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, January 27, 2014

What does meditation got to do with it?

These days we are reading a lot about ecological problems we are facing on this planet, and we are starting to realize that its our very life style which is causing those problems. There are those of us which see the issues clearly but feel overwhelmed by them. There are so many issues we are facing that one gets almost paralyzed by the vastness of problems at hand.

Where to start? What to do? How to do it? Can I do it? 

Our mind is used to problem solving and even when there are no problems our mind will try its best to create and find problems that need solving. Some people call this phenomena "Monkey Mind" which jumps from one issue to the next and so on and so forth. A never ending game which seems to have ill effects on this body of ours. The problem solving mind is always on the run and the body reacts to it by releasing stress hormones into the system which in turn stress the mind even more. It is a stress cycle; mind stressing the body and body in turn stressing the mind which in turn stresses the body even more and so on and so forth.

I used to meditate daily for almost 3 years and then stopped with it. I can clearly see now that while I was practicing every day I had more clarity and more calm then now. I had a clear view of whats to be done without much relying on the Monkey Mind. Somehow the Heart knew what to do and the body-mind followed into actual action.

Now I came to the point of owning a farm and there are many thoughts in my head, many plans about how to run it, what to do with it, impatience to get to that point, discouraged by the pesticide using commercial farmers surrounding our farm ... etc ... etc ...
All this thinking is creating lots of stress and unease in the body I feel. There is tension in my muscles and I even have bad dreams lately. 

So I decided to re-kindle my daily meditation practice to calm the body-mind and let the heart lead the way once again. So far it led me the Right Way.
As Zen master said; "Meditate every day for 30 minutes and if you are too busy meditate for 1 hour instead" ;)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chopping wood, fixing chicken coop, collecting an egg

I am planning to have a both green house and a small kitchen garden on the south side of the workshop but a large Ash tree is covering most of the sun casting a large shade onto this part, so I decided to take it down and use it as fire wood. I didnt cut the tree all the way down to the ground. It is still alive and able to grow new branches which I will use to feed our sheep (if they like it).
I collected the first egg :) it is tiny in comparison to the ones we had last year from the industrial breed called Lohmann.
I have decided to add a thick layer of saw dust in the coop. I have read somewhere that people use this method so chicks have something to dig around and also for less need to clean often. One person cleans the entire coop once every 3-4 month and she uses this as a cover material in her garden. One can also use it for the compost.
I also introduced an artificial light so chicks get approx 12 hours of it every day. This may trick them into laying an egg every now and then during the cold winter.
The only issue I have is the freezing water. I need to empty the water holder every day.
I also decided to have a hanging feeder to reduce mice and rat problems.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Urgent Petition to End Ecocide in Europe (4 days left - vote closed Jan. 21th)

Vivienne came well prepared with a shocking map: With 5 degrees of global warning (which is what the International Energy Agency, World Bank, and Price Waterhouse Coopers predict), more than half of the planet will be un-inhabitable. Once 2 degrees of warming are reached, further warming will be inevitable and unstoppable. “That map means mass extinction. We are talking about terrible damage being done for example in the Alberta tar sands”.

As Prisca explained, End Ecocide is not linked to any political party. We have supporters from a variety of parties – for example Jo Leinen from the social democrats in Germany and Corinne Lepage, a French Liberal. “The beauty of ecocide is that it fits with any kind of ideological ideas you may have”. For Greens the link is obvious. For social democrats, the law of ecocide prevention will ensure social justice and that those responsible for damage are liable and pay for it (rather than those currently suffering who are usually poor, disadvantaged and disenfranchised communities, such as indigenous populations, mine workers or people living close to fracking sites). From a liberal point of view, if we destroy our planet, we won’t be free to act anymore, we’ll lose our liberty. And last but not least, the law of ecocide prevention clearly fits with conservative values, as the whole point of the law of ecocide is to conserve and to preserve this planet for future generations.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Active Hope

I have found a fabulous book :) a life/mind saver :) A must read for all who feel overwhelmed by the mess we are in and still feel something must be done!
Active Hope is about finding, and offering, our best response to the crisis of sustainability unfolding in our world. It starts by accepting that the challenges we face can be difficult even to look at: climate change, the depletion of oil, economic reversals and the die-back of our natural world act together to create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions.

