Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Blisters, splinters and dirty fingernails

The body aches, the hands are sore, the fingers damaged and painful.... but it feels so good, because that means work is being done again! No more sitting around idle, but actually being busy fysically. Body tired, mind revived, soul satisfied....
Spring is here and it makes it hard to sit still, creates restlessness, urges mind and body to become active, productive, doing... Labour strengthens the flabby muscles, blood pumping through the veins, washes away the numbness of a hibernative state of mind.....

Lately I busied myself constructing an extra wood storage from the wood I got. The uneven ground proved to quite a bit of a challenge, because the whole contraption is standing on its own. No attachments to the housewall in order to avoid moisture transfers into the walls, which then might freeze up and fastening it into the ground was a no go too, because that would require a huge drill or dynamite. Nothing but rocks and stones..... But after a few days of measuring, sawing and constructing we had quite a nice extra storage right next to the house. It holds about 4,5m3 and all I have to do, is to open the basement window next to it and toss the wood into the receiving container and from there right into the heater. Saves a lot of carrying in winter over slippery surfaces. In fact the total amount of firewood in the container in the basement, the new storage and the storage next to the backdoor should at least see us through 4 very cold months. Again this whole thing did cost me nothing more than screws and nails I got from a local thrift shop; all in all 75 SEK. The roofing felt (those tar rolls) I found under the stairs to the frontdoor. They had been lying there for years, covered in leaves. Too bad it was not enough of one colour, but that doesn't matter. It was just enough as it was. We have different plans for that surface anyway. We want it to blend in, so it'll get covered with moss and grass and hopefully flowers will establish themselves there some day too.

Of course I didn't do it all by myself....
I had help!!
Last tuesday was a planting day.
The day before we went and got the fruit trees I ordered; 2 cherry and 2 plumb trees. They turned out to be quite a bit taller than I had expected! I thought they'd be about 1,5 m high, but the cherries were at least a meter higher and the plums reached a good 2 meters too. That's a good start!
From my father in law I got 6 more blackberry bushes, another josta and 3 red gooseberry bushes. So all in all a good deal of digging had to be done. A good way to give the high quality spade I got for my birthday a run for its money. Got to take care though. I am notorious for breaking shovel handles...
Digging out the bushes was no issue at all, but digging the planting holes at our place...... was quite a different matter all together! Stones, rocks and firmly compacted clay undersoil made digging 4 plantholes an all-afternoon enterprise. Crowbar and spade work..... yet clawing around in the soil literally made me re-earth... if you know what I mean.
The otherwise pretty useless, as in foodproduction wise, piece of garden is being enriched by all those berrybushes and with any luck I will be inoculating half a dozen existing rowan saplings with another, local species of plumb and apple.

Our little patch of earth is getting pretty crowded with birds these days. A fieldfare has chosen our garden as his territory, many of the usual suspects have teamed up with a mate and we even still have a couple of bullfinches. They usually disappear when spring arrives. And spring most certainly is here with sunny days and high temperatures. And as if to officially confirm that a pair of wagtails made their appearance with a little aerial display.
During a break we were sitting on the balcony and enjoyed a cup of the last bit of Dutch coffee. We saw the sun shimmer on the surface of the lake, whilst listening to the calls of loons, gulls, woodpeckers and countless other birds. We listen to the buzzing of bumblebees and witness a gull chase a hawk through the sky....
On days like these, life is good...


  1. Perfect timing! I've been contemplating making a wood-storage thingy, and I think I'll have to steal some of your ideas. :) Yours is looking good, Ron!

    Looks like you are setting yourselves up for lots of fresh, home-grown fruit. Nice!

    You guys are definitely ahead of us in the spring department. Not much growth to speak of, temps still drop below freezing at night and the days are gray and cool. :/

    1. Since these ideas are free to share, it wouldn't be stealing now, would it?? ;)
      And it'll be a few years before we will have any harvest from those trees, but just the act of planting them was worth the money spent. That and the promiss of springblooms and eventually cherries and plums of course. The berries should produce sooner.

  2. Yay Spring! Your projects look wonderful! Can relate to the digging in the soil. We have the same nasty stuff around our house. Can't wait to hear more!

    1. I do have more up my sleeve, Renée.....

  3. Very neat, get those kids to work, then there will be no time for bickering. ;) Clever idea to save the carrying of wood.
    Keep us updated, and if you do not have time, just throw in a couple of pictures.