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, February 23, 2015

Expanding the sheep pasture

After 3 days of hard work and hammering 102 wooden poles into the hard clay soil the sheep have got plenty of new forage space.
 In this photo above you can see the old pasture space behind the sheep which is literary over-grazed. Seeing that they are wiping out the grass I needed to act as soon as possible so they dont ruin that field which would then need re-sowing and that does cost money. The new filed is so lush in grass because we had a very mild winter and the sheep are not waiting for an invitation :) they are all over it!
Here is a panoramic shot showing the entire field at the back of our small forest. Now they have just under 1 hectare of forage space. This large field is also sown with white clover which will benefit my bees and all other pollinators. Clover grows much better if the grass is kept short, so it is important to have animals grazing over it otherwise the tall grass will over shadow the clover.

Sowing season 2015 has begun

The ordered seeds have arrived today :) happy days! It just feels great to be planning the kitchen garden again!
I didnt have to order all I need because I started collecting seeds from my own garden for the last 2 years. This year I  will be focusing on planting lots of flowers like Borage, Phacelia, Sunflowers, Tagetes, Calendula and Nasturtium for the bees. I will also have A LOT of pumpkins and squash to cover as much of the non-covered soil to suppress weeds and to make some food for us which we will also try selling locally. The plan this year is to focus mostly on what we actually like to eat and that is lots of carrots, beetroots, cucumbers both for making pickles and the long variation, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, onions and kale. All the rest like lettuce, spinach, radishes and mizuna will be sown little a time so we have it as long in the season as possible.
Chilli seeds are already in the window seal :) 
Mizuna seeds already started sprouting in the same spot they were growing last year inside the greenhouse. They seem to be self-seeding easily. I placed windows on top of them to keep them warmer. We will have some fresh salad in April (same as last year) :) 
I have built a small greenhouse within the greenhouse (if that makes sense). I need lots of warm/protected space to start early sowing of many vegetables and I just cant do it in the house. I will place a low energy heat lamp inside of this mini-greenhouse to keep it a bit warmer and to defend the seedlings in case of frosty nights. Lets see how this will work ...
I have also sown radishes and spinach in the greenhouse with extra protection. Last year they grew very well from the February sowing. This winter is mild as the last one so Im  counting on seeing some growth soon. The worst that can happen is they will not come up,  BUT :) if they do we will enjoy fresh salad end of April :)) so why not try! I dont hear people in Denmark sowing early inside their greenhouse, probably because most people are conservative and follow what most have done (or not done) before them. I was always a pioneer in all aspects which is sometimes great and sometimes not so great. It sure doesnt make you popular among conservative folks ;) They call people like  me "know-it-all", "hippy tree hugger", etc ... Well, well I will smile at them when I eat my first salad in April ;) 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Preparing the farm for incoming season

We had another mild winter. Last year was the same, only January was cold. Its time to prune the apple trees use the cut off branches as wood chips for our garden.
 I have begun to weed the raised beds. I used only well composted horse manure but was surprised last year with how many weeds started to grow in it. As soon I finish one bed the chicks sweep through it collecting all the exposed weed seeds. Thanks for the help ladies :)
Once the weeds are out I will cover these beds with aged wood chips which will help to suppress the weeds and will help to contain the moisture in hot weather.