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?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We bought a small farm in Denmark :)

FINALLY!!! :) My lovely wife and I have bought a small farm in Denmark. We have a real home now. A home that has the potential of being self-sufficient :) I waited my whole life for this to happen and now its almost there. We are moving in on the 13th of December! Happy Days!!! This house was built 1827 and comes with 2,5 hectare land.
Our 2.5 hectare farm :) Yeeeeeeeah!
We sold our apartment in Sweden and are big time packing our stuff. Time to move soon :)
See you over in Denmark! Stay tuned, lots of interesting stuff coming up to blog about!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Good bye and thanks for all the eggs

My wife and I are about to buy a farm in Denmark and move out of Sweden. For that reason we had to give away our hens. I gave them to a friend of mine.
Good bye hens and thank you for all the lovely eggs :) we sure enjoyed them very much. 
Once we move to our farm we will try to breed the Danish Landrace Hens which give less eggs but they also need less extra feeding which suits our self-sufficient life style.
The gardening season is over. Only Kale is left to be harvested. Since we are moving soon I started dismantling the chicken wire and snail barrier which I intend to bring with us. 
I have learned a lot this year about organic gardening and will wisely use that knowledge in the future.
Green and Purple Kale are frost tolerant and can stay longer
in the garden.
Life in nature sure is filled with beauty :) I have never seen a rainbow so close before. It formed over my neighbour's pond :) 

Thank you all for following our journey this year! As soon we buy our farm I will make sure to blog about it so stay tuned :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Quince Marmalade

 I have got a few Quince fruits from a friend and decided to make marmalade from them.
I would love to have a few Quince trees on our farm so I took some seeds which I will plant soon because they need cold stratification.
Yummi :)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Is Mono-crop Agriculture Killing the Bees?

Hallo friends,
for all of you who care about the future of our children and future generations as well as all other living beings sharing this planet with us I beg you to actually see this short but highly insightful speech by bee biologist Marla Spivak. Bees are in deep shit all over the planet and its time we understand why that is. Marla explains it well.

I'm afraid its come to the point to totally abandon our "american dream" kind of life style and adopt a more sustainable one, which is based on "less is more".
Mono-crop agriculture is the original sin of human kind. Because of it pesticides are developed, biodiversity is destroyed, insects are disappearing, birds are disappearing, ... Lets not fool our selves! Our modern day consumerist life style will be our doom. Each time we choose to buy food from supermarkets which is grown on mono-crop fields we are killing our childrens future. It matters little if you buy organic food made in same mono-crop fashion. Mono-crop agriculture remains Devoid of Biodiversity! Bees can't survive on one pollen source which is in bloom for only couple of weeks!

Our politicians are short sided; they only think as far as taxes. Maybe its time we stop waiting for them to change their minds and take action into our own hands.

I hope you take Marla's talk seriously and if, share with as many people as you can. And dont forget to plant flowers for bees. Each flower count!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Look what I've found in the bush

Actauly it was not me but my dear dog Bailey who found something in the bush. I saw him going often to one bush near the cottage and looking under it and then looking at me ... looking under the bush and again looking at me ... I knew he had found something so I went there to inspect and guess what?!
He found 8 eggs!!!
I have noticed our Hens not laying eggs lately. I thought it had something to do with the colder Autumn weather but now I see whats going on; they stopped laying into the coop nest but found a new nest under the bush. Why is that I wonder? Any way since we are feeding them with organic food which cost money I cant afford loosing those eggs to Foxes or else, and I sure don't want to search for eggs around our cottage every day since there are hundreds of bushes they can choose from.
I think I will have to reinstate an old custom called "closed in the chicken coop until noon" and after they have laid 2-3 eggs I let them free range. This worked before when they started laying eggs all over the place, even on the road and on our stairs (yes they would break and they would then eat them).

I checked the eggs for freshness by placing them into a bucket with water. All eggs sank to the bottom, which is a good sign. Eggs which are too old float and aren't good for consumption.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Save Seeds to Plant Seeds

Seeds drying on newspaper
This is the first time that I'm collecting seeds from my own produce. It will be exciting to saw them next year! So far I collected peas, beans, nasturtium, calendula, tagetes, carrots, sunflower, pumpkin, tomato and spinach. Soon to collect seeds from chard, onions, squash, radishes, mizuna cabbage and swedish soybeans.
I also collected seeds from various wild growing bee lowing flowers. The nature is so generous indeed. 
As a self-sufficient householder it is of utmost importance to learn how to and when to collect seeds as well as how to store them. I make sure to write on each seed bag the year the seed is from since some seeds cant live forever. Old seeds often don't germinate.
Save seeds to plant seeds!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

How are the Chicks doing?

Im glad you are asking :) they are doing fine I must say. Theytransformed from "nipping at each other" psychopaths to very gentle hens which are now grooming one another and walking freely around our neighbourhood. Our neighbours don't mind them actually they think its cute to see them around their houses. They truly are free-range hens now.
Lets see how they looked when I first got them from the egg farmer;
Damaged feathers and skin, and biting one another constantly
Now they look like this;
Foraging freely around the entire neighbourhood like a natural flock
Lets not forget that 60% of all eggs produced in the world come from caged hens;
Poor caged creatures. Why are humans so heartless?
We must stop this madness!
Next time you buy eggs make sure to look if they are from caged hens or free-range organic hens. You can make the difference right there in the shop. What do you support?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Year's last Squash and Pumpkins

Thats it folks! The Jötnar (frost giants) of the Norse mythology are approaching our shores bringing in frost with them. Its time to harvest the last bits of Squash and Pumpkin before they arrive and ruin them.
The Squash was very productive the whole season and we ate a lot of it and we gave a lot to our good neighbours. The Spaghetti Pumpkin was less productive. The above is about it. I gave 2 to my neighbour. As you can see in the photo the pumpkins aren't that big at all. I think they would give more fruits if we harvested the first fruits early. I've heard that for each early harvested pumpkin and squash two new flowers form. Lesson learned for the next year.
I will make sure to take seeds from both for next year. I'm trying to create my own seed bank and will do so every year.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvesting Carrots, Beets and Parsnip

harvesting carrots
lots of carrots and parsnip
Kristine was taking up the Beetroots
fine organic Beets
We took up one plant of Sarpo Potatoes just to see how it
developed and this is what it gave us
Kristine is very good at braiding Onions

Monday, September 9, 2013

Strange bug in the Carrots

I have never seen this beautifully colored insect before. Google search told me it is called Striped Shield Bug.
Striped Shield Bug on Carrot seeds
Carrots are starting to be big and soon to be harvested. Im not sure how to harvest them ... apparently one needs sand to do it properly ... must research a bit more.
They taste lovely. We mostly use them in juices.

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.