Saturday, June 27, 2015

It's been a long time!

Its been a long while since we've posted. I guess we've been busy. We are not on wwoof this year as even though hosting is a great experience we thought we'd like a break. I have to say we are missing the social interaction and help though.

We have decided to start to offer self sufficiency courses. This is of course a blatant attempt to get some money but I suppose we feel that now we have the experience and that if somebody wants a crash course on self sufficiency then this is the place to come.

I really need to update our website a little with lots of new stuff, but there you are. Theres the real world and the virtual world.

We managed to get some customers this year to buy Salad. Including a local restaurant. We are both pretty excited about this. Its a lot of work. But makes us both feel very "grown up" I think.

If anyone is reading this and interested in the self-sufficiency course then please contact us at jonsarna(@) other than that, not sure what to say. The restaurant in Lysvik has a curry night tonight and we are going! Not much on the calendar here so pretty excited.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Misty mountains after a storm!

I love the view down the valley. It changes all the time and makes us feel like we are in the foothills of bigger mountains. You can see in this picture the last of the storm disappearing southwards and the sun returning to our green valley.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New veg coming every day!

It is that time of year when all the vegetable plants are starting to produce. Yesterday we had our first courgettes fried in butter and garlic...... yum! We made pizza, and also wanted some tomatoes so I went and took a few big green ones and fried them also in the garlic butter. We ate another fine cucumber with the pizza and also the last of the cabbages from the earth cellar. Alexis made some mayonnaise and we had a lovely coleslaw. Lovely, lovely food!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Marvellous mead....

Last year I made some mead, ready for Christmas, and the other day I found a bottle which I forgot about. The reason we forgot about it was that when I bottled it started to ferment again and when we opened a bottle it went off like champaign so we put a bottle outside to cool off and be out of harms way..... just in case..... then I just forgot about it.....and then found it.....thought it was a bottle of ginger beer.....opened it, pop, and what a marvellous glass of merry mead......champaign style! It was really nice to drink it with a really good bubble count!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Saving onions....

Last year I got some seeds from Nordgen, a seed bank which is situated on the remote Norwegian northern island of Svalbard, which issues seeds and I agree then to propagate the seeds. I got some onion seeds, Hamund which originated in Sweden in 1976. I grew them last year and they were the best onions I have ever grown from seed so I saved all the onions over winter and planted them this spring.

I planted them in the tunnel as I wanted to guarantee that I got some seeds if we had a strange spring / summer. I did not expect such a hot spring so they could have been outside....but better safe than sorry!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Eating your greens....

We have been eating lots of salad this year and this one is a huge one! The small match box gives an idea of scale. It is a semi head sort so the middle was nearly like an iceberg lettuce.

Not only do we need our greens, so too do the chickens! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Red tomatoes..... I beat you again Mum!!

We picked our first tomato this year on the 1st June which was wonderfully early! Sorry Mum, left you at the starting gate this year!!!........ but did I cheat???!!!......

The photo above shows the miniature bush plants on the windowsill in the greenhouse, there are four of the early plants which have clusters of good tasting tomatoes. The variety is Red Robin, a variety which according to the seed catalogue can set fruit at low light levels.... but they are not this years tomatoes.... does that count in the competition?!?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Thunder and lightning....... a bit too close!

We get a fair number of thunder storms here in the valley. I am not sure it is to do with the big lake down in Lysvik, Fryken, or the large river, klarälven, a few valleys over to the east, or the massive lake Vänern down south of Karlstad, or the mountains of Norway, or more likely a combination of them all!!!! Anyway a week ago we had a big one. The rain came down so hard that I took the opportunity to watch what was happening to the surface water around the house and stood in the porch watching it flow when suddenly a lightning bolt that I heard sizzling and popping somewhere outside and almost immediately a loud crash of thunder. Then a shout from Alexis who was typing on his computer....... a spark rose from his computer, the letter X, about 5cm to his finger...... woah.......!!! We had switched ourselves over to the solar system so that we were not directly connected to the mains and somehow it had jumped across the switch! A few minutes later the phone rang and I though it was my neighbours saying that our house had been hit.... but it was their house which was blasted. They were sitting down to an evening meal when sparks started flying from the fuse box and also from the fan over their heads and all the power went out........ The photo below shows their fuse box. On the right you can see the wallpaper blown off the wall and black marks where the sparks flew out of the box. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Forcing rhubarb

This spring the rhubarb was old enough to have a go at forcing it, so I placed a barrel over the top of a clump and waited a few weeks. This is the first time that I am doing this and I will be doing it again!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Wow......what a spring!

The weather, for weeks now, has been fabulous..... sun sun sun! Well actually it is raining today, but we needed it. In the last 30 days the highest we have had has been 28 degrees and the coldest has been just below 0. With all this lovely weather every day is spent out in the garden so I thought I would just put up some photos of what has been going on deep in the Swedish forest....

Alexis has started climbing up to the tree house every day to start to take a shot of the garden. We hope to be able to do an animation when we have enough pictures!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Tunnel raising......Amish style!

Earlier in the spring one of our neighbours bought a big poly-tunnel to start growing flowers and help was needed with the putting on of the plastic...... so a large part of the village turned up to help with the procedures. First the plastic was dragged over the previously assembled frame.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Food, food, food......

Winter is a lovely month for us. The earth cellar, the cupboards and the freezers are full and I have a lot more time to cook up some wonderful and interesting dinners!

The photo above shows the inside of our earth cellar. On the left in yellow boxes are potatoes. 6 different varieties. There are leeks in a bucket in the front, you can just see the tops. Behind the leeks are swedes and turnips. Boxes of carrots, beetroot and parsnips. The stack of blue boxes are my seed potatoes for next year. We have red and white cabbage, sugar beet and fodder beet..... we will not starve!