About Eva & Max

Cherry blossoms

About Eva

Hi, I’m Eva. I’m the evil mastermind behind this blog. Now how exactly did I end up here? Loving plants and gardens came naturally to me, the great outdoors was more of an acquired taste. Whether it’s raining or snowing I feel the need to stick my nose outside and get something done everyday. Whilst this is something that I love and need, I have discovered, to my great surprise that this is not the case for most people. People my age (I was born in 1990) usually give me a very odd look when I tell them I’m into gardening. People that are not my age (I’m talking about my elders here), usually give me an even odder look (while it is a great surprise to them often they quickly get over it and try to cram as much of their knowledge into my head as they can). When I start using words like “runners” or “turgidity” I usually see more than a few eyebrows raised.

It takes some time to get used to and quite a lot of explaining most of the time. Now when my friends or acquaintances go on holidays abroad, they usually bring back some local seeds, that’s how I ended up with Protea seeds from South Africa or Suicide Tree seeds from Asia for example. I love “meeting” new plants, yes I used the word meet because that’s what it really feels like to me when a seed slowly starts opening and revealing its first shoots.

I’ve also noticed that even though most people I meet don’t garden, they still have a few plants lying (sometimes barely surviving) around their houses or their apartments. Gardening seems scary and too time consuming for most of us at first, but you can’t compare the feeling of any of these fears to the one of sheer joy or to the benefits you get from this hobby (or lifestyle). If you are really asking yourself what kinds of benefits you get out of gardening maybe I can help you by giving you a few ideas : fresh, organically grown food in your stomach, lots of time outside, breathing fresh air, time to relax and socialize, the joy of doing something with your own two hands and seeing the results, these are just a few things that come to mind when I think of gardening but there are many others (so many indeed that you could probably write a book about it, and there very likely are already more than one). If you want to read more about the physical and mental benefits of gardening I recommend you read more on this blog about the benefits of gardening.

I hope one day I can make a living from this passion I have for plants, yet today is not that day yet. My plan (this is probably a least a ten year plan before actually even getting started) is to own a self sufficient homestead with Max and maybe (if we’re lucky) some people we will meet along the way that share our passion.

We started researching and reading up on as many subjects as possible in order to make this project happen and oh boy this is a long journey we have planned out for ourselves. It starts with self growth before we can even start imagining what it will look like. Slow and steady is definitely the way we are getting there.

This new knowledge we have a acquired has ranged anywhere from aquaponics or permaculture to personal finance and early retirement. There is so much to know about plants that I wanted to embark on this journey as soon as possible and not miss a minute along the way. This is why I started documenting what I already knew as well as what I was learning each day. I want to share all of this with the rest of of the world (well at least those of you that are interested in what I have to say) and what better way to reach as many people as possible than internet? This is how this blog came to life. If you appreciate reading this blog please talk about it to your friends and family (or even to your co-workers) and spread the word, I’ll be forever in your debt.

So how did it actually start?

Everyday I would try to choose a subject and share about I knew  (or learned researching) about it, mostly for myself but hoping that one day I could publish it and share what I learned over the years with others.

And to this day I do my best to keep up and to keep sharing my research and my experiments with you.

Knowing that you guys visit, read and comment on these articles motivates me to no end. Motivation is a crucial factor for my big plans of a self sufficient homestead and becoming financially independent, so I’m glad to be able to share my actions, my headwinds and my setbacks with like-minded people or with people with whom I share a passion.

I created this blog (or rather these huge chunks of random ramblings, as I like to call them, from a crazy person who just wants to grow plants everywhere strung up into a website) that I hope will slowly (but steadily) take shape over the few years to come as I continue pouring information into what seems to be never ending space.

I’m glad for any help I’ll receive along the way and I hope you will love reading it at least half as much as I loved writing it.

I’m going for this one step at a time, if I seem to have missed anything, if you’d like me to cover a subject for you or if you’d just like to give me a helping hand, please reach out!

If you’d like to learn a few things about me please read on.

My interests or things I’d like to learn about

I have to share a secret though, I absolutely love nudibranches.

I have to share a secret though, I absolutely love nudibranchs.

I like to think my interests are rather varied (maybe I’m just fooling myself, you tell me). I acquired these along the way over the last decades. I usually fluctuate between these, leaning towards a few at a time and continually cycling between them while adding new interests along the way. I wouldn’t say I have a definite preference for any of them. They are all equally important to me.

As you can guess these are always enough to keep me busy on any given day. Since I spend a lot of my time reading, testing and discovering new materials about these I’m glad to share my favorite resources about these subjects with you. Maybe you’ll find yourself a new interest or simply new reading material on a passion we share. Who knows maybe we just love the same things (I mean who doesn’t love a hot chocolate covered with homemade whipped cream in front of a warm fireplace and a nice board game with your friends in the middle of the winter?)!

  1. Financial independence
  2. Science
  3. Ecology
  4. Aquaponics
  5. Permaculture
  6. Animals
  7. Horticulture
  8. Gardening
  9. Medicinal uses for plants
  10. Video games
  11. Spoken word poetry
  12. Plant grafts
  13. Board games
  14. Sci-fi (yes, books and movies)
  15. Scuba-diving
  16. Cooking
  17. DIY
  18. Nudibranchs
  19. Animal reproduction
  20. Bee keeping

Bonsai and hedgehog

About Max

Ever since my childhood, I’ve been fascinated by the natural world. I’m lucky to have spent my younger years roaming a beautiful corner of french countryside, surrounded by a somewhat tamed and managed, but nonetheless pretty wild landscape. Growing up with no television or videogames led me to take up many outdoor activities, from muddy football games with my friends / brothers, treehouses, camping, swimming and fishing and all sorts. Naturally, we also had a small garden with some plants and a few animals (chickens and rabbits). I believe that this proximity to nature as a child led me to a deep interest into how the living world functions, how different organisms work, interact with each other and the environment. Throughout my education I leaned towards the sciences and went to university to study biology. I’m currently working in a research lab as a PhD student, trying to further our understanding of how some plant groups (conifers mostly) have evolved to be able to cope with extreme prolonged drought.

This context has also affected me on a personal level, as I’m also very aware of all issues related to ecology, from saving the bees to climate change. I think mankind needs to find a way to properly take care of our planet, because it’s the only one we have – at least for the time being! I’d like to find a way to live without having a negative impact on the environment, and helping as I can to make the world a better place to live in, both for our kids and grandkids down the line, and also for the less privileged today. This stands behind many choices we make in how we lead our lives, and for example our need to begin producing some of our food ourselves in our garden, keeping chickens (yay!), and trying to eat as much local food as possible.

It also means we’re looking to set up a future where we can live off some land of our own, in harmony with our surroundings. More on that later I guess.

I’m interested in a ton of other stuff, from sports (football, rugby and cricket mostly), music (all sorts – from gypsy jazz to black metal), books of all kinds to video-games and TV-shows. I also love reading and learning new things, and although formal teaching has never really been my thing, I do believe in sharing information and using the fantastic tool that the internet can be to bring knowledge and understanding to people. I’ll try and bring you some posts that may interest you, mainly at first relating to how plants function, and we’ll see where that leads us…

We’re very excited about starting this blog, and setting out on our journey towards a more self-sufficient life. We’re very happy to have you guys with us, and you’re a very valuable source of motivation to us. Please feel free to contact us, give us ideas, add some information or just discuss and comment, we love reading your thoughts.