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, November 30, 2014

The Willow Farm got sheep

Our farm got new inhabitants; 5 Norwegian Spelsau sheep :) They are inside the stable at the moment and will stay there until I finish the electric fence on the field. The plan is to have them free range all year around.
 Many thanks to Nicklas and David for helping me get these sheep into the trailer. It was not easy dragging them 200 meters from the stable
I made a new sheep pen in the stable with wooden pallets. The sheep seem to be stressed with the transport and catching them but once they arrived to our farm they immediately started eating :) which is a good sign. Must fix the el-fence asap so they can go out grazing fresh grass.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Willow Farm November update

When we moved into our new house it had an oil heating system. We didn't like that because oil is unsustainable and is very expensive. So we decided to invest our money (the little we have) into a brand new computerized wood-pellets heating system and we are happy with the result. It was a HUGE job to disconnect and take out the old oil heating system.
Tank filled with wood pellets smells so much better than the old oil tank. The pellets smell of Pine forest. 
Another thing we did is make some pickled Pumpkins for the winter :)
 And we are about to get 5  Norwegian Spelsau sheep this Saturday :) I went today to check them out and place a deposit on them. They look great. They are very agile, alert, no limping, calm and they have a good appetite. 
We got them very cheap because their owner got operated and cant look after them anymore. They are 3 years old. They are not mated and its late in the season for it so we will just keep them as grazers until next autumn. Then they will be mated to get some lamb the year after. Our newly sown grass is growing large and its very important to get some animals on it to keep it low otherwise taller grasses will outcompete the lower ones. At the moment they have lots of tick and long wool and I will first cut their wool in spring. Soon to start building an electric fence. I think 1 Hectare will be enough to give them a healthy home.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Aging of Wood Chip Garden and Autumn Migrations

The Winter is slowly but surely closing in. The migrating birds are heading South towards warmer locations. We are left behind wondering where are they flying to ... some warm spot in Africa maybe, how does it feel to migrate I wonder with envy and amazement. I will not know, at least not in this life time ;) but I do know what Winter feels like ;)
One might say that kitchen gardens are dead for the year but that is not entirely true :) my new wood chip garden is teaming with life! Here you can see Fungi growing on the surface and creating a mycorrhizal web under it. Earth warms, various beetles and myriads of micro-creatures are moving into this friendly environment. All life prefers some sort of Cover. We have skin, fish has scales, trees have a bark, animals have fur and the soil has cover materials. At least in the wild it has but not on a man plowed field. Looking after the healthy soil life is my main objective, vegetables are just a bonus ;)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Making ketchup and green tomato pickles

Its time to bring the last harvest to the end and prepare some food for the winter. I have taken in all the ripe and green tomatoes to make a home made ketchup and pickled green tomatoes. As per usual I will not write down the recipe for these since there are hundreds of good ones on the net and its all about personal taste any way :)
Chop chop chop
 Squeezing out the tomatoe juice
The roughage is being fed to chicken
 Evaporating the water content takes ages. It makes me think this ketchup is not that sustainable ...
 ... because out of all this work and energy I've got only this much
 Green pickled Tomatoes.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Harvest season ends with sowing

 A few days we had a frosty night so I made a decision to harvest all the Tomatoes and Cucumbers from the greenhouse. We will make pickled tomatoes from the green ones and the ripe ones will be ketchup. 
We didnt get many pumpkins this year. I have got these from a friend who got many. We will make pickled pumpkins for the winter use. I will make sure to keep many seeds for the next year sowing.
The wood chip kitchen garden has began to sprout with life :) I have sown many garlic cloves which have started to poke out of the wood chips. I have sown the garlic in the soil which I covered with wood chips. Wood chips will keep the weeds at bay and will make sure the soil is always moist which will benefit both vegetables and the soil food web.