Saturday, January 30, 2010


It's snowing for 24 hours now. Goats and horse are kept inside to make it easier to feed them. They occupy the former garage which used to be a stable, the car is in the former wood storage which used to be a garage. This spring the animals will move to the present garage and the car to the stable. Logic isn't it?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Our goats are roommates of our horse at night. When the get in to the stable before him they already start to plunder his haynet. They have also discovered a nice bale in our haystack in which they eating a hole - soon they will be able to walk through it.
We keep our fingers crossed that the two females are bearing.....

Sunday, January 24, 2010


To keep this farm blog on-topic I will exercise auto-censure: maximum one baby photo a week (to make tante Ans happy and as an outlet for hormonal driven parental pride).

Thursday, January 21, 2010


The last 100 metres to our house are off-road. If you are motorized this can be tricky in the winter and spring. Underground frozen and topsoil soft: our loamy soil becomes like quicksand. Last year we have more often been mudded in than snowed in. Since we sold our LandCruiser we have nothing strong enough to tow unaware visitors out of the mud. But this year this should not be necessary - we will be reachable by road!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Pig love

Our neighbours like pigs ... on their plate. They slaughter several every year, especially during the winter. Wintry weather is perfect for making sausages - no flies to spoil the fun. And fun it is, processing a pig. The entire familly shows up and the next door Dutch are expected to pay a call as well. Lots of meat is turned into bacon, sausages and things I do not even know the name of. To stay warm the local version of gluh wine is consumed: gluh palenka! A hot mix of caramel and the local firewater (containing at least 50% alcohol). We always get a very generous share of meat and meat products, if we survive the drinking - as we did so far....

Friday, January 15, 2010


To protect our christmas trees from deer, rabbits and other animals (including free range goats) the entire field is fenced and so far it seems to be effective.


Situated on the edge of our field, but not in use (anymore?).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dog Hotel

We offer different kind of boarding services for a very limited number of dogs which we heap together under the activity Dog Hotel. Hotel is may be a little bit posh name for our ordinary farmhouse; our simple living room, the garden and two kennels. However what we offer is good and loving care, a safe and warm place for the beloved dogs of our clients. We do whatever we can to make their stay pleasant, since being away from their own pack is already stressful enough.

Would you be able to refuse such a sweet heart to sleep on your bed?

We closed our doors for two months because of the birth of our daughter. Now we are back in business, our living room is open to board dogs in the summer and in the winter. We do think that we supply a need, since we are again receiving inquiries. The only problem we have is that we are still looking for such a dog hotel as ours to board our own dogs so we would be able to travel without worries ourselves as well.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New gardening season

The thaw has set in; I have started digging up the garden. Seeds have been ordered: new gardening season is starting!


Last month the temperature dropped to -24º Celcius (-11.2ºF); winter leek, borecole and Brussels sprouts are suffering. Yesterday the thaw set in and I discovered that my young lettuce plants are doing fine!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Four out of fifty, and one of them will go to a friend; leaving us three big birds to feed this winter.

Baby blog

When your baby is a cute as ours, it is quite difficult not to turn your farm blog into a baby blog!


I really dislike cold and being snowed-in even more. My friends where surprised “that is like moving to Spain and disliking warm weather”, however the climate is only a part of the Living Abroad-Experience for me. The hot season in Mali wasn’t pleasant either however it was not what made us quit West Africa.

Our animals don’t seem to be bothered too much.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter chore

Some people like to leaf through fashion or interior design magazines, my favourite literature is vegetable catalogues. Selecting new varieties for the coming growing season is the perfect job for those dark December and January days, as it helps to prevent winter blues.

Since most seed packages contain hundreds or even thousands of seeds, I haven’t used up many of them. I have also harvested seeds from some self-pollinating and heirloom varieties. So I don’t need to order that much.

However some varieties have been disappointing and I will try others this year;

Tomatoes: Roma VF - lots of diseases
Cauliflower: Erfurter - not one nice cauliflower produced
Borecole: Westlandse Winter - not hardy enough for cold Slovakian Winters
Celeriac: Dolvi - even after 8 months mine still had small tubers

Others will definitifly stay, like:
Red beet: Egyptische platronde - sweet, productive, early
Tomato: Matina - tasty, productive, early
Potato: Viola - productive, healthy crop, tasteful
Courgette: Di Nizza - compact plants, many tasty small fruits
Lettuce Fisby/fristina - from Spring to Autumn very productive

And these new ones will be tested this year:
Cauliflower: Dalton
Borecole: Reflex (very hardy variety)
Celeriac: Monarch
Spinach: Bazaroet (for Summer production)
Sweet pepper: Nocturne and Sweet Pickle

And we got a whole range of new tomatoes since we love tomatoes, and we want to grow and eat more different varieties! It is self-pollinating plant so seeds will be easy to be reproduced. I ordered the new seeds from Diana: she offers an amazing range of interesting varieties almost for free. Click here to visit Diana’s website. Her website is in Dutch, however ‘google translator’ should bring help for non Dutch-speakers: Diana does ship packages abroad.

This is my selection for 2010:
Reinhard’s Goldkirsche
Gardener’s Delight
Fence Row Cherry
Yellow Taxi
Polish Linguisa
Granny Smit
Mandarin Cross
Caro Rich

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year! / Gelukkig nieuwjaar!

Happy new year to all of you: family, friends and other blog-readers!