Thursday, June 25, 2009

Watering hole

The former water storage for making the traditional double-distilled fruit brandy "Palenka" now has become the geese's swimming pool.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Favorite Flowers

Yesterday I came across this lovely poem, expressing the author’s admiration for the beauty of vegetables. Exactly the reason why I feel no need to grow flowers in my garden...

My Favorite Flowers
by Christopher Morley published in 1919
The yellow orchid why discuss,
When you can eat asparagus!
What stained-glass window could repeat
The red-veined leafage of the beet?

What delicately mottled green
Is in the humble, honest bean,
And what a balm for sin and grief
The crisp and curly lettuce leaf!

The corn, in green, translucent files,
Shimmers like cathedral aisles,
The cabbage that the frost has touched
Is like a pigeon's throat unsmutched.

An onion, if you hold your nose,
Is marvelous as any rose!
- - - - -

So hereby a photo of our new front garden; three rows of beautiful potatoes!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Borecole = Boring-kale?

Borecole (or kale) certainly doesn’t mean it is a boring vegetable! We Dutch love it. The word Borecole even comes from the Dutch word boerenkool: boer = farmer, peasant and kool [cole] = cabbage. It is considered to be closer to wild cabbage than most domesticated forms. Several varieties exist and most are quite frost resistant. Here comes our selection:

Curly leaved green kale: Westlandse winter.

Curly leaved red kale (at present on seed bed): Red Scarlet.

Russian kale: Red Russian.

Not kale but too beautiful not to have its picture on this blog: Red Cabbage.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Gardening and farming websites:

Links to my favorite – mostly gardening and farming - websites:

1) Wonderful links to websites with useful information on sustainable farming: The small farm library

2) An interesting article Making a Living on a Small Farm

3) Here you will find over 4000 free downloadable books and documents on sustainable living and agriculture!!! F.A.S.T Online library

4) Lovely stories about homesteading and tips like “Feeding the Flock from the Homestead's Own Resources”: The Modern Homesteader

5) The nicest vegetable seed company with wonderful seeds for the homesteader The real seeds company, including information on how to harvest your own seeds.

6) A Slovak poultry breeding company, selling chickens, ducks, geese, etc. You can order online, in English, and your chicks will be delivered in the town of your choice (yes, ofcourse within Slovakia!): Gyron

7) Cooking! Slovak recipes

8) Gardening with the moon phases: in French and in Dutch

In Dutch only:

9) Alles over het telen van groenten:

10) Zaaizaad:
Gewoon om rond te kijken, hele mooie en bijzondere variëteiten maar meer voor de kleine hobbytuinder met een dikke portemonnee: Vreeken
No-nonsense betaalbare kwaliteitszaden van goede variëteiten, ook pure oude Hollandse rassen: Zaadhandel van der Wal

11) Informatieve webwinkel voor een zelfvoorzienend leven: Leven van het Land

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009


Our geese doing what they have been employed for: weeding Christmas trees and becomming fat Christmas geese!

Papilio machaon caterpillar

The Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio machaon) is protected by law in six provinces of Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. As foodplants its caterpillar uses a wide variety of Umbellifers including wild carrot (Daucus carota), wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris) and hogweeds (Heracleum spp). All of them growing abundant in our fields. They also like the fennel plants (Foeniculum vulgare) in our vegetable garden.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New floor

Our barn is gonna be extended. Before the roofworkers can come, a new floor had to be made. Last week the weather was exellent for this heavy job. This week the former door will become a window, the window will become a door and work has started on the inside of the barn.

Morning mist

This picture gives a nice view of our land, with in the middle - behind the ploughed field - the orchard with our house.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Another hole in the wall

The potato eaters

The Potato Eaters (Dutch: De Aardappeleters) is a painting by the Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh that he painted in April 1885 while in Nuenen, Netherlands.
Van Gogh said he wanted to depict peasants as they really were. "I wanted to convey the idea that the people eating potatoes by the light of an oil lamp used the same hands with which they take food from the plate to work the land, that they have toiled with their hands—that they have earned their food by honest means."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We have a decent sized vegetable garden since we like to grow most of our vegetables ourselves. We have no illusions of becoming self-sufficient however growing your own food is not only a very satisfying activity but also an economic choice. Our main crop are potatoes since we eat them almost every day and therefore we grow several varieties providing us new potatoes in summer and tubers for storage during the winter months.

The earlies we grow are the Dutch Red Scarlet and the German Belana. Our main crop of potatoes, which we will keep for the long and cold winter, is the Slovakian variety Viola.

Red Scarlet flowering - to be harvested soon!

We have also planted two varieties of gourmet potatoes; Vitelotte Noire, which was introduced into France in 1815 from Peru. It is also called “truffle potato”, black outside and dark purple inside. I am looking forward to purple mashed potatoes! The French fingerling called La Ratte d’Ardèche is said to be wonderful in salads. Its origins are French where it is grown since 1872.

Vitelotte noir - not only its tubers are black also its nerves.

August 13th; our first harvest of Ratte d’Ardèche ready to be cooked.

Our potato eaters?

Food for thought

Our vegetable garden - before forty geese had a 15 minutes playtime in it........

Monday, June 1, 2009

We got rain!

Everybody is happy on our smallholding: we got rain!