Vegetable garden is growing

So much happened.

Facebook reminded me how our Kรถkstrรคdgรฅrd looked a year ago. We put in so much work to turn a dull field into a vegetable garden.

The first year was a success. So this year we are even adding to it. Last year we managed to produce enough vegetables to make it through summer without buying vegetables.

This year we aim to produce enough to make it through autumn as well.

Already excited about all the options there are to store vegetables and fruit and make them last.

But first things first. For now we focus on filling those plant beds with life!

Can’t wait to see it in a few weeks when everything is green.

Before and after

Favorite places

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

With the weather getting better, the days being brighter and longer, my creativity awakens again. It’s like waking up from hibernation.

I’m looking around in our garden and have so many ideas for little projects. This one here, I saw on Pinterest a few years ago and wanted to do something like that since then. I already wanted to do it last year, but the first year in our new home just passed so quickly.

But now I did it. I used wooden scraps we had laying in the garage. most of it from old pallets. The acrylic paint I had laying in my atelier and a simple topcoat to make it withstand our Swedish weather.

Now it leads our guests to my favorite places.

Stimulating our mini pigs

We recently adopted two mini pigs. Ester and Doris. They are super cute and we want them to be as happy as possible.

Here with us they live outdoors with a little sleep house where they are dry and safe from wind and cold. To make their bed they get straw and hay.

I like to let them fix their house themselves since this is already stimulating their brains. . It’s the cutest thing how they take a snout full of hay and straw and carry it into their house just in the right spot. They can spend quite some time with that.

Another thing that I turned into some enrichment was an old cable roll that we had at home. Over the ends, I simply screwed some wood that I had laying in the workshop. Now there are a few holes left where I can fill in their food. When they roll the cable roll, the food is falling out. Doris understood very fast how it goes. Ester thinks this is way too much effort for that little bit of food…

And another “Leftover-DIY” is this here. I just used some wood, a metal pole that I took from last years’ mini greenhouse that didn’t survive one of our storms and some empty water bottles.

I melted holes in the water bottles that are a little bit bigger than the metal pole so they would spin on the pole. Filled with treats, the pigs need to spin the bottles to make the treats fall out.

We’re still working on that part. Their current attempts are simply trying to bite holes in the bottles. They will figure it out eventually. ๐Ÿ™‚

Previously bought for our dog, we still had this puzzle toy at home. This is an easy way to stimulate a pig without the need to craft anything.

These are a few examples of what we do to enrich our pigs’ environment. I’m constantly out and about the world wide web to look for inspiration and there’s so much to find. ๐Ÿ™‚

Recharging my batteries between pigs, hens and seedlings.

Here in Sweden, it is Easter break. I took the week off. There’s a lot to do to prepare the garden for summer and I needed a break. At work, we had some deadlines and intense projects. First off I got sick of course, but now I’m having the best time. The other day we had proper spring weather. I was in our garden all day long. And as I sit there, I realize how happy I am. Happy about where and how I live. Happy about being surrounded by all our animals. Happy about how my life is going. it is so easy to get lost in these everyday worries. of course, there are things that are challenging and annoying, but all in all, I’m so damn lucky.

I was sitting in the middle of the pigs’ enclosure in the sun. On the floor, trying to bond with them. They are not scared or anything. They come right away running when we enter their enclosure, but I want them to fully trust me so it will be easier to handle them when it is necessary. For example when they are sick and need a vet or when we have to cut their claws.

They are so cute. Just sitting there with them slows everything down. Makes me stop thinking about all the millions of things my mind manages to worry about.

By now they sometimes lay down next to me and let me pet their soft bellies. It’s my favorite thing.

And then I got up and saw the chicken sunbathing in the plant beds we filled with fresh soil to get them ready for the vegetables. I’m so grateful for all of this.

Moving to the countryside was the best thing we could do. I love it.

Chickenfeeder

Chicken are messy. And they eat a lot! We started with a simple feeder that is open. But the ladies kept on tipping it over and then refused to eat what touched the ground. Ridiculous!
I think we wasted two thirds of the food in the beginning.

So I started searching the internet for smart ideas to solve this issue. I found a lot of fantastic ideas. Quickly I made the decision to go with a fairly simple model. I bought a big plastic box with a lid. And then also two pieces of plastic pipes (the corner pieces) like they are used for waste water.

