Chop Wood Carry Water Plant Seeds is a blog about Self-Sufficient Homesteading. How can we live by creating a sustainable bio-diverse world, instead of by consuming and destroying the only one we have? What kind of teaching have you got if you exclude nature?

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Mother

Left naked and scarred
Bleeding into the open sky
Cold winds from her bones
Peeling off the remaining flesh
Raped by her own children
She orbits still

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The Chicken Tractor almost finished

Well there is only left to build the nest and to staple the chicken net around the underpart were chicks will go "outside". I must figure out a DIY feeder and a vacuum water dish. I think I have an idea how to do it without buying anything.

Friday, November 16, 2012

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Home made soap

I totally forgot to blog about me making a batch of home made soap.

-Oils used are organic:
Rapeseed oil
Olive oil
Coconut fat
- at the end I mixed in crushed dry Peppermin leaves (which do colour up the soap)
- The real caustic soda is made of Natriumhydroxide. Do not buy products which have other stuff mixed in.

First I warmed up the oils and coconut fat until totaly desolved. I warm up to 60'C.
Then I do the lye by mixing the caustic soda with water (dangerous, wear mask, gloves and goggles). Never pour water into soda but soda into water and do it slowly. Mixing it with a spoon.
The lye gets very hot. I wait until boath lye and the oil cool down to 40'C and pour the lye into the oil mixture slowly while mixing it.

Then I mix the whole thing until the liquid turns into a slught puding consistence. Then pour the whole think into a plastic container and wait for a few days until hard enough to be cut into pieces (make sure to wear gloves).
The soap must cure for 4-6 weeks before safe to use on skin.
There are numerous recipes on the net.

Monday, November 12, 2012

What Chainsaw?

Chainsaw is very helpful indeed especially when dealing with very big trees. In this case im dealing with shrubbery size trees and my chosen tool is a handsaw. Not just any handsaw but the one designed to saw trees.
Such saw has big teeth and all are the same size and same shape. I have tried other saws but this one is by far the easiest to work with. It bites through the wood with like a knife through chees ;)
I've got lots of wood from this shrubbery. Now its just left to saw it into fire wood size and put it under the roof for drying. The winter is long and cold in Sweden.
After a few hours of work a well deserved Coffee'n'Scotch ... then back to work
All the branches will be turned into wood chips which I will use in the garden as a cover material

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Winterising our Root Cellar

We have a very old root cellar which we plan to use. The front door was totally rotten and my wife and I made a new one. The second door is not there so Im guessing it rotted long time ago so i decided to place a plastic sheet to stop the outdoor temperature from getting in and the indoor getting out. Its like a buffer zone.

Herb Garden

Maybe not a garden just yet but its getting there ;)
I've got some compost soil from the local recycling centre for free. I was driving my garbage there today anyway so it didnt cost anything realy.
I've placed a cardboard and newspappers on the existing grass then placed the pallet frame on top and topped it up with top soil. This will keep the weed grass at bay.
I dont know all the herb names but some are: Peppermint, Lavender, Salvia, Echinacea, Oregano, Catmint ...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New paint without painting

Well not realy so ;) but close. We have white frames around the windows and doors which were not painted in years and look so dirty. I plan on painting them next summer. Anyway it looks so unsightly and I had to do something to make it look fresh again.
I used hot water and liquid soap which is made of pine tree and is bio degradeable.
The result is very satisfying indeed :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Reclaiming My House

I've found a headless rodent in my bedroom! Goosebumps sprouted in a blink of an eye all over my skin! Im guessing another rodent attacked this one and claimed its head. Lots of mice droppings on the window seals, tables, kitchen, in the beds ... you name it. I assume there were more than two rodents in the house. I have found eaten hasslenuts in a few corners.
After a thorough inspection I've found a small hole in the kitchen wall. Immediatelly I closed it down by nailing a small plank over it.
Now I feel this house is MINE once again ;)
I know, I know, possession is an illusion but still it feels good ;)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Back to my Country Home

After the course in self-sufficient householding finished I moved all my stuff into our summer house and I immediatelly went off to Malmo to meet with my wife and celebrate her 30th b-day (happy birthday skat). After a week in the city I felt growing restless. I knew it was time to leave the asphalt behind and put on my rubber boots. My dog and I moved into our country home which is a nice small cottage with some land and an orchard. I find Neil Young's song very in touch with my current feelings;
"I'm thankful for my country home
It gives me peace of mind
Somewhere I can walk alone
And leave myself behind."

