Wednesday, July 10, 2013

An age of discovery.....

There has been some much going on here lately, that I don't really know where to begin. So I'll just start ith the area that's closest to home; the garden. Progress to get the garden acceptable is slow, but steady and we discover new things on an almost daily basis; new plants and flowers, new features, new things to fix, too. 

The biggest discovery of all was a small herbgarden! Hidden between the vegetation I found a single strawberryplant, drawing my attention with a big, bright red strawberry. It appeared to be growing on a mosscovered rock. Unfortunately some gardeninhabitant had discovered that one too, since the next morning more than half of the strawberry was gone..... What was left was an area in the garden that had caught our attention and we brought it to the attention of some friends visiting. And they pointed out that the plants growing around that strawberry were herbs! We had libbsticka, oregano, backtimjan and spansk körvel (Levisticum officinale, Origanum vulgare, Thymus serpyllum, Myrrhis odorata).
By now I have started to clean up this area, taking away mosses and grasses and the contours of this small patch of "food" is starting to become appearant. I have also discovered larger patches filled with strawberries on 2 more places in the garden, where they are happily growing and obviously thriving between the trees! I guess they are originally forrestplants, which would serve us quite well, since we are slowly developping a concept for our garden; forest gardening. Over the next years we will be trying to transform our garden to this system, based on plants suitable for our region. Our beekeeping and henkeepingplans will nicely fit into that.

The rest of the garden still is a bit of a jungle, as I am focussing my attention and effort to the front of the house, but in order to at least start with some homegrown food we filled up our balcony with pots containing slaw, spinach, some tomatoes and kidneybeans! These last 2 were gifts from one of our neighbours and since there are only a handfull of them we will try and harvest the beans to replant them next year in larger patches. Annalena also got a small tray with some smultron (small forest strawberries) and 2 citronmeliss-seedlings (Melissa officinalis). Problem was that the pots were full.... So we were a bit inventive.. This is what our guests see when they come to visit us.
And while working in the garden, more actually taking away weeds and grasses, silently cursing both of them after a while, I couldn't help but noticing there were actually quite a few species of grass growing around me. I got a little sidetracked by wondering how much species there would be and I started an exploration through the garden, just to see how many I could find. I ended up with 9 confirmed + 2 suspected species; 11 different species of grass alone...!!
By now you all probably know we are people, who think out of the box. We do experience a presence in this house, that is not of our world; kind, gentle and positive. We know it to be a middleaged woman and we have a strong suspicion it actually might be the wife of the previous resident. She passed away about 10 years ago, but their nameplate was still on the mailbox.
Feeling gratefull for this place they left us and all its surprises we felt we had to honour them. We decided to do something with that nameplate instead of just chucking it in the garbagebin. I took the nameplate from the mailbox, took a birdhouse I reclaimed for the wooded area, attached the plate to it and hung them on the birchgroup next to the house and herbgarden. The choice for the birdhouse came, because there are so many on our lot, so they obviously loved those little creatures, too.
Tack Barbro och Stig!!

Another discovery we made, was that another secondhandshop, well actually a semi-permanent fleamarket, was still in business. It is the place we bought a large, antique chest for a real bargain and there still were some magnificent bargains to be had. We actually went there to check it out, without the intent of spending cash. We ended up doing so, nonetheless....
We badle needed a decent diningtable and we found one; massice wood, our style and in desperate need of some TLC. We also found a 4L cast iron kettle, an old Moraknife, a clayoven, a gas campingstove, a gasfed portable heater and a handpowered meatgrinder, a wooden box for roundbread and a pair of wooden backcountry skis.... All for the price I expected to pay for just the table! Most items need some work. The kettle needs cleaning up and has to be seasoned again. The knife needs the rust taken off and some sharpening, the sheath some oiling and stitching. The meatgrinder and the stoves need cleaning up and the latter might prove to be a good investment, when I sell them off.
The skis need sanding, liberal amounts of tar and some rubbing.....

I contacted the Savotta-company in Finland in order to get some answers regarding the backpack I bought last autumn. I got a mail the same day and the backpack has been identified as a saddlesack 339, 1960-1965 vintage, probably armyversion.
I am glad I now know what I have, but I still wonder what to do with those long and very narrow sidepouches.
I'd also like to make some alterations, but that would ruin the waterproof lining of the pack.... Choices, choices....

But that is not all..... No sir!
My son has gotten a real interest in fishing and since I can not be of much help on that subject, he went over to our neighbour and asked him. Apart from some good fishingtips e also came home with a story about a boat. A wooden rowingboat the previous owner used to have. That one should still be here and our neighbour though it still was. So we contacted the owner and he comfirmed that his boat still was there, but hadn't been used in 10 years. We could have it if we wanted to....
In the meantime our kids had set out to try and find it.... and they did!

In order to find, sometimes you have to boldly go, where noone has befor...

even if things tend to grow over your head...

what treasure might be hidden here?
They came to get us and together we set off to investigate. The boat was tucked under a glassfiber one, so it  as protected from the elements, but the wood was bonedry of course. It came complete with oars. It took some effort, but finally we were able to lift and push it into the water again, hoping the wood would get soaked with water and start to swell again, thus making it watertight again. If this works we can tar and paint it, after we sand it.  The boat had allready gotten under our skin by now. Sven was fantasising about taking it out for a tour across the lake and to use it for fifhing!! Because it was so dry, the wood had many splinters.... and I had quite a few to show for afterward.


As an icing on the cake.......
I found something else........ Hidden among the reed and willowbushes I saw a shape shimmering in the sun... One that I recognised.... 

I went to investigate and found an all aluminium canoe!! The paint badly peeling off, the bottom dented, but it looks to be watertight. No holes, tears or cracks.
Now the hunt for its owner is on!
Just to see what he or she is going to do with it and it just might make a great restorationproject next spring.


  1. Gereat finds Ron!
    But be carefull. Wooden boats and boatbuilding can be adictive:-D

  2. Oh. By the way.
    Take a close look at the sheath of that Mora knife. Most of them are made of leatherlooking cardboard, and not real leather.

  3. Thanks for the tip. I'll take a good look.

  4. Looks like you guys ended up with a really bio-diverse mini-homestead. :) Glad to hear of your finds and plans.

    And a ghost in the house?! Glad to hear she's nice, at least. ;)

    I'm starting to think it's not actually possible to go to a good second-hand shop/flea market and not buy something. :) Your haul is quite impressive. After some work, those items will really be your own, and you will have saved plenty of money.

    I LOVE that vintage Finnish pack! Drool.... Looks a lot like my new Swedish army pack.

    And a, the surprises just keep coming. Looks like you've got plenty of work (and enjoyment) ahead of you. :)

    1. Not exactly a ghost, mut more of a presence. You know it's there, but you don't actually see it.
      The haul indeed was quite impressive and dirtcheap. The campingstove and heater I bought in order to patch and clean them up and then sell off again. I've seen them go for good money and that way they'll make some collector happy, instead of rotting away.
      You love that Savottapack, huh.... I'll contact you via email...