The openings for the pipes I melted in. I’ve tried on previous projects to cut holes into plastic which always lead to cracks in places I didn’t want them.
The pipe pieces had to just fit through. With some silicone I tightened everything around the pipes. This had to dry for at least four days to ensure that it is completely tight and doesn’t let in any moisture.

Don’t mind my super serious focus face…

I decided to leave it for a little more than a week to also air out the plastic smell. After that I filled it with the pellets my ladies eat. I almost fit the whole bag in which is fantastic. Since our chicken are very tall , I build a stand out of
bricks so they can eat comfortably. They still spill some food, but not nearly as much as before.

Success!

Little farmhelpers

Our plan is to have some kind of cycle making our little farm work. Everything and everyone plays a role in our personal “Kรคringahus ecosystem”.

The chicken are first of all cute, then we use their poop as fertilizer and we eat their eggs.

Spring is almost here. The first flowers are blooming and it’s time to prepare our plantbeds for the vegetables. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get rid of all the snail eggs before they hatched…

…but that’s where the chicken come in again. Leading them over with some motivation of sunflower seeds, they turned into tiny raptors and defeated the snail invasion.

Thank you Tusnelda, Brunhilde, Elvira and Henriette!!

Mini pigs that are not so mini

Something happened. ๐Ÿ™‚ We adopted two mini pigs! Everyone that met them so far or has seen pictures, is surprised about them being so big. Yeah well…that’s because of false advertisement that many people fall for.

Pigs grow until they are up to four years old. When we decided that we want to adopt adult pigs, we knew that those could weigh everything between 30-100kg and built the enclosure and the sleep hut accordingly.

We found an add without any pictures just saying that two 2-year old female pigs are looking for a new home. So I sat down and wrote a little text about us and the home we have to offer. I got a quick response and things happend. We agreed to pick up the pigs only a few days later.

It was a 2.5 hour car ride one way. The previous owners were super nice. It was just this classic situation that makes mini pigs end up homeless. The pigs were taken in as piglets as a gift for the daughter who lost interest by now. Also following the recommendations for regular pigs when it comes to nutrition and training. Giving their pigs table scrapes.

Yes, people say that pig can eat everything. But that thinking is more for pigs that are held for slaughter. Those pigs get slaughtered while they are still young.

I want my mini pigs to live a long, healthy and happy life.

We got a picture of one of the girls, Ester. She is awfully cute. But not of the other one, so I was a little nervous how she might look ๐Ÿ™‚

Here we have Ester

When we arrived I understood why…Doris (the second pig) is very overweight caused by a wrong diet and also her being the dominant pig and eating Esters portions in part.

Lovely but chubby Doris

But nevertheless, they were both absolutely adorable! With great teamwork, we managed to lure them into our car without stressing them too much. No skrieking. No chasing ๐Ÿ™‚ I wanted our relationship to start relaxed.

After another two and a half hours of driving, we arrived at home and had to get them as relaxed into their enclosure. They couldn’t wait to jump out of the car and started roaming. Now we had to try make them walk into their enclosure…

With some yummi treats and some patients they walked through the gate and we could close it.

Pigs are really suspicious towards new things. So were Ester and Doris. The sleep hut we built them didn’t seem save to them. Since we’re still having minus degrees at night currently, I was super worried that they would get too cold if they don’t go in. I filled the whole hut with hay and straw. Every hour I went out in the dark, sitting by the hut, speaking calmly to them, trying to convince them that it’s not dangerous at all…

Before bedtime Martin went out one more time and finally Ester was brave enough to go in. Doris followed shortly. I was happy.

The next morning and every morning since we got them, I’m getting up an hour earlier than I have to, just to spend some time with them before I have to go to work. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now is the time to bond. Doris really like scratches und would just stand right behind or beside you to get some attention. Ester is still quite shy. We’ll take our time to get to know each other.

For now they live in a fenced in area with a little shelter that keeps them dry and where they can hide from wind.

