Thursday, 18 August 2016

The lingonberries are ripe! Sorting through our first major picking - 9 litres today. #forage #berrypicking #pickyourown #selfsufficiency #lingonberry

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So Many Firsts

Yesterday we finally separated the rams from the ewes. We've seen the ram lambs make their first advances towards the older ewes and as we've heard many a story about unwanted pregnancies by new rams, we decided it was time (on a side note, Deirdre does seem to be a bit fat around the middle, so we are wondering whether we were a bit late... time will tell).

As with all animal rearing, there seems to be as many ways of doing things as there are people owning animals. Mr B who has hundreds of sheep was adamant we transport the rams away by horse box, as there is now way of keeping them separate if they are within earshot of each other. Others - who own smaller flocks - claimed that as long as you have a good fence, you'll be just fine.

We decided to just try the second (and free!) option. While switching fields, we grabbed the young rams and led/ dragged them into another field. There was an awful lot of heart wrenching baa-baa-ing, but they didn't run through the fence. The ewes didn't seem to even notice that they were gone (until later, that is).

Then Cat and I had to drag the grown ram over to the smaller rams, which was a bit of a chore as he seems to have grown a lot over the summer. Good thing he's got massive horns so that we could gently force him to walk (at a snail's pace) back to the little rams. They will now form a men's only club until it is time to send the lambs to slaughter (gulp!) and reintroduce the ram to the older ewes again.  
Papa ram looking after the kids
The night proved to be a slightly less pleasant affair. The now lambless ewes (Deirdre, Elsa and Ingrid) could be found by the gate, calling out to their lambs throughout the night. You'd have to be made of stone not to be touched by the back and forth baa-baa-ing between the fields. After breakfast, we quickly gathered the troops and sent the ewes packing to Gårdshult, a few kilometers down the road. It took some cajoling to keep them all running in the same direction...

Calm and tired after keeping his owners awake 
Anyhow, both flocks are now very calm and we have hopefully avoided any inbreeding (please please please Deirdre, just be fat). And we have taken the first of steps towards "producing" our own meat, as unpleasant this process sometimes may be.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Three Little Piggies - And Then There Were Two

When we decided to get pigs, we wanted two young sows to plow up our field and eventually feed us in the winter.

When Mr B suggested we keep a third one, just for him, we just couldn't say no. He's helped us immeasurably with our sheep, so we were happy to oblige!

Peppa in the front, Mr B's Hermione T in the back
Things didn't quite go to plan, though. When Mr B's pig stumbled out of the transport, we thought she was just a bit disoriented after the drive. She promptly went to lie down.

Given our scant experience with pigs - none - we couldn't really judge whether anything was wrong.

But on the second day, we noticed a distinct limp. And she just wasn't as lively as her sisters. Once she had eaten, she went to lay down again, whereas her sisters were chasing each other in the field and kept busy digging.

Sadly, she deteriorated quickly after that, so we had to ask her former owner to come collect her. As she was very poorly, the only option was to shoot her and take her body away.

The last traces of Mr B's sow

So good to be out doing Km's on the trails with these fellas again. #SIF #trailingrunning #vivobarefoot #barefootrunning #borntorun #simlångsdalen #moveyourdna

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The plate is too small. Ten types of vegetables and a side of meat (hidden in the veg). #paulssonpaleo #paleo #AIP

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Thursday, 4 August 2016

Our 3 pigs arrive

Last Christmas my parents kindly bought Cat and me pigs! It took 8 months for them to finally arrive on the farm, but the wait was well worth it.  They arrived today by horse box from a nearby organic farmer, who has decided to turn their focus towards their cows and horses more.

The arrival.
We have 3 cross-breed pigs, a mix between a Swedish Linderöd and an English Hampshire. The latter breed is especially hardy and known to be a good forager, perfect for beginners. We have put them to work on one of our fields that we are planning to grow vegetables and other food in next year. We really want to become as self-sufficient as possible and have realised that our raised vegetable beds in the kitchen garden are just not large enough to feed us all. The pigs will help turn the field over, fertilise the soil and make it full of goodness ready for the seedlings next spring….we hope!

Exploring their new home.
The 3 pigs, Peppa, George and Hermione-Therese, named by lil'T and our sheep mentor Mr. B and his friend, seem to have settled in well, exploring every inch of the field and finding spots to wallow in. We are supplementing their foraging with scrap food and some pig feed. This should keep them going as we head towards Autumn and then Winter.

Hmmmm mud!
They are a great addition to ever growing population on the farm and we are excited to get to know them better. Follow our updates through Instagram and Facebook on the #pppigupdate to see how the pigs do over the next few months.

3 pigs arrived safely and enjoying their new home...welcome Peppa, George and Hermione! #pppigupdate #pigs #organic #selfsufficient #farming #grassfed #paulssonpaleo

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Exciting day ahead today, PaulssonPaleo are getting pigs...3 infact. The hut is ready and the field is looking tasty and we can't wait for them to dig it all up and fertilise it, so that we can plant and grow lots more food next year! Follow our pigs on #PPPigupdate #pigs #selfsufficient #organic #farming #paulssonpaleo #grassfed

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