JENS MALMGREN I create, that is my hobby.

South hall painted

The south hall on the ground floor got painted this week!

Monday 15 May

Today we both worked from the office. In the evening, I chatted with the electrician, and he was okay with our plans for the house.

This evening we had friends that came to us spontaneously. We got much more social contact with neighbors in this neighborhood than in our old house. It is much more fun to live here.

Tuesday 16 May

Today we both worked from home. We had a short lunch walk!

Friends came to us to get sheep manure. They got five wheelbarrows. They put it in their compost. It is going to be a fantastic compost.

In the evening, the plumber and ventilation specialist came to discuss our plans for the tiny house.

The date for the house is now set for 8 June. The plumber will come on 5 June and prepare the sewer and water for the house. This means we got all the important dates for the project.

I had printed the construction drawings of the house, but while talking to the plumber, we could not figure out exactly how the pipes were arranged. Hence all three of us went to the demo park and looked at the pipes, and it became much clearer what we had to do.

Wednesday 17 May

Today I worked from home in the morning. After lunch, I was free. DW was free all day and painted the south hall on the ground floor. The northern hall must still be done, but she needs another paint bucket.

Today I experimented with taking square photos. I am not entirely happy with the result, so there will be regular photos again tomorrow.

I have been stressed over the coming garden season. The plans I had looked like they would fail. I was doing a lot of things but not preparing the garden. I wanted to use our ground tiller machine, but it needs repair, which will take longer. Today I decided to rent a ground tiller machine. I want to use it extensively so I decided to rent it for a whole week. That makes sense because I have a half day off on Wednesdays, so next Wednesday, I can return the machine, and why not rent it when we got one extra day off tomorrow?

The first little challenge with renting the garden tiller was that the small trailer was on the wrong side of the trench I had been digging. You might wonder why I did that? Well, I did not think about it; it is that easy. I had to bring the trailer over the trench. For that, I used planks. It worked!

We had garbage in the trailer, so I had to bring the garbage to the recycling center. A new feature at the center was that I had to show my ID card. This is because the recycling center is sponsored by the municipality and not intended for residents of other municipalities. No big deal, I had the ID with me, and all was fine.

Next, I rented the ground tiller machine at the tool rental shop for a week. The tiller machine fit in the trailer just precisely!

I got the machine off the trailer at home using two planks. Then I prepared the area between the sea container and the driveway. I also prepared the area on the south side of the sea container. It becomes a planting bed over 12 meters beside the container, and the short side is another four meters. The width varies here and there, but at most, it is two meters wide. We got three vine grape plants and three honeysuckle plants. I just rounded these with the tiller machine.

When the earth was fluffy, DW and DS brought 5 wheelbarrows of manure to the newly prepared garden. I ran over this with the tiller machine to mix the manure with the soil. It was great fun; the machine was a pleasure to use. I know that our own tiller machine is not that easy to work with. It does not have any reverse gear, at least not standard. The rented machine has that.

When we finished the sea container area, we went to last year's compost heap, where we grew the pumpkins. It is located next to the salad beds on the north side of the house. There DW cleared the heap from grass, and then I ran over it with the tiller machine, and it became a really fluffy lovely textured compost. Great fun! This is the first time we produced our own compost! DW loaded this on the wheelbarrows and brought it to the new beds in the vegetable garden she has been working on.

Thursday 18 May

This is a compulsory holiday. If you follow my blog, you know I am skeptical about compulsory holidays because an entire population is suddenly out and about. The infrastructure of a country is not prepared for that. Roads and other facilities tend to get clogged up. It would have been much better to spread the days people can take time off.

Besides, the reason for this particular compulsory holiday is questionable. This day commemorates a day that happened forty days ago. So what happened forty days ago? It was the moment when the prominent fantasy figure woke up from a coma some two thousand years ago. Back then, they did not know about coma. These days it is a well-known medical phenomenon. So a person wakes up from a coma, but notably, it did not happen on a specific date. He woke up from the coma on the first Sunday after a full moon at 0 degrees longitude, after 21 March, and we have to celebrate it by clogging up infrastructure.