The book offers an approach that strengthens our capacity to face disturbing information and respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of experience running workshops in an empowerment approach widely known as The Work That Reconnects, the authors guide the reader through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, holistic science and spiritual perspectives. This process equips readers with tools to help them face the mess we re in and find and play their role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

At the heart of this book is the idea that Active Hope is a gift that is not only given but also received. The journey of finding, and offering, our gift of contribution helps us to discover new strengths, open to a wider network of allies and experience a deepening of our aliveness. When our responses are guided by the intention to act for healing of our world, the mess we re in not only becomes easier to face, our lives also become more meaningful and satisfying.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The answer for all our troubles lies in biodiversity - short Dansih documentary

Worth seeing! (this 10 minutes documentary is in English)

ReDane from Elk Film on Vimeo.

Hens are out

The Cock walking outdoors with his ladies. I think they like it ;)
Since Danish Landrace Hens are good at flying I decided to get a 180cm tall fence

Decent size chicken run
By the way I started painting the inside of the house ...
this will take a few days, just painting :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Danish Landrace Hens joined our Homestead

What a great day! First of all it is the day my wife and I got married, nine years ago in Ireland. Happy anniversary my love!
Second thing is we bought 9 gorgeous Danish Landrace Hens, 1 Cock and 8 ladies :) (6 brown hens, 2 black hens and 1 black cock).
They are 13-18 month old and seem very comfortable and safe in their new place :) As soon we released them into the coop Mr. Cock started to cock-a-doodle-doo claiming his little harem. I will keep them inside the coop for 2 days before releasing them outside into the fenced chicken yard so they learn where their food and sleeping quarter is.
Dansih Landrace Hens (Dansk Landhøne)
My plan is to breed this sort and sell it. They are a very hardy specie, they dont eat much and are disease resistant. Im very happy to have them on our farm :)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Willow Farm Overview

Finally !!! We have got internet today !!! :)) I didn't know internet will make me so happy :) Now I can continue blogging and researching about organic farming!

There so much to show and Im not sure if you would appreciate a VERY long post so I will try and give a short overview only:

This tree was the main reason for us calling our farm The Willow Farm. This willow tree stands in the middle of the courtyard. Salix matsudana x alba is called Troll Willow in danish and I very much wanted to call our farm The Troll Willow Farm but my wife and her parents didn't like it so we simply named it The Willow Farm. This is not the only willow on our 2,5 Hectare property. We have huge amounts of the "normal" Salix viminalis used for basket making.
Previous owners planted a Spruce forest which was to be sold as Christmas trees but they found no customers for it and the trees grew too big for that use. Thanks to that we have a small forest part which is in a shape of a letter O. There is a small field surrounded by trees like Spruce, Birch, Willow, Hazels and Alder, I am planning to build a Forest Garden in there since it is perfectly protected from the cold winter winds. For now we are planning to keep 2-3 Sheep here and hope to get some Lamb too this year.
Half of our property is arable land used by a local farmer. Previous owners let the farmer use this land for a small rent. He has right to use it until the next harvest which is in Autumn this year I think since he planted AutumnWheat last year. I plan to have a large kitchen garden in the front part and grass land at the back for Sheep.
Until then I will have to grow food on a small lawn beside the workshop
In this image you can see the stable with a chicken coop in it. I started creating a decent size chicken yard. My plan was to have the hens free range but the neighbors dog is known for killing hens so we decided to keep them caged yet still outdoors.
Chicken coop/stable
Beside the forest there is an apple orchard with 9 apple trees. I'm planning to keep here either one more sort of Chickens (Danish Landrace Hens and Sussex) or the Muscovy Duck to keep the grass cut and to fertilize the apples. I hope to be able to sell eggs locally and some chicken meat too.
I have a decent size workshop :) Please excuse the mess, we just moved in recently. Must get in there one of these days and organize it. Soon to build a few more bee hives.
Meat Smoker
The stable is divided in two parts; one for the animals and one is a cold storage room and a meat smoker :)) cant wait to smoke some pork and fish :))

Soon to start digging the lawn area for the kitchen garden and building the green house. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New 2014 from The Willow Farm :)

our very first Christmas tree ever :)
Happy New Year my dear blog readers :) We have moved to our new farm 2 weeks ago and most of the time we have been unpacking all the boxes and decorating a bit. 
I am so happy to say that our first neighbours are very nice people. One of them is a hunter and he gave us 6 Pheasants :) what a welcome gift :)) 
He taught me how to clean them and cook them.
Our neighbour Tommy shot these Pheasants in our small forest.
He actually breeds them and lets them roam free.

Joel helping out

Ann collecting fine Pheasant feathers
I have also got a nice Christmas gift this year :) a few Hens for our chicken coop which needs some reparation before we get them so stay tuned I will be blogging from now on very often!