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?

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Explosion of Squash and the Rain has arrived

There is so much Squash at the moment that we decided to give some away to all our neighbours. They were happy to receive it :) Now its time to find some Squash recipes.
After couple of weeks of dry and sunny weather the rain has at last arrived. Our garden sure needs it. The cabbage family was looking sad but now all leaves look much better again.
I love the earthy smell after the rain filling the air :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Health Potion

I drink every day one glass of water mixed with Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar
Health benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

1. Anti-Infective Properties: It was Hippocrates (460-377 BC), father of modern medicine, who first recommended using vinegar for treating sores and ulcerations. There is some modern research indicating that it does work as a disinfectant for household applications and as an antimicrobial for wounds (though it is not yet recommended by medical experts). One 1996 study on non-conventional topical treatments for wound care found it to inhibit Escherichia coli and group D Enterococcus, with lower but significant inhibitory activity on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria.

2. Cardiovascular Protection: While there is no know published clinical research in humans showing that vinegar reduces blood pressure, animal research in spontaneously hypertensive rats does show it has a blood pressure lowering property.[5] This is believed to be due to vinegar's ability to inhibit the renin-angiotensin system. [6] A proposed mechanism is that dietary acetic acid promotes calcium absorption and thereby downregulates the renin-angiotensin system. [7] Human research does bear testimony to the ability of acetate to increase the absorption of calcium in the distal colon,[8] lending plausibility to the view that vinegar might have similar calcium-mediated blood pressure lowering effects.  Additional research on the consumption of oil-and-vinegar dressing indicates that vinegar may lower other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.[9]

3. Anti-Cancer: There is a significant body of cell and animal research available today indicating that vinegar has anti-tumor properties.[10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]  Although the anti-tumor factors have not been identified, acetic acid appears to be a major player, as it forms acetate ions in the stomach, which may have direct anti-tumor effects.  As stated before, acetic acid alone cannot account for the health benefits of vinegar as a whole, and this is most evident by the fact that vinegar from various plant sources contain a wide range of polyphenols, whose antioxidant and anti-cancer properties are well characterized.

4. Blood Glucose Control: The first report of the blood-sugar lowering properties of vinegar were reported in 1988. Researchers found in rats, the blood glucose response to a 10% corn starch load was significantly reduced when co-administered with a 2% acetic acid solution.[16] Since then, a number of human studies have been performed indicating that vinegar will reduce both insulin response and blood sugar elevations following a meal.[17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]  One additional benefit of vinegar on blood sugar concerns is its ability to suppress appetite and improve satiety.[25] The review also points out that, "the lay literature has long proclaimed that vinegar interferes with starch digestion and should be avoided at meal times, indicating that it may lower the glycemic response to carbohydrates.[26]

* Vinegar, without doubt, has far more health benefits than listed here. We should remind ourselves regularly that a lack of scientific proof does not constitute evidence that something does not exist, or is not real.  Direct experience, of course, is at the foundation of all scientific inquiry and clinical intuition. Owing to the status of vinegar as a food, and its extraordinarily high margin of safety, we can only hope that folks will not be dissuaded from using it as a tonic, or 'natural remedy' if that is what they freely choose.
More on;

Health benefits of Honey

1. Prevent cancer and heart disease:
Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.

2. Reduce ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Recent research shows that honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit…

3. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-fungal:
“All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

4. Increase athletic performance.
Ancient Olympic athletes would eat honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.

5. Reduce cough and throat irritation:
Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.

6. Balance the 5 elements:
Honey has been used in ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea, and nausea.

Honey is referred as “Yogavahi” since it has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

7. Blood sugar regulation:
Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is NOT the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar. (Watch this video Sweetener Comparison where I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.)

8. Heal wounds and burns:
External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.

9. Probiotic:
Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the “mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.”

10. Beautiful skin:
Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, can also be moisturizing and nourishing!

Read more:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chicken and Egg

The hens we bought were caged hens and we decided that they will have freedom to forage on our homestead. In the start they were laying eggs in the nest which was inside their coop. Once the egg was laid they would go out and continue free ranging. As of late they begun to lay eggs on the road, our stairs and would break them and eat them! This can not be tolerated because we got them for the eggs for our own consumption. We didn't get any eggs for the last 2 weeks and we considered to slaughter them and get new hens but this time some locally adapted ones.
An egg laid on our stairs and eaten by our Lohmann hen
I'm not happy about slaughtering them now so I decided to keep them in their coop and see if this can remedy this issue.
So yesterday I've found 4 undamaged eggs at ones in one nest :) This seems to be working well. Incase they lay eggs at ones like this I could easily let them out free ranging for the rest of the day :) its a win-win situation :) Lets see how it goes today.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I've caught ONLY two fishies yesterday