A little view on their enclosure
Doris being busy fixing the bedding in their sleep hut

In the long run I’m hoping to be able to let them out when we’re in the garden. Or possibly even take them with us for our dogwalks. They for sure will help us digging the plant beds that are to come. They already proved their skills in that. ๐Ÿ™‚

First priority right now is to get them used to a healtier diet. Doris is not a huge fan of vegetables, but at least she loves the special mini pig feed I bought them ๐Ÿ™‚

Doris munching on some pumpkin

Greenhouse Dreams


I’ve always wanted a greenhouse . But never really looked into it since I assumed it would be out of my financial possibility. Things changed when we bought our farm. With all this space and big plans we started researching.
We were looking for a big greenhouse that is uncomplicated and not too time consuming to assemble. And of course not too expensive. It was a long researching period. We found a website called Agrolandet.se.
The prices were really low which made me
a little suspicious. But looking at it again and again, we decided to risk it.
Mid January we ordered the “AgronomRymlig”. It was the best choice within the price range we had in mind. The delivery took place after a week. Including an introduction on how you put all the parts together. But I wasn’t too nervous about that since we are both quite handy. My sambo already prepared a wooden frame. This has two purposes. One is to lift the height a few centimeter and the second is to make it storm safe.
The weekend after delivery we kept the Saturday free. In the morning we started with cutting the polycarbonate plastic parts to cover the short ends.


After that, the for me exciting part came. Mounting the frame. It was a lot easier and faster than we expected . . .


For lifting and fastening the big polycarbonate plastic sheets we needed some help.
The sections are 2,10m wide and over 5m long. So two extra pair of hands made it possible. All in all absolutely uncomplicated.


The tasks that took a moment longer were the doors and windows.
But it is possible to finish it all within one
day .
Now the really fun part starts. The interior. Five million ideas in mind and highly motivated to be ready to plant something in March.
I will keep you posted ! ๐Ÿ™‚

Greenhouse priorities

One might think that it is most important to get the plantbeds into the greenhouse…Well, I have different priorities…I was thinking about a solution for sitting, relaxing and enjoying the view.

Last spring I built an outdoor couch out of old pallets.

Ordered fitting pillows and planned on

spending every morning during summer on it.

I didn’t plan for all the rainy days we’re having here in Skรฅne though. Every time it was raining we had to move the really big and heavy pillow into the bedroom. And I’m naturally quite lazy, so most of the time I “forgot” to bring them back outside for days.

So our solution is now to bring the pallet couch into the greenhouse. No rain in the greenhouse!

To make sure that it doesn’t rot away too fast, we had to build some kind of deck for it.

When we bought the house , we also bought this mysterious corner of the garden that contained several different kinds of building materials. And there we found huge beautiful flagstones.

I could see it right in front of me…and then came the practical part. Bringing the flagstones from one corner of our land to the other.

THEY.ARE.HEAVY.

Half way through the project I hated my idea…

But then we were done and it looked great. Shame almost that most of it would be covered by the couch.

She’s no help, but at least she’s cute.

We’re far from done, but its going to be beautiful once we’re done. Big plans ๐Ÿ™‚

Next step-Citizenship


I mentioned in a previous post that I changed my life drastically. And with that changes came also some achievements.
One of the things I was aiming for recently was Swedish citizenship.

A bit more than a year ago in October 2020 I filled in the application and transferred the application fee of 1500 kr. Already here you get the information that it can take up to 39 month ! ! ! to receive an answer.
I got a note that my application is registered and that I will be contacted if they need further information. The first few weeks I daily logged in on ” Migrationsverkets ” website to check if the status had changed. The first step was waiting for a case worker. After a while I checked once a week then sometimes every other week.


For one year nothing happened. Not even a case worker that looked at my application. Working in an international community I got the tip to send in a form to ‘Request to conclude my case” . You can send in this document one time during your application and earliest after six month of sending in your application.
So, all excited about this option, I printed the document, filled it in and sent the scanned version via email. I then got the reply then that they received my request.
And to my big surprise, after a few days I got a case worker.


The caseworker sent me a letter, requesting some documents. They wanted me to send in my German passport or ID card, my latest payslip, job contracts over the past three years and a complete record of my income of the past three years, which I had to order
from the tax office. My experience with the tax office has been not too pleasant .
So I immediately sent out the request for these papers .
I was very keen to send in all the documents as soon as possible. But it took a full week until I received the papers from the tax office. Same day I sent it off to Migrationsverket.

On the 10th of December, the status of my application changed to “a decision was made”. How exciting because it could still have been both, a yes or a no. Clicking on the status, I didn’t get to see WHAT decision it is. You have to wait for the letter… On the 16th I finally got the letter that confirmed my citizenship .
HOORAY!!

The adventure may continue…and it gets better and better ๐Ÿ™‚

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