Farm on a balcony has moved to Switzerland!

Time for a long overdue post: yes, it has been rather busy! Let alone the current global situation, we have been extra busy with moving from Germany to Switzerland and settling there. This meant of course leaving our beloved balcony in the black forest behind and starting from scratch on a balcony on the banks of Lac Neuchâtel.

It wasn’t an easy time to move, right in the middle of the corona virus peak…we weren’t even sure whether we’d make it across the border – but we succeeded, based on the fact that we were moving for work purposes and could provide all required documentation to the migration office and border control…that was a pretty intense time, culminating with us getting to our new place on the 8th of April – with a lot of anticipation for this new chapter of our personal and professional lives! The week before this great move was one of the most intensely stressful times we have had (since our work depended on the move to Switzerland) and you can not believe the relief we felt to get across the border…of course in a sensible way, as much as possible without coming into contact with people. We would have preferred to do this move at a different time but we managed. From the rolling vine hills of the black forest to the banks of the Lac Neuchâtel.

We managed to unpack all our things within 5 days, right in time for Easter Sunday. After that, a whole load of things followed to register in our new home town and start settling in – not just the usual admin things but also getting used to a whole new language. This is the French speaking part of Switzerland after all. Just as Alex became pretty fluent in German, we had to move and now both have to learn a new language – not from complete scratch, as we both did learn French at school – but still a whole new adventure! Particularly as this time neither of us speak the language (yet) – before at least I could speak German relatively fluently.

Now it has been nearly two months since we moved and it feels like home 🙂 Not just the inside of the house feels like home, but also the balcony is now set up and we are starting to experiment with plants in this new setting. Different location, different challenges but also some the same. One difference: Being right by the lake means we get the wind coming in from the lake, directly onto our balcony. The growing tomato and chilli plants got the brunt of it initially but now the tomato plants are toughening up to withstand the wind. Some things also do not change unfortunately: we still have to fight with these greenflies! I actually came from a stint of greenfly squashing. Total nutters they are, covering the new shoots of our Mizuna and Swiss Chard leaf plants…and the ants farm them…naughty things! 😉 A great plus on our new balcony is that we get the sun on it all day long – bodes well for growing sun loving plants (amongst other things we have planted aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, malabar spinach). However, the first time I put the plants out in the sun, they got a little sun burnt! And this after a week of rain and extreme wind before that during which they got drenched and rattled. Poor things are being pampered now to ensure they overcome the tough first weeks of their outdoor lives 😉

I will gradually over the next weeks use the blog to create a virtual overview of the area we live in now. It is sad that we can not welcome our family and friends into our new home yet, but we can make the most of the time we have on our own to explore and find the nicest corners of our new home environment – the more we do this now, the better we will be able to show people around when they can hopefully finally venture over the borders whenever the situation may allow this. And be sure, this is an excellent area to come to for some opportunities for socially distant activities – as for sure when the restrictions are lifted we will still have to continue to be careful and sensible when it comes to our activities – what better thing to do than being outdoors on the bikes or on foot.

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