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?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Walking through the garden

Today was a perfect day for weeding. Not that hot, so I removed as much weed as I could see.
 Purple Peas are growing tall so I made this support to allow them to climb
 Beetroots are growing strong
 Carrots are getting there slowly but surely 
 Im already using the Onions as sallad
Parsnip is slowly developing 
 Potatoes are huge. I'm sure they will be ready soon
 Purple Kale and Broccoli are slow growers. After 
weeding I decided to cover the soil with hay around them
 Norli Peas are blooming :)
 Swede looks very lush indeed (Light green leaves). 
To the left is Turnip with darker leaves
 Faba Beans are blooming but they look short
 A few red Strawberries :)
 I'm already using Chard leaves for salad 
and cooking for some time now
 Left Calendula, center Spinach which didn't do so well
and Lettuce to the right.
Squash is blooming big time and a few fruits have started to form. Soon
to be on the main menu :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Food from our garden

 The kitchen garden is becoming greener with each passing day :) so beautiful :) 
 I harvested Turnip leaves and Chard to make a soup. Onions are for sallad.
Not the nicest color but this soup made with Turnip leaves, chard, tomatoes, chilli and tomatoes tastes really good :)

Friday, June 14, 2013

Blessed rain has fallen

It was very dry for a few weeks and we desperately longed for some rainy days. They have come at last :) It was raining yesterday and today ... but only 10 mm which is not much. We should get some more rain this Sunday.
Each millimeter of rain will saturate 1 cm of soil
The garden is becoming greener with every passing day :) I planted new seeds; Mizuna Japanese Mustard, Soya Beans and Kohlrabi.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Oak Cottage story continues

I have started to propagate Peppermint, Moroccan Mint and Oregano. I found this method described on the net suggesting to take cuttings and place them in a glass of water and wait for the roots to form before planting them outdoors in a shady locaction.
 As you can see the Peppermint has developed roots. I will wait replanting until the roots are long.
The herbal garden is growing well and is ready to be propagated. I will focus on getting many plants this season and will harvest next year instead.
 My wife Kristine planted Lemon tree seeds a few weeks ago and they are growing nicely :) We will keep them in our greenhouse once large enough.
 The Green Tea plants are also growing well. Not that fast but steady. All 6 seeds which I've bought on ebay have germinated :) meaning they sold me very fresh seeds :) fair play to them. These too will be kept in a green house.
 Tomatoes have started to bloom :) I'm trying not to forget to shake the plant gently every day to help pollinate the flowers. They are wind pollinated but its never windy in the greenhouse so its up to us to shake them a bit.
 Peppers are already forming fruits :)
 Sunflowers and Pop Corn are growing nicely
 Our Honey Bees are in the middle of swarming season. To avoid losing swarms I decided to split the extra Queen Cells into new hives. If everything goes well and the Virgin Queens mate successfully we will have 6 hives going into winter this year. This is not bad since I've only bought 2 colonies this year :) The colony in this picture is the strongest of all and the bees are hanging in front of the entrance to cool the hive. They do this on hot days.
Our Hens are doing great foraging outdoors from dawn till dusk. There is lots of good stuff to be found in this landscape. We did have an unpleasant episode yesterday; neighbours Husky dog ran into our yard and started chasing the Hens! The dog snached our darling chick Betty which is very tame! The dog didn't bite her since she wasn't bleeding but did hurt her leg/hip. She cant walk on one leg and I isolated her from the other hens because chicks can be very aggressive towards the hurt member of the flock. She is eating well and drinking water which is a good sign. I'm having a feeling that she will recover soon. All she needs is peace and quiet. I do visit her every so often and pet her a bit. Hens are social animals and gentle interaction can be of benefit to her.
 The garden is starting to be green :) These are the Squash and Pumpkin plants. Still no flowers though.
 Its getting there. Two more weeks and everything should be green :) can't wait
 Norli Peas are a very early sort
 Potatoes are rock'n'rolling. I will soon place a thick layer of mulch around them to keep the root area shaded, otherwise the Potatoes can turn green which is toxic to us.
 Swedish Turnip to the right is growing well but the normal Turnip is growing slowly. I'm watering the whole garden twice a week.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Apple slicer/peeler/core remover

My wife bought me a very fine present :) I'm so happy about it I can't explain! Almost like a child getting a much wanted toy for christmas :) Thank you Kristine xxx
I am planning to dry lots of apples for the winter. Slice them and then put them into my solar dryer or alternatively above the fireplace if cold outside.
It takes lots of time to slice the apples and remove the core with seeds by using a knife, and this is where this cute invention comes in handy :)
It does 3 operations at once;
- peeling
- slicing
- core removing
I made a short video to give you an idea how great this tool is (you can buy it on ebay cheap) ;