Spring 2014

22th May

Everything happens SUDDENLY here.

Seems like i waited forever for the snow to melt, so i could start gardening, then suddenly it was gone.

Seems like i waited forever to plant out my seedlings, then suddenly i should have planted them three weeks ago!

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The days have grown long, and the trees have grown green, and suddenly everything looks a bit too idyllic! All the snow has gone now from the fields, but in shady places (like the road!) there’s still quite  a lot. Last week we had our last frost, the thing we’d been waiting for really. Then suddenly i realised i could have planted out my brassica seedlings already, and the onions and the leeks…and peas..  So it seems we’re off to a bit of a late start, but I’ve been planting and sowing like mad the past few days, and there’s still so much to do! On top of that, we’ve had to put the garden work on hold for a while, so we can prepare the grain fields. A few days ago a farmer ploughed up some of the field for us with his tractor, so we have been working like mad trying to get it ready for sowing the barley and oats. There’s a lot of rocks to remove, and manure to spread, and we find ourselves short of hands, since our last wwoofer left on monday. Ideally we should have sown already, but because of the snow and ice on the road, he wasnt able to get up here with the tractor until now. And only then because my partner spent a whole day clearing it! (with an iron bar and a shovel) It was amazing to see how easily the plough just slices through the turf, and neatly flips it over and how quickly a machine can turn a field upside down!  Some days earlier we tried ploughing with the horse for the first time. We didn’t succeed in ploughing turf, but we ran over one of the small fields that was ploughed last year, and after initial hiccups, it worked very well! It took two of us: i steered the horse while my partner controlled the plough. Next year we can prepare all the fields that way!

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The horse and the heifers are grazing full-time time now, and there’s plenty of grass out there for them now, so we dont need to feed them at all. I miss them a bit though.  The chicks are growing up fast, though they still like to all try and squish themselves under mummy, and if there’s no space then they just sleep on top of her. Poor woman. We also have a new addition to the chicken family, we swapped one of our roosters (the silly one) for some more hatching eggs, and got another rooster in exchange! He’s white and a bit scrawny and wild. The first day he escaped and we spent a LONG time chasing him around. (For those of you who have tried to herd chickens, you will have some idea of what we went through!) So now we have another 50 eggs in the incubator! A little bit crazy you may think. and quite frankly, so do i! Though from the last batch we ended up with only one! We decided to move the eggs out to put them under the broody hen, ignoring advice written in block capitals in the incubator manual which says DO NOT OPEN THE INCUBATOR IN THE LAST 48 HOURS. But we did it anyway, of corse, and ended up with only three chicks, one of which died fairly soon, and another drowned in a water dish. 😦 We think some of them died in the egg when we took them out of the incubator. Silly us.

It’s still a month to midsummer, and already it isn’t properly dark at night! I love Norway for it’s extreme contrasts, the light and the dark, the ups and the downs the hot and the cold. And i love how everything happens suddenly!

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