wrapped in plastic, stuffed with food additives, pumped full of steroids and hormones, kept in unnatural conditions, or made in a laboratory. And when you go down that list and don’t want to spend too much money on organic foods, which are inordinately expensive and often not as organic as you think, you’re not left with many options! You have to be a chemist in order to understand the back of the label of most products you buy in the supermarket, but if you grow your own food you don’t need to worry about all these things. Now you need to worry about whether there’s enough sunlight, or water, or soil acidity, all of which we look forward to whilst working outdoors.
It won’t be easy and a some of it stressful, but it’s another step on our road to independence and freedom!
Love to you all,
Caroline, Vince, little Amber and Fraggle