As I do every evening now, I take my fishing gear and fish for a couple of hours on the nearby river. Yes, I do this in hope to catch some meat for food but also because it is very relaxing being beside the river and focusing on the fishing. My friend told me about this perfect spot on this river and he keeps it a secret. Because of that I will take a break from fishing there and go fishing on the local lake instead for a while. I feel I have caught enough for now :)
It is very important to have a hook to take the Pike out
of water because Pikes teeth and gills are extremely sharp
2 kg and 1 kg Pikes from yesterday
We are having 4 friends coming over from Denmark tomorrow and will stay for a weekend. I'm having a feeling that we will be BBQing fish big time. I also found a good recipe for preparing Pike in the oven;
Pike, Onions, Lemon, Dill, Carrots, salt and pepper.
I have never tasted Pike and many in Sweden say it taste bad and dislike eating it. I have heard that the bad taste is in its skin and that if prepared on a frying pan it will taste a bit strange but if prepared on a tin foil inside the oven the bad taste will not form. Will know soon. I don't want such fantastic fish go to waste

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stocking the freezer with fish meat and Redcurrant

This hot and dry weather is not the best time for fishing but I seem to have luck to find spots with fish in both the local river and the lake.
I try to go fishing every day for 2-3 hours in the late afternoon. So far I am only fishing with artificial lures and wobblers for Pike, poppers and spinners as well as rubber maggots for smaller fish of prey like Perch.
European Perch
This is what I'm fishing with
We have 6 Redcurrant bushes
We will make juice out of it I guess

Monday, July 22, 2013

Fishing and Hunting

I see fishing and hunting as a very important part of self-sufficient homesteading. My neighbour is a hunter and he never buys meat. Another friend is a fisherman and he always has enough fish in his freezer. So this prompted me to action and now I'm a fisherman also ;)
I caught this 1 kg Pike the other day
It was not me who caught this little rabbit, but one of my cats
who left it in front of the door. I buried it since there is no
way of knowing if it was sick or not.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Consuming our own organic produce

The garden is booming with life and many plants are starting to be ripe and used in the kitchen :)
 Yesterday my wife and I decided to make a stew with our garden produce:
Turnip, Swede, Beetroot, Onion, Chard and Kale and for salad; Lettuce, Onion,
Squash and Nasturtium flowers.
 Yummy mummy :) Vitamin and mineral boost
Gardening gives a sense of freedom

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Greenhouse, Chicks and Peas

Our garden is turning into a jungle :) not in terms of weeds but crops :) The only bad thing is that we are entering a dry spell. I would LOVE to see some rain. I can see Turnip leaves starting to hang a bit so watering might be necessary. Since we use well water I'm trying to use as little of it for gardening as possible.
 The first crop to start harvesting and storing in the freezer are the Peas.
I simply bag them and put in the freezer. Im not sure if Im doing this correct.
 The greenhouse is filled with tall Tomatoes
 This is the early sort called Black Cherry and is still green.
 The signature of Summer :) Sunflowers
Good news is the Hens are feeling great. The bad news is they broke one egg in the nest
and one of them laid an egg on our stairs and ate it :( I hope they stop with this since
we keep them for eggs. In case they continue I will have no choice but to slaughter them
and use them in soups. In this case I will buy  locally adapted Hens called Blomme Hons (Swedish Flower Hens)

Fishing with Joel The Man

I was invited yesterday by my beekeeping friend Joel to go fishing in his canoe. There is a small river just beside his home so fishing for him is very handy indeed.
We were fishing for Pike since there is an abundance of it in this locality. Joel and his girlfriend Ann are just like me also interested in a more Self-sufficient lifestyle and fishing is one of the important part of such life, as well as hunting and gathering. Biodiverse nature does provide a lot, hence the importance of NOT turning it into a sterile monoculture. Everything in nature is linked; insects need plants, small fish need insects, big fish need small fish, human needs big fish. If we spray pesticides all over our fields we are reducing insects, hence reducing small fish-big fish-etc... its a domino effect.
 And already after 15 minutes Joel caught a nice Pike
2 kg :) not too bad

Friday, July 5, 2013

Cats cottage life

We bought our cats in a cat shelter and they lived with us for several years in our city apartment. They were never outdoors until we moved them to the cottage.
 Sheba is now all the time ouside
 Alex cought a mouse
 Sheba found a way to get onto the cottage roof
Alex succeeded to catch a large snake
I think the cats are happy being in nature :) so am I 

Back to my lush garden

As mentioned in the previous post I just came back from Denmark and found my garden exploding into a green lush jungle of edible goodies :)
Here is a virtual tour;
 Onions, Carrots and Beetroots
 Turnips, Kale, Peas and Potatoes
 Squash and Pumkin
Lettuce and Calendula 
 I have never seen such huge Lettuce leaves :) yet I didnt use any kind of 
fertiliser except from what was in the soil from all the died Nettles and Ground Elder.
 While we were in Denmark Vicki and Helge looked after our animals.
Thank you!
 Im happy with how this garden is developing :)

Visiting my parents-in-law

I was in Denmark for a few days visiting my parents-in-law, Jens and Anne-Marie. My father-in-law is a gardener and a beekeeper. And as it is a custom to help them around their household each time we visit, I tried to do my best this time as well :)
 Jens and I inspected his conventional beehives ...
... Anne-Marie and I made a nice willow fence ...
... Jens and I have been weeding out the weeds from their kitchen garden ...
... and we painted the house walls.
All in all this was a pleasant visit as always.