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, July 30, 2014

Farm stories

We are planning to buy 4 Lamb this September which we intend to keep (not slaughter). 1 male and 3 females of course. Since the part of our land planned for keeping sheep is still under Wheat we need to wait until next year for the grass to grow there. So until then I was thinking to keep them in the forest garden which is totally covered in Thistles. Those thistles are welcome because they offer nectar and pollen to our bees but they have stopped blooming and now its time to cut down the tall grass and let new grass re-grow for the Lamb to feed on.
Nothing nicer than cutting grass manually 
Working with a dull scythe is worse than hell so I sharpen it every 10 minutes 
 The Danish Leghorn Hens are doing great. Not many eggs but 2 broody hens. One of the broody stopped laying on her eggs a few days before hatching because one egg broke making all the other eggs dirty. Sad really but I hope the second broody delivers a few new chicks :)
Hamburger Hens are very good indeed in laying eggs. Out of 2 hens we get 2 eggs almost every day!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Kitchen garden stories

This summer is turning very dry indeed! No rain for the last few weeks and high temperatures are dehydrating the soil. On top of that pests have eaten our Kale and Mizuna. The onions are very small and have stopped growing. The beets are also struggling and are not big. The potatoes too are very small.

It turns out that composted horse manure is not that good at holding moisture. Even after the rain it would be dry inside but wet on the surface. This was after a good amount of rain. I don't think I will ever use horse manure so thick as I did now by filling the raised beds 15 cm with it. In the future I will be using horse manure around the apple trees and berry bushes and in the garden I will only use chicken manure, hay and wood chips. Wood chips are far superior than anything else at retaining moisture in the summer.
As you can see the onions aren't so large
Onions drying
The green house is growing great! Of course I was watering it with collected rain water at least 2 times a week. Above you can see cucumbers growing well.
 Tomatoes are also looking good and we are already eating lots of it. Soon to start packing some into the freezer for the winter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Juicing Apples, Cherries and Red Currant from our own garden

Early apples have started falling on the ground which motivated us to start collecting them to make some juice;
After washing the apples we crushed them ...
then pressed them ...
apple juice mmmm :)
finished product
Lynton collecting fresh cherries ...
thanks to our honeybees the cherry tree harvest is huge
Kristine and Jelena harvesting Red Currants ...
We placed freezer bags into empty milk boxes and after a day the bags can be taken out and stacked like bricks in the freezer. This way they take up less space in the freezer.

Friday, July 11, 2014

New Study finds Monsanto’s Roundup Herbicide 125 Times More Toxic Than Regulators Say

I feel heartbroken today :( I went to a near by store to buy an organic weed killer for around our home and they said that they had none but they do have something very good called Round Up! I was immediately agitated and replied how dare they try selling me this bee killer Glyphosate which on top can cause cancer! They just looked at me and said "but no one wants the organic stuff". I told her that I used to be a salesman, a damn good one too, and that I could sell what ever to my customer if I believed in the product. "How can you sell organic herbicide if you have none on the shelves??!! This simply means you don't care! " I replied.
I aslo said that I am a beekeeper and homesteader and I can not imagine exposing my chicken and Ducks as well as bees and other insect life to this poison! 
And while I was leaving I saw a woman with a child buying a bottle of Round Up even though she heard me talk :( How sad, how sad, how sad .... :(

Organic weed killing alternative to such poisons is white vinegar which can be obtained in any food store. Simply spray a few time a week over the weeds and they will stop growing.

For those of you interested HERE IS A LINK to the fact that Round Up is 125 times more toxic than regulators say! Our politicians are utterly ignorant to allow Glyphosate to be used!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

First incubation attempt total disaster

Chicks usually hatch after 21 days of incubation but it is not unusual for the chicks to do so after 22, 23 or even 24 days so when nothing hatched after 21 day I still waited ... waited until day 24 and decided to open one egg and see what is going on. I first candled the eggs to see if there are movements in the eggs, but saw none. Opening one after another it was clear that somewhere along the line the chicks died premature since the egg yolk is still very much visible. I can't pinpoint what the issue was; bacterial infection maybe? I don't know. They sure developed very nice and then something happened which killed them. Mystery.
I started this incubation with 14 eggs of which 7 weren't fertilized. 1 was a quitter in the early days and 7 were growing well ... it seemed at that time. Sad really ... Not sure what to do if Im to incubate once again ... since I dont know what the issue was how do I fix it?