life


Seba and I went camping! We went together to the midwintercamp in the veluwe. Mariana was not feeling well  and stayed home. Nothing is worse than feeling bad laying in a tent far away from toilet and other comforts. So it was father and son time.

The Midwintercamp is organised by Peter Qvist from Qvist Outdoor Cooking, there are activities organised by several other people. One of them is Jan Harm ter Brugge from hout van bomen who I’ve really wanted to meet for some time, but I never got around. Jan Harm is one of the few (actually I think the only one) that carves nice spoons in the Netherlands.

Seba and I arrived friday just after midday at the campsite. Papa had to go and put up the tent and Seba helped unpacking the car and put together the central pole. We stole the stove from Marianas atelier so we would stay warm and make a cup of coffee.

Seba decided that he wanted to go play and left me alone dealing with the tent.