Thursday, 30 July 2015

Caveman Games (Trial Run)

Recently, we invited some friends over to test out our Caveman Games and give us some valued feedback. 

You may have already seen on our website that this summer we are offering guided hikes and trail runs around Simlångsdalen, with the optional extras of Caveman Coffee, a Wild Barbecue and / or Caveman Games.

The Caveman Games is based around 5 different events which test skill, agility and speed. It turns out our friends are pretty competitive, so this was anything but a walk in the park. Below are some pictures of the games to give you a teaser of what to expect.

We were generous enough to give our first participants Caveman coffee also!

Please visit our website for more information or if you would like to book.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Steroid blueberry and next of kin. It's been a good berry year so far. #paulssonpaleo

via Instagram

These lovelies will be coming home to us in a few weeks time. ❤️ #paulssonpaleo #mousehuntingbrothers

via Instagram

Fermentation Experimentation Mode

I love growing stuff. 

Actually, let me rephrase that: I love it when Cat and mamma grow stuff. I just do not have the patience.

However, I do enjoy taking care of the stuff that comes out of our vegetable patch. Right now, our cabbages are growing like weed, which means that there are plenty of greens to take care of. You see, before you get those perfect little heads of cabbage, the plant consists of a helluva lot of green leaves.  Leaves that would usually go to waste in the "commercial" vegetable patch. 

Fading out the background does not help - it still looks messy
As we're making a bit of a sport of using EVERYTHING that we can, we are contantly on the lookout for new ways of using all parts of our produce. The cabbage leaves have so far ended up in our stir-fries (yum), our soups (yum), as a salad (not so yum, tasted too much of tree...), chicken feed (they were not too impressed), duck feed (they will eat pretty much anything), compost and cover material for the vegetable beds.

The latest experiment is sauerkraut. I am slightly hesitent about it, as the leaves behave so differently from a mature cabbage. They are much drier and more fibrous, so I have to add a lot of water after packing it with salt. To get the fermentation process started faster, I added some rejuvelac to it. Apparently, that did the trick, because less than 12 hours later, some of the jars have already started bubbling. 

Interesting! If it tastes like crap in a week's time, I will just feed it to the running ducks, our little quacking garbage bins. Might have to portion it out carefully, or it might backfire. Would not want them to have the runs. Funny. 

Green bubbles in a jar

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Stacking Wood

Our latest guest, Paul, flew in on Saturday from London for a long weekend before heading over to Stockholm for a short break.

We had, a couple of days earlier, secured around 20 cubic metres of firewood for next winter from a local farmer.  He was planning to deliver the first load bright and early on Monday morning, so we needed to prepare for the delivery.

We had decided to move the wood stack from its current location in the garage to next to the stables, as we are planning to do some work on the garage later in the year. This meant building a new fence to protect the wood from inclement weather and to prevent it from being blown away. With Paul's expert help in cutting numerous timber planks down to size we finished the fence in good time, so we pulled out the scythes….no rest for the wicked.

As agreed, the first 3 cubic meter load was delivered first thing Monday morning and the mammoth stacking task began. For the entire day wood was being neatly arranged in 2m high rows. Six deliveries later we had our source of heating and hot water for next winter safely tucked away to dry.

Paul, we will remember your efforts when we are warm and toasty this winter!

(PS: for more photos of Paul's visit, look at his instagram feed here)

Snail and slug holes, whatevs. Stir fry it is. #paulssonpaleo

via Instagram

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Ray the Rogue Rooster and Other Hen Business

An update on the henhouse is long overdue, so here it goes.

Our rooster Ray is still alive and kicking. Why? Because apparently some guys need to be chased with an axe to shape up. Cat and I are obviously completely inept at killing roosters, so he was given another day to live before we wanted to try again. (Hint to all potential rooster butchers out there: don't try to chase down a bird in broad day light. It will not work and just make you look like an ass. Rightfully so.)

Anyhow, after our failed attempt, Ray got his act together and started showing some of that rather aggressive rooster love for the ladies again. After a month he is even starting to show the ladies where the food is at, so there is hope.

Ray looking a bit more cocky than a month ago
All is well on the hen front. It looks like the ladies have managed to grow the little flock after all, despite our (read: Cecilia's) rather heavy-handed love... Four surviving chicks are perhaps not the greatest track record, but we're happy to see that they've at least made it past the teeny weeny tiny chick stage (I'm sure there is a technical term for that, but you know what I mean, right?).

Who knew that little chicks could die in so many ways? Let me count the ways. Actually, I'll tell you in person next time you come visit, promise. Not for the faint-hearted!

A month and a half old and quite fearless
Now that the worst broody stage is over for the hens, we are finally starting to collect some fresh eggs again. About time! Given the poor survival rate of the chicks and the lack of eggs, I did start questioning what the heck we were doing...

Watch this space for more animal updates soon. It feels like we're starting a petting zoo.

Vita Vera staring me down

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Daily Commute

I have been commuting into Halmstad, (the nearest city to us…Sweden’s 20th largest city by population) for a month now to attend SFI classes. That is, Swedish language classes for immigrants. The commute is about 20km each way, which makes it a perfect leg stretcher on the bike and also a prime opportunity for me to see how good cycling in Sweden is.

During my first week, I cycled on the main road leading from Simlångsdalen to Halmstad (E25), this does not have a separate cycle path, but does have amazingly smooth tarmac and is joyously pot-hole free! So, for the first week I whizzed along with the occasional car and lorry passing me, thinking how could this get any better.

It was during the second week that I hit gold! There is a an old railway track that used to connect Halmstad to Bolmen with a station stop in Simlångsdalen. This ceased to operate in 1966 and conveniently was turned in a cycle path and pedestrian walkway. So, I tried this alternative route and for over 15km the only other living souls I encountered were 9 cows chewing the early morning cud! Bliss! Being an old railway track also means that there are no sharp gradients, it runs pretty straight and because in Sweden, pot-hole free. Needless to say, I haven’t looked back.

But, there is a tiny problem. Halmstad is in the process of upgrading this sublime cycle path, so a 3km section is closed! At this point one has to return to the main road (E25) and then jump back on the cycle path closer to Halmstad. This work is due to finish in April 2016, so for now I make do with sharing the smooth tarmac with a car or two for 3km!

Once in Halmstad, cycling is easy too, as you follow the network of cycle paths and when you have to cross over a road, cars must give way to you…perfect! It is a huge contrast to cycling around central London, but then the population of Halmstad is one-third of the population of the Borough of Islington, our old cycling haunt, so I guess the comparison isn’t completely fair. But, as everyone says, the Scandis have cycling cracked!

You can see my route on my strava feed, here.

New trousers for lil T. I made them out of old flour sacks from the Philippines. #reuse #recycle #selfsufficiency #paulssonpaleo

via Instagram