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?

Monday, August 26, 2013

Preserving green tomatoes and catching fish

I've got some green tomatoes and thought to preserve them. There are many recipes on the net depending on your taste of course so Im not going to write about the details.

After 3 hours of fishing ...
I've caught this fine 4,5 kg Pike

Visiting Holma Forest Garden

My wife and I visited Holma Forest Garden yesterday. They have contacted me a few days ago to help them with building a Top Bar Hive so I thought to pay them a visit and see this place I've heard about so many times.

Swarm trap but no swarms this year

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Preserving veggies with Lactic Acid fermentation

We decided to preserve some of the Turnips and Carrots using the Lactic Acid Fermentation method. We only used water, salt without Iodine and some whole black pepper.
Peeling and cleaning the root veggies
Clay pots for fermentation but any food grade bucket will do
It is important to keep the veggies under the water otherwise
they might go bad. So we used a freezer bag filled with
water as a weight
We used 1,5% of the vegetable weight of salt so for 3,5 kg of veggies 50 g of salt (without Iodine). Water used was boiled and let down to cool before topping up the pots. We will keep the pots in room temperature (18-20'C) for 10 days and after that we will place them into the earth cellar for 4-6 weeks on 4-8'C. After that the veggies will be preserved and can be put into permanent jars placed in the frig´dge or earth cellar.
Lets see how this turns out.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Harvest carries on

 I have harvested all the Turnips. 2 wheelbarrows in total.
 Lots of Onions
... drying Onions 
I have placed the Turnips into our earth cellar.
Seed harvest has also begun. Sugar Peas
We will have lots of apples this year from which we will make Apple Cider Vinegar

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Harvest begins, fishing Monsters and slow Internet Connection

First of all I apologise for not blogging lately. The reason behind it is my extremely slow internet connection which takes ages to upload photos.

That said, we have started harvesting Beetroots. We preserved them using vinegar and sugar;

I will start harvesting Carrots, Turnip and Swede Turnip and will preserve them using Lactic Fermentation. This is the healthiest and most sustainable preserving method. Lactic bacteria is very beneficial for our health and the amount of salt (without Iodine) used is very low. I will blog about it soon.
 I am fishing almost every evening. I don't always catch a fish but every now and then something ends up on the hook. A few days ago I caught this 1,5 kg Pike with my favorite lure.
Some people say that Pike taste strange, earth-like ... my wife and I don't think so. It is almost as eating chicken breast with slight fishy taste. As you can see only the skeleton is left after the dinner :) It sure is tasty.
Yesterday was a very special day indeed. I went fishing on our local river which isn't that big. I caught so far only up to 2 kg Pike there and some smaller Perch. This time something much bigger got hooked! It was a 5,5 kg Pike! It took me 5 minutes to get it out of the river! I was in a canoe and the Pike kept swimming under it pulling the rod under ... I was sweating like a horse by the end of our battle. What a Monster, what a predator! If you click on the photo you will be able to zoom in and check on those sharp teeth ;)
Such large Pike can eat to 30 fish per day and there sure are many Pike in this river. I feel its of benefit to the river biodiversity to thin out some of the top predators like this one.
Since our freezer is full I decided to cut this one in half and give it to my good neighbours. They were very happy to receive such a treat :)

One thing I would love to share with you is that each time I am to kill an animal I say "thank you" to it. This might sound hippy and new age-ish but for some reason it feels right, not sure why, but it does bring peace of mind when taking life for food.
At the end of the day we humans were Hunters and Gatherers for most of our evolutionary existence. Its in our biology to hunt and gather just enough we can consume. I feel this lifestyle is highly sustainable and I wish we had never developed further than that. I also feel its healthy to hunt because of all the Adrenaline filled action and huge satisfaction after the hunt which induce Serotonin.
The fact that SO MANY people/kids play war games on their play stations and computers shows this very biological hunter aspect of our human nature. I just find it natural and beneficial to actually hunt for food than to sit in front of the computer screen and fight with illusions.

Today it would be a catastrophe if we all would go out there and hunt simply because we have destroyed so much of the natural biodiversity. For this reason I have huge respect for those who are vegans and vegetarians. This creates much less pressure to the environment.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Invasion of Brassica Parasites

 The garden looks lush and green but there is other stuff lurking in the green foliage which 
might destroy its appearance ... 
Im not sure what these worms are ... maybe the young Cabbage Worm? They
are on the underside of the leaves 
 Cabbage Aphids feeling at home ...
Large Cabbage worm taking mouthfuls of Purple Kale which
is apparently resistant to pests (roll eyes)
I'm not sure what to do but handpick them and spray the plants with Hot Pepper Spray (which you can make yourself with ground up 1/2 cup of hot peppers into 1 pint of water) every four to five days.
Will update after I test this ...