So the first thing that happens is that we get 21 March. Then comes a full moon observed at the equator. Then the Sunday after that is the day when the fantasy figure woke up from his coma, poor guy. Then add forty days to that, and presto! There is the reason for the celebration of this day. I am not an expert on these traditions; I just looked up the first couple of sentences on Wikipedia about the day.

Now, today I got things to do. The rented tiller machine is parked in the sea container overnight. I will bring some compost from behind the container to the new garden and mix that into the soil. It could also be good to add sand. The ground here is clay that can become sticky. You get consistent that it is easier to weed when adding manure, compost, and sand. There will always be weed, but when preparing the bed, it is good to make the stuff fluffier so that the weed is easy to remove.

I am also planning to use the tiller machine in the flower garden. That part has been neglected since last autumn. But there are also other things to do, the sheep need a new area, and I would also like to make a port for the vegetable garden.

After breakfast, we started on the activities of today. The first thing we wanted to do was to move the sheep to a new area. This time we could not keep the net around the home base for the sheep, but we had to reshuffle the nets to create a new home base. Removing all nets and letting the sheep roam is impossible unless we want complete chaos while dealing with the nets.

We figured out how to do it, but before moving the nets, we decided that I go around with the brushcutter and clean up the thistles where the nets will be placed. The new strategy on thistle management has been successful, but keeping a close eye on the thistles remains essential.

With the thistles decimated, we moved the nets. The sheep will now graze the north and northeast side of the property. We discussed extending the area to the border between the two northern neighbors, but we now decided to prioritize our border with the eastern neighbor. Our east neighbor likes to cut his grass, so there was no point in letting the sheep graze the newly cut grass. This area was not that big, so I anticipated that we would need to move the sheep again shortly.

After the work on the sheep nets, I could resume the work on the garden between the driveway and the sea container.

This time I am experimenting with the extra wide photo format. It is as if I set it to a format the entire day; I will go around and take photos of that format. Here is the ground tiller machine.

First, I applied compost from the old heap behind the sea container. That heap is our main compost heap. We have been growing our compost strategy since our time at this property. First, we were surprised by the growth of thistles and rapeseed plants. At some point, we had 7 distinct compost heaps. The energy it took to collect and move the plants to the nearest heap was challenging enough; that is why we ensured that no place on the property was a long distance from a compost.

Later we removed all these heaps and decided to have one main compost heap. We still have material in the heap of this very beginning. That material is not ideal for composting with too large chunks that take a long time to melt. Now when we have access to a tiller machine, some of the material can be crunched into smaller and better digestible pieces. Well, that is my idea. I took a couple of wheelbarrows from our main compost heap.

On top of that, I took a couple of wheelbarrows from the compost we got on 20 November 2020. I ran over this layer, which became smaller pieces mixed with the rest of the soil. I am curious how this will perform this summer!

Instead of sowing and planting in the new garden, I also decided to use the tiller machine in the flower garden. Some patches in the flower garden remained uninhabited, and now I had the perfect tool for quickly preparing the ground for more flowers. I could not finish that work today; luckily, I have more time this weekend.

DW worked on the vegetable garden. She moved in compost from the 2020 heap. She created four rectangular beds and one triangular bed. The triangular bed will be for the potatoes. Between the beds, she put woodchips. We will also need to finish the heap of woodchips before 8 June since it might obstruct placing the tiny house.

The winter stay under the rain roof is now cleared from manure. The idea is to clean the tiles to make the place ready for use by the sheep again.

In the living room, we got our plants nursery. I do think I will sow more seeds this weekend. Nothing can stop me now!

DW prepared more plants as well. The idea is that when putting out plants instead of seeds, the slugs have less chance of killing the plant.

I realize I still have work to do in the salad beds. They are only partially cleared. I need to finish that work, perhaps already this weekend.

Friday 19 May

DW had a day off today, and I went to the office. She worked on removing weeds in the salad beds and woodchips in the vegetable garden, cleared the paths from weeds, and added a new layer of woodchips around the salad beds.

