Monday, 24 October 2016

Temperatures have dropped and winter feels very close, but we are still digging up vegetables from our kitchen garden. #growyourown #vegetables #selfsufficiency #paulssonpaleo #farming #parsnips #organic

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Our friend @genevadnygard has some lovely Linderöd pigs. Read our new blogpost about pig slaughter. #linderödssvin #slaughter #selfsufficient

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Learning More Anatomy

Gorgeous free range Linderöd piglets.
As slaughter season continues, we have now taken our learnings to a different level. Last week we had the opportunity to do more hands-on slaughtering than we had ever done before. One of our self-sufficient friends has some lovely Linderöd pigs and we were able to slaughter one of the 4 month old boar piglets with her expert guidance. Tina's two sows produced a total of 12 boar piglets and she is now culling them before they become sexually mature and do the deed with their mothers and sisters. Read more about Tina and her farm on her website:
"Our" pig having his last meal with mother and siblings - completely stress free.
Without any high-tech equipment, the whole process from shot to pork in suitable cuts takes pretty much all day. It is very time-consuming and quite messy: first shooting and bleeding, followed by scraping off hair, then carefully removing the stomach and guts and finally butchering.
Removing hair (to get crackling).
Very careful opening of the stomach cavity.
"What do we do with this?"
As tricky and scary as it felt, it gave us more confidence that we will be able to do the same thing with our lambs next season, saving them the journey to the butcher and us the cost of having someone else do it. 
Pork cuts ready for cooking - maybe not all in one go.
A big thank you to Tina for all her hand holding throughout!
Tina prepared rooster for dinner, while watching us work.

Monday, 17 October 2016

#Repost @nomispohsib with @repostapp ・・・ Finally get to a yoga session with @catpbish tonight...been a while! #yoga #moveyourdna #paulssonpaleo #meditate #relax

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Lever du uppe i knoppen eller i hela kroppen? Idag fokuserar vi på att förankra oss i kroppen, i nuet, i jorden. Kom och yoga med mig kl 19.00 på Tallhöjden.

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Återblick: senaste inälvskursen var riktigt riktigt kul. Ser fram emot nästa, redan den 6:e november! Leverpastej, marinerat hjärta, rimmad tunga, mums! #paleo #paulssonpaleo #stenålderskost #inälvsmat

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#Repost @nomispohsib with @repostapp ・・・ Well stocked! A small proportion of the amount of wood required for the winter months. Sorted according to size for use in our various wood burners and furnace. #winteriscoming #keepwarm #firewood #splittingwood #woodstack #paulssonpaleo #selfsufficient

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Nu kommer dessa godingar till Halmstad! Ni hittar mig i första bänkraden den 2:a november! Cecilia 😊 #Repost @undervarttak with @repostapp ・・・ God söndagsmorgon‼️ • Vill påminna om vår föreläsning i Halmstad, Medborgarskolan har bokat in oss för en föreläsning den 2:e november i deras lokaler. Läs gärna mer om detta och hur man köper biljetter i vår blogg, klickbar länk i profilen @undervarttak sedan är det bara att skriva in "Föreläsning" i sökrutan högst upp till höger. • Kram ❤️ Jenny & Magnus

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Water is running low after an exceptionally dry spring, summer and autumn. What better way of conserving water than taking a dip outside then? A bit nippy but well worth it! #paulssonpaleo #paleo #winterswimming #vinterbad

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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Wrapping up our first slaughter. Savouring the best liver pâté I've ever tasted. From our own grassfed lambs. Holy schmoly. New blogpost on #paulssonpaleo #grassfed #paleo #slaughter #butcher #gutefår #selfsufficiency #stenålderskost

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Our rams' "one bad day" (Part 3)

What started more than a year ago has now come full circle.

This weekend we watched P-E butcher our first three lambs, after they had been hung in his cooling room for a week. 

P-E in action. That saw was just shouting out "let me saw your finger off!" to me...
Although we want to be able to slaughter and butcher our own animals at some point, it is reassuring to have a professional do it for now. A professional who is also happy to share his wisdom with curious onlookers!

Homemade and home reared liver pâté 
Most amazing ever and a nice break before kicking off major freezer filler action
After spending all morning in the car and standing around watching P-E, we prepared ourselves for a long afternoon and evening in the kitchen. One would not believe how much work is involved in organizing the meat cuts from just three animals. Good thing mamma is ever the well-organized accountant! She may be bossy, but in this situation it is a relief to be bossed around. :-) So while watching P-E do his thing, we separated the main cuts into bags and labelled them, making our life a bit easier at home. 

Bag number 5 contained or roast beef for want of a better description (we're not too fussed about
correct anatomy, as long as we have an inkling of what's in the bag...)
The reward for all that work was a few odds and ends (we're saving the proper cuts for when the rest of the posse return from the UK) cooked on the wood-fired stove. I swear it was some of the best meat I have ever tasted. No bias at all. :-) 

Guaranteed grass-fed and grash finished. Ta-daaa!

Random cuts, sublime taste

Probiotic Heaven - Our First Advanced Fermentation Course

Last Saturday marked a first in our fermentation calendar: our advanced fermentation course was held for the first time!

We dragged our feet a bit in developing this course, simply because we didn't have the time to experiment with all the things going on at the farm. As all you fermenters out there will now, you don't just whip up a fermented something overnight. No, you have to wait for days, weeks but mostly MONTHS. THEN you know whether you're on to something good. 

