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?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Kretsloppshuset Course 2012 Is Over

The 8 month course in self-sufficient homesteading has finished today. 8 month of many different aspects of homesteading. It was intense and interesting. Now its all about implementing all that knowledge into my own homestead which for the next year will be our summer house.
Kretslopsshuset 2012 course photo

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Swedish Yellow Duck

Swedish yellow ducks, or "Svensk gul anka," live exclusively in Sweden. This domesticated waterfowl species thrived prior to 1950, then underwent a population decline significant enough for the country to believe they had gone extinct by the 1970s.


Duck breeder Mans Eriksson of Svalov, a town in southwestern Sweden, created the first Swedish yellow ducks sometime prior to 1920 by crossing Swedish blue ducks with mottled, yellowish ducks he purchased in the nearby town of Molle.

Khaki Campbell Ducks

Although Eriksson claimed in a 1940 magazine article that he crossed Swedish blue ducks with a "white race," the Svenksa Lanthonsklubben ("Swedish Native Poultry Society") believes he may have used other ducks, Khaki Campbells, in the breeding process.


Swedish yellow ducks range from pale yellow to brown in color, with females showing consistent uniformity. The male sports a dark gray to brown head and a greenish-blue bill. The female's bill tends to be brownish-blue.

Suspected Extinction and Rediscovery

Swedish yellow ducks disappeared from known breeding farms by the 1970s, but a single farmer in the town of Billinge kept the breed alive.

Recent Population Increase

As few as 110 Swedish yellow ducks existed in 2001. That number rose to 145 by 2004, thanks to a renewed breeding program targeting population increase.

Source eHow
By Johnny Galluzzo, eHow Contributor

Our outdoor toilet

Friday, October 19, 2012

Winter Preparations

It is time to clean up the garden and to take down the greenhouse because this part of sweden gets lots of snow which might crush down the entire greenhouse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Harvesting the Greenhouse

Frost nights are upon us and the greenhouse had to be stripped naked from all its fruits. I guess we have to make lots of chutney and pickles now ;)

The making of Carrot marmelade

I decided to make a few jars of Carrot marmelade with a touch of Anise (Pimpinella anisum) and Lemon.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Basket Weaving

Ninnie was teaching us how to weave willow baskets at Kretsloppshuset today. Interesting stuff which i intend to do during the long dark winter evenings in my summer house beside a hot fireplace.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Planting Garlic

October is the time to plant Garlic before the frost kicks in. The plot was overgrown with weeds and it took some sweat to rinse it out. The job wasnt that tough though because we used the tool called "Herk" in Swedish and is used to dig out potatos but is great for biting out big chunks of soil bringing to the surface all the weed roots. Love the tool! We planted organic garlic. Lets see how many will germinate next year.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Chopping the Lamb

It was time to chop the Lamb into pieces after it hang for a week. It is a normal practice to hang the meat for a few days to soften the muscles. Rolf is a good teacher i find;

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bocking 14 Russian Comfrey - Symphytum × uplandicum

This plant is a much better fertiliser than cow-dung and bees love it too

Fertilizer uses
Comfrey is a particularly valuable source of fertility to the organic gardener. It is very deep rooted and acts as a dynamic accumulator, mining a host of nutrients from the soil. These are then made available through its fast-growing leaves (up to 4-5 pounds per plant per cut) which, lacking fibre, quickly break down to a thick black liquid. There is also no risk of nitrogen robbery when comfrey is dug into the soil as the C:N ratio of the leaves is lower than that of well-rotted compost. Comfrey is an excellent source of potassium, an essential plant nutrient needed for flower, seed and fruit production. Its leaves contain 2-3 times more potassium than farmyard manure, mined from deep in the subsoil, tapping into reserves that would not normally be available to plants.[citation needed]
There are various ways in which comfrey can be used as a fertilier. These include:[citation needed]
Comfrey as a compost activator - include comfrey in the compost heap to add nitrogen and help to heat the heap. Comfrey should not be added in quantity as it will quickly break down into a dark sludgy liquid that needs to be balanced with more fibrous, carbon-rich material.
Comfrey liquid fertilizer - can be produced by either rotting leaves down in rainwater for 4–5 weeks to produce a ready-to-use 'comfrey tea', or by stacking dry leaves under a weight in a container with a hole in the base. When the leaves decompose a thick black comfrey concentrate is collected. This must be diluted at 15:1 before use.
Comfrey as a mulch or side dressing - a two-inch layer of comfrey leaves placed around a crop will slowly break down and release plant nutrients; it is especially useful for crops that need extra potassium, such as fruit bearers but also reported to do well for potatoes. Comfrey can be slightly wilted before application optionally but either way, avoid using flowering stems as these can root.
Comfrey potting mixture - originally devised to utilize peat, now environmental awareness has led to a leaf mold-based alternative being adopted instead; two year old, well decayed leaf mold should be used, this will absorb the nutrient-rich liquid released by the decaying comfrey. In a black plastic sack alternate 3-4 inch layers of leaf mold and chopped comfrey leaves. Add a little dolomitic limestone to slightly raise pH. Leave for between 2–5 months depending on the season, checking that it does not dry out or become too wet. The mixture is ready when the comfrey leaves have rotted and are no longer visible. Use as a general potting compost, although it is too strong for seedlings.
- from

Siberian peashrub - Caragana arborescens

Great plant for fixing nitrogen in the garden and for honeybees
Windbreaks - The caragana is recommended for planting in the outer rows of multi-row plantings. It can be used to neutralize soil to prepare for further planting. A legume, the caragana fixes nitrogen. It is suitable for planting in single-row field windbreaks where a dense, short barrier is desired.

Wildlife habitat - The caragana is used for nesting by several songbirds. The seeds are occasionally eaten by a few songbirds. The plant is not a preferred food for browsing animals, but its fragrant flowers attract many pollen-consuming animals.

Erosion control - The caragans has an extensive root system that can be used to assist with erosion control.

Ornamental - The caragana, with its small fragrant flowers and attractive compound leaflets, is used alongside lilacs to create a 'compare and contrast' appearance.

Bee plants - The caragana has a fragrant flower that naturally will attract bees. The honey created has a pleasant taste, slightly 'fruity'.

Cultivated food source - The caragana has a slightly bitter tasting 'pea', usually 3-4 to a pod, that is edible. They should be cooked before eaten. There have been no verified cases of poisoning from consuming the caragana pea. Additionally, the yellow flowers which have a taste like peas, can be used in salads to add colour and some flavour.
- from