When I came home from work, she was rather tired from garden work. I had the energy to do some work still. My first task was the area between the new permanent fence and the strawberries. The weed grew tall in this section, so I cut it and removed some deep-rooted dandelions. Then cardboard on top of this and covering the whole with wood chips.

The second task was the east part of the dyke. It had to be cleared from thistles. First, I removed the temporary net that we still had standing here. I did not collect the net but took it out from the ground and dragged it to the side. I hope to restore it more quickly when still lying on the ground.

Then I started clearing the thistles close to the permanent net. It was challenging. I accidentally cut a bush, and with that experience, I stopped using the metal cut head of the brush cutter and instead used the wire head of the brush cutter. It has two plastic wires rotating, which cannot damage the permanent fence. It can damage thin brushes, so it is still necessary to be careful. I can come close to the fence, an advantage over the metal head.

Saturday 20 May

This morning we went to the farmers market. There I bought a tomato plant. I will keep that tomato plant indoors. Then we went to a local grocery store where they got seeds. There I bought seeds of Red Kuri Pumpkin, Butternut Waltham Squash, and Cornflower. I also bought Sevilla potatoes. When we came home, I sowed these seeds in buckets. I also sowed the rest of our corn seeds.

The pre-sowed table is progressing well. Most of the buckets have a little plant. Now comes the challenge of when to transplant. Too soon has disadvantages, and too late is also not good.

Today we also removed the protective paper from the south hall! Unfortunately, the tape we used left sticky stuff on the floor. I tried to clean it, but completely removing it will take a couple of times.

Apart from the stickiness, it is great to see that we have finished the kitchen and living room. There are still boxes to unpack, but I am okay with that.

In the afternoon, we went to neighbors giving a party. They got a wood-burned pizza oven, and it was possible to make delicious pizzas in that oven.

Sunday 21 May

It was lovely weather today. Windy in such a way you did not feel that the sun was burning hard. I used sunscreen because that is what you are supposed to do. When we finished the south hall, I could remove some plants before our garden doors. It is a small practical thing, but the result of something big that I plastered on the walls that they got painted by DW. I opened the garden door, and it stayed open the whole day. I went out into the garden and spontaneously decided to clear the strawberries. There are many strawberry flowers!

Then I cleared the weed around a couple of our berry brushes.

Then it was time to start working on the first substantial task. I removed pallet parts from the ground where the tiny house will be placed on 8 June. In the photo, it looks empty; it is because the hay shed has been removed. When I dragged away the pallets, I happened to fall with one of the pallets, and I got it over me. I got a smack on my right shoulder, which hurt a little. I hope it will be fine soon. The next part of the tiny house will be to mark the place of the house and dig out the hole for the sewage. We must order 8 concrete plates or get them from a hardware store.

The sheep had finished their current area. It was time to give them a new place to graze, but first, I made a permanent fence around the heat pump.

That way, we don't need to make special arrangements around the heat pump whenever we put up the portable nets.

We also cleaned the tiled ground under the rain roof. The sheep now got nothing to complain about. All is neet.

Then we moved the sheep to the new area. They loved it!

The grass on the north side of the house is almost developing seeds. The timing was perfect for moving them to this patch.

With the more critical tasks out of the way for today, I could prepare my new garden. With garden tiles, I will have access to the garden without walking all over the place. I still have not planted or sowed anything yet. It will happen next week.

I gave the salad beds more compost. The soil in the beds has been shrinking to less the half height. The first bed has a couple of gaps between the planks, so it is theoretically possible that the slugs can sneak in that way. The salad I transplanted on 18 April is doing fine.

The other bed also got a little more soil. Now I need to brush the copper cables of the slug protection, and we are ready to plant and sow in the beds.

Here ends this week's blog. We have had an active week. Preparations for the tiny house, painting the south hall, and preparing for the garden season.

I was born 1967 in Stockholm, Sweden. I grew up in the small village Vågdalen in north Sweden. 1989 I moved to Umeå to study Computer Science at University of Umeå. 1995 I moved to the Netherlands where I live in Almere not far from Amsterdam.

Here on this site I let you see my creations.

I create, that is my hobby.