Kimchi-inspired carrots, one of our faster ferments actually
(photo credit: lovely Pernilla Elmblad)
We finally got our act together and boy are we glad we did. We've had loads of joy experimenting with kimchi variations (spicy!) and all types of drinks - both savoury and sweet. Kvass, kombucha and ginger bug. There's been plenty of bubbling, fart-like gasses and fruit flies in our kitchen in the last few months!
My favourite among the probiotic drinks - beetroot kvass

My biggest "fear" was messing up with the kombucha - a fermented tea drink. Which I promptly did. I actually managed to kill off some of the beneficial bacteria and yeast cultures in my first kombucha, that I had gotten from a Facebook group. Yikes! Lucky for me, I got hold of a very lively SCOBY from a reputable "dealer" in no time and was able to get the fermentation going well in time for the course. Phew!

A very lively kombucha culture, happily brewing away in the kitchen
(look closely and you see the "blob" on top of the jar)
For me, the key take-away was how very different our tastebuds are. One of the participants found the rowanberry kvass (rönnbär in Swedish) way too bitter, whereas others preferred it over the sweeter kombucha (me!). One thing we could agree on was that the longer the kimchi ferments, the better.
Ginger and lingonberry kvass (didn't make the cut for the course)
and blueberry kombucha (that one did, on the other hand)

Friday, 7 October 2016

When salsa cravings set in but tomatoes are off the menu. Chives, garlic, carrot, beetroot, thyme, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt. Not bad! #paulssonpaleo #paleo #aip

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Of Sheep and Shoes

I got to tag along to an "amateur" sheep shearing session this morning. I call it amateur as opposed to professional, because my friends P and J do it themselves rather than pay a professional for it. I was curious to see whether this could be an option for us as well.

Most of the sheep actually seemed to enjoy the shearing
To be honest, I am not sure that this makes financial sense to us just yet, given the cost for the shears. However, it was nice to see how calm the affair was, with even the most boisterous sheep easily being managed by two people. Our professional Mr B obviously does his sheep at a fraction of the time, flipping the sheep on their bottoms rather than having them stand, but it was good to see that it is possible for us to do it on our own, should we ever wish to.

Anyhow, I showed up at 8:30 in my sandals (not really wanting to acknowledge that autumn is upon us). Before getting in the car, I took them off and put on my old hiking boots. The main reason is that I want to avoid spreading possible disease between the farms (this is something that is mentioned again and again in "sheep forums": always, always change and clean your footwear!) and those hiking boots have never been used since I moved back to Sweden.

No, this piece of the foot puzzle does not fit with the other... Also, WHAT IS UP WITH THE HEELS?
Oh man, I had completely forgotten what it is like to wear this type of footwear! They are like casts on your feet, preventing your feet from moving AT ALL and apparently, that is the point... Even ballerinas are better than that. I cannot believe I spent a week hiking in the mountains with these. I wouldn't last a day in them now.

My Luna sandals having a well-deserved bath in the sink

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Our rams 'one bad day' (Part 2)

On recommendation from Mr.B (our sheep mentor) we took our 3, six month old ram lambs to his friend P-E for their 'one bad day'. It was P-E who made the whole experience very calming with his measured approach and the careful way in which he handled our beloved ram lambs. In the end, it happened so quickly, without any panic or distress that we returned home feeling a sense of pride that we had managed the whole process from birth to slaughter for the very first time.

Our 3 ram lambs including offal
As I mentioned in the previous post, we had began our journey to a more sustainable lifestyle knowing that we would have to one day slaughter our own animals to provide us with food. Firstly, we wanted to know that the food on our plate had had a good life and had been reared properly and secondly, it had been given a natural diet i.e grass-fed. Ultimately, we wanted to know everything about the meat we were eating. So for us this was a very important stage in realizing this dream.

The 'one bad day' started with us driving the ram lambs to P-E who owns a little farm not far from ours. P-E has a professional set-up in one of his barns. and with no one else around, in tranquil surroundings, we immediately felt at home. We brought out the first ram lamb and made sure the others could not see or fear anything (they were well-stocked with good grass to munch on). P-E slaughtered the first, removed the skin, bagged the intestines and removed the internal organs. The remainder of the body was weighed and then moved into a chilling room to hang at the correct temperature. It all happened so smoothly.

The skin being removed.
We wanted to make use of the entire animal, even down to the blood that was drained into a bowl for us. And we will use everything, if not to eat, then to use as compost, or for our other animals to eat.

The remaining two rams were slaughtered at the same time, with the third one brought out directly after the second, so it was not left on its own.

Offal cuts: lung, liver, heart and kidneys
Being our first time, we were incredible nervous and wanted to make sure that our ram lambs were well looked after and they were kept as calm as possible. In essence the ram lambs' best interests were a priority for us. We feel that we achieved this and are pleased with the outcome of our first lamb slaughter.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Tomorrow marks a big milestone in our journey towards a more sustainable lifestyle. Read more on our blog here #gutefår #sheep #slaughter #selfsufficient #sustainable #paulssonpaleo #farming

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Our rams 'one bad day'.

Tomorrow is a big day for us. After being in Sweden for just under 2 years, we will be taking three of our own lambs, ie lambs that were born and raised on our farm, to slaughter.  One of our biggest goals when deciding to leave the big city and move to the country was to try and achieve a higher level of self-sufficiency, and have greater control of where our food comes from. This is a big step towards this.

Max, our first ram lamb just a few weeks old
I am not sure how I will react tomorrow, I know that I will be sad as all of our lambs have brought us and our guests so much enjoyment. But I also know that we have given them the best life possible and have looked after them, doted on them and made sure they have had everything they needed.  A recent blog post from Ridgedale Permaculture put it nicely when they said that one of their Linderöd pigs was going to have her ’one bad day’, it will be the same for our 3 Gutefår ram lambs.

Our Gutefår flock enjoying one of our fields
This process is vitally important to us, and we bred the sheep knowing that we would one day have to do this. The sheep will provide us with food for the winter months and enable us to truly begin our journey towards a sustainable way of life.

The ram lambs today.