Friday, February 26, 2010

Voda & Blato

This is what happens when cold and snow disappear. Lots of water (voda) and mud (blato). Yech!

She really looks like ........

Whatever family and friends are saying, we have decided that she really looks like herself!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


It was time to get the geese out of their winter accomodation since snow started to disappear and they started laying. We made a simple shelter in our frontgarden under which they can lay their eggs and hatch their chicks.
The perfect geese night-house keeps occupying our minds. First of all it should be fox-proof and when they are young it should protect them against rain and cold. The biggest problem is the floor; how to keep it clean? Geese produce a lot and rather liquid manure. So when you put straw on it, it should be renewed every day, when you keep them on concrete you have to clean it with water, only slatted floors don't demand daily cleaning but are not very gese-feet-friendly. Something movable without a floor would be ideal however will this be fox-proof?

Last winter impression

Since it will be nice and warm soon; just one last winter picture taken today.

Catching some rays

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Snow is vanishing, Christmas trees are peeking out from under a thick blanket.

Friday, February 19, 2010


We still have snow on the fields however the animals start to show signs of coming Spring! Geese have started laying eggs and our horse is losing it's winter coat.
I cant wait to see our Christmas trees which are still invisible under the snow, how did they cope with this long and cold Winter? We took a risk planting them here, they are normally grown in less cold countries.
I have learned that growing winter hardy vegetables is pointless when it gets as cold as minus 24 degrees Celcius. Kale and leek did not survive this Winter.

3 months and 2 weeks

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Campsite website

We got snow and cold outside, no babysitter, no work as datastewards, so the perfect time to work on our futur campsite website. Yesterday I translated part of it in English; please click here to have a look.


The nice thing of snow is that animal tracks are easily observed.


(no not a bear but the giant dog of our neighbours)


Just a few months to go and we will have peppers.... lots of sweet and hot peppers....

Friday, February 12, 2010


How many years will we need to get used to this type of winter weather?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not rearing pigs

Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State.
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House
17 Smith Square

16 July 2009

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs.. I would now like to join the "not rearing pigs" business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy.

I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these? As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven't reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?

My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is - until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any. If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradeable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases?

Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don't rear?

I am also considering the "not milking cows" business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current DEFRA advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)? In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits. I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Johnson-Hil

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seeds for sowing

If you do not live in a tropical climate and you want to grow sweet and hot peppers outdoor you have to start early! So get your seeds now, here is (again) my list of favorite companies, and start sowing (indoors!!):

Yes this is me :-)

Reimer seeds 4500 different vegetable seeds! Only the fun browsing through their catalogue......
The real seed catalogue Fewer varieties but specially for garderners in colder climates without glasshouses.
Van der Wal For Dutch people - however they do ship abroad - a nice basic selection of seeds.
Diana from Holland!Not a company but offering lots of nice pepper and tomato varieties for almost free. Her website is in Dutch however google translate can be helpfull and I am certain that she speaks English (Diana does ship abroad).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Also spotted around our house: two foxes. They must be hungry, hopefully the wire meshes of our geese run are too small for them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter impressions

It is winter, not a lot of new stories to publish on this blog. Just some pictures of our house and the highway our neighbour and the municipal cleared up to the front door of our house. Number of users: 1!
I recently wrote in an ad to promote our camp site: : we have more deer than cars passing the road in front of our house. It is true, especially now, the deer are hungry and roaming around. Sunday we had a group of 68 red deers in our front garden (our neighbour did do the counting).


Trol is our horse, it is a cross between an American Paint horse and a Norwegian Fjord pony. He really enjoys the snow, this must be in his Norwegian genes.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's nice to be goat (and to play in the snow)

It keeps snowing.... Smurdy our billy goat has fun, his girls hate it.
Smurdy is a very saucy goat, rather photogenic as well. He will probably stay for two mating seasons, after that we will have to swap him to get new blood or to castrate him before turning him into Klobassa.