There is so much to be done around here and Im not sure where to start. I though aftter finishing an 8 month course in self-sufficinet householding I will be more like a Self-sufficient Super Man, but that is not the case I must say. I guess its easy playing self-sufficiency when in school and one can afford to make mistakes. Or maybe I just feel blue the same way young mothers sometimes feel when they give a birth to their child. For no particular reason they feel depressed and even at times dont love their child at first, but all this will pass away and the baby and mother will feel united and happy forever and ever.

I think we have 7 Apple trees and one Plum tree. When I came back there were hardly any apples left :( I let the birds have the few hanging. In spring I will prune these apple tress.
The house is in the mess after I moved all my stuff in ah, where do I place all this ...
The Garlic field seems to be sprouting a few green shots here and there ...
Yes, the garage ... I must finish the chicken tractor before we buy 3-4 egg laying hens. Infront of the tractor is a bunch of reused pallet timber I found in a skip and behind shops. People trhow so much good stuff away. Keeping an eye on the skips you pass will sure result in some golden find ;) I will make two more bee hives, a working table (the old one to the left is too small), and a green house with those white windows to the left ( also found in a skip). And the funniest is at the back ... a bunch of garbage which cant be used for anything. I will move it to my local recycling centre and at the same time get home some fine black compost soil which they give for free.
I will place the green house (GH) in between these two windows. The GH will not touch the house wall, for ventilation purpose. I feel it will be too warm for the Tomatoes since the GH is facing South and is supported by the wall's heat too.
As some of you know I have cut down many small trees to open up this part of the land to the South to get in some Sun light. I will place my Apiary there and bees do love facing the sun. Still some trees lying around the ground which need to be cleaned from small branches and then (together with that heep to the left) cut down into fire wood. 
window view (my neighbours horses)
This is the part of our land which I intend to turn into a weedless kitchen garden. It is covered in Nettles and Ground Elder, both very nutritious plants which can be eaten instead of spinach. My wife and I made a soup once, yet they are growing like crazy and one can eat it every day. So much vitamins and minerals they harbour in those leaves. I will try and weed small partitions at a time so not to loose my spirit ;) Lots of sweat is needed here! Am I up to it?!
I must replant these herbs soon ... need that compost soil I mentioned above ...
These bushes flower beautifully every year. The bees are gonna love it :) I must prune them though since they shadow this wall too much making it go algae green.
I have to redo my hives a bit ... dont ask ...
Next year is the house painting year which we planned to do this year but due to so much rain it never happened, well, well.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kretsloppshuset Course 2012 Is Over

The 8 month course in self-sufficient homesteading has finished today. 8 month of many different aspects of homesteading. It was intense and interesting. Now its all about implementing all that knowledge into my own homestead which for the next year will be our summer house.
Kretslopsshuset 2012 course photo

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Swedish Yellow Duck

Swedish yellow ducks, or "Svensk gul anka," live exclusively in Sweden. This domesticated waterfowl species thrived prior to 1950, then underwent a population decline significant enough for the country to believe they had gone extinct by the 1970s.


Duck breeder Mans Eriksson of Svalov, a town in southwestern Sweden, created the first Swedish yellow ducks sometime prior to 1920 by crossing Swedish blue ducks with mottled, yellowish ducks he purchased in the nearby town of Molle.

Khaki Campbell Ducks

Although Eriksson claimed in a 1940 magazine article that he crossed Swedish blue ducks with a "white race," the Svenksa Lanthonsklubben ("Swedish Native Poultry Society") believes he may have used other ducks, Khaki Campbells, in the breeding process.


Swedish yellow ducks range from pale yellow to brown in color, with females showing consistent uniformity. The male sports a dark gray to brown head and a greenish-blue bill. The female's bill tends to be brownish-blue.

Suspected Extinction and Rediscovery

Swedish yellow ducks disappeared from known breeding farms by the 1970s, but a single farmer in the town of Billinge kept the breed alive.

Recent Population Increase

As few as 110 Swedish yellow ducks existed in 2001. That number rose to 145 by 2004, thanks to a renewed breeding program targeting population increase.

Source eHow
By Johnny Galluzzo, eHow Contributor

Our outdoor toilet

Friday, October 19, 2012

Winter Preparations

It is time to clean up the garden and to take down the greenhouse because this part of sweden gets lots of snow which might crush down the entire greenhouse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Harvesting the Greenhouse

Frost nights are upon us and the greenhouse had to be stripped naked from all its fruits. I guess we have to make lots of chutney and pickles now ;)

The making of Carrot marmelade

I decided to make a few jars of Carrot marmelade with a touch of Anise (Pimpinella anisum) and Lemon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Basket Weaving

Ninnie was teaching us how to weave willow baskets at Kretsloppshuset today. Interesting stuff which i intend to do during the long dark winter evenings in my summer house beside a hot fireplace.