Archives for category: Gardening

I had a big birthday party the other day. I might as well say it – I ‘m 70 now. 


And feeling pretty good. 

The presents I got were mostly trees, bushes and plants. But the biggest and most impressive was this;


brought in by tractor by the farmer here –  a present from Magnus Eriksson and his family. 


A found object from some corner of this farm. 


A fantastic work of art formed by volcanos and carved by glaciers. 

Some of the crew taking a break while setting up up for a big party in the garden. 

A few days ago a project group from Uppsala University came out to take part of some spring activities in the garden. 


In spite of the less than conducive weather, we got a lot done, like getting the pumpkin patch ready – harvesting some winter survivors, weeding, spreading compost and tilling. 



We also started a new compost pile in the empty space. 

In the other crop circles we planted potatoes and made raised beds into which we put in leeks and onions and carrot seeds.

A little bit of everything. 

Except for the one that will become the pumpkin patch, all the crop circles are prepared for spring – that is – covered with a layer of compost and then rototilled. 

The weather has been fairly warm (along with the intermittent wind, snow flurries and frosty nights), so I have started to make beds and sow a few rows of the hardy vegetables – right on schedule. 


The cages are place holders for beds where cabbages will be planted out later. 

Today we made a new big batch of kimchi based on the age old sauerkraut method. It’s good and my customers really like it. 

We clean and shred savoy cabbages,

chop and dice garlic, sweet peppers and chili peppers,

shred ginger, carrots and radish,

pound the cabbage,

mix everything together and put it all into fermentation jars.

The earlier starts are faring well in the mini greenhouse – herbs, lettuce and brassica.


Now it’s time for starting different kinds of pumpkins and squash, along with cucumbers, sweet corn, sunflowers and other frost sensitives. 


These trays are all full of dirt and seeds. When they start germinating they will have to go outside for more light. The mini green house will not hold them all (I’ll have to make another next winter), but I can put the rest in frames that can be covered with plastic, when it gets cold, as I’ve done before. 

We can have cold nights here until the first week of june. Then the plants should be a good size and hardy enough for planting out in the crop circles. 

A package came today. 


2 packages of tane koji – one for rice koji and the other for barley koji. 


I ordered them about 2 weeks ago from:

Higuchi Matsunosuke Shoten Co., Ltd.

TEL:(81)06-6621-8781

FAX:(81)06-6621-2550

E-mail:koichi@higuchi-m.co.jp

URL:http://www.higuchi-m.co.jp/ 

It took a little longer this time, because I wasn’t familiar with japanese international banking practices. 2 years ago I ordered from Gem Cultures in the US and payed very easily using Paypal. Higuchi doesn’t have Paypal or such, so I had to figure out a new way. With banking information from Higuchi and help from my local bank it worked smoothly. 

Each of these packages is enough Aspergillus mold spores to enoculate 200 kilos of rice or barley, so it’s going to last me many years. This is the smallest amount they sell and probably too much for a home koji maker, but the price is very good, and the payment procedure is easy enough, so I can definitly recommend buying tane koji from them. They have a very good web site in english too. 

I should have been more observant earlier. I’m running out of kimchi for selling at the market. My kimchi has become a main sales item, as well as a favorite at home, so I’d better make lots more at a steady pace. After the market yesterday, I bought some ingredients and made a simple kimchi – chunky style. Start by chopping and mixing everything together. 


Stuff into fermentation jars and add a 3% salt brine. The hard part is waitng about 4 weeks for a good fermentation. 

The compost is out on 3 of the 4 crop circles. 


One more pile for the pumpkin patch can go out later in may. 


Then there are 4 piles left to ferment for another year. And now a new one is started. I’ll make 4 during this season – 1 for each of the crop circles 2 years from now. 

The compost pile has been sitting around fermenting for about 2 years now, 


and the vegetable dirt needs some nourishing.