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?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

April news from the Oak Cottage / Ekstugan

 The bee hives are ready for the upcoming bee season :) During the winter I have built 4 long Kenya Top Bar Hives and 4 short ones of the same kind for making nucleus colonies and as a bait hives to catch swarms with. The last piece to fix was this sign; Bee Yard :) Now its just waiting for the bees to arrive in the start of May. I ordered 2 whole colonies which will come on 10 frames each. For more info on natural beekeeping in Top Bar Hives subscribe to my beekeeping blog
 As you can see the Pop-Corn is doing great. Soon enough I will be planting it beside the South facing wall of our cottage to keep it warm.
 My wife have found the first Tick this year. It was on our dog Bailey. We don't use any kind of anti-tick treatments like Frontline or Xspot because they are pesticides. I rather cut down his tick fur so I can easily spot the Tick and remove it manulay. In case the Tick is already in his skin I use the tool in the photo. I used many tools sold for Tick removal but these are by far the easiest to use and most effective.
 In this shot you can see two Tomato sorts which I planted at the same time. As you can see the Black Cherry (left) is growing superbly while the Money Maker (right) is developing very slow.
 Bailey is getting more and more used to the presence of our newly acquired Hens :) He calmly sits beside them and observes their behavior. While doing this his tail is waving showing clearly that he sees them as a part of our flock. The Hens are not afraid of him and that is a huge advance when teaching the dog to be calm around them. For some reason the Hens reduced egg laying to only 2 a day. The isolated Hen is still not laying.
 I decided to plant the Lettuce out into the cold frame. I also planted Spinach and more Lettuce seeds in between the grown plants. Bailey is monitoring if everything is done properly :)
I've covered the raised beds with fleece so to protect the young plants from direct sun and to contain the moisture a bit. Today I planted most of the flowers; Calendula, Borage and various summer mix flowers.
 I think I have ruined the Turnip and Swede Turnip. Yesterday was a very sunny day and the suns rays burned the young sensitive leaves. The Kale and Broccoli are growing fine yet are placed in the same spot. Anyway, today I planted more Turnip seeds and placed a fleece on the window do diffuse the sun light. Lets see how this goes.
I also planted Squash, Spaghetti Pumpkin, Greek Oregano, Basil and Indian Cress. The potato of a sort Sarpo Mira is in the white box. Thi sort is known for its potato blight tolerance. We cultivated them last year and they haven't got potato blight at all, not even a little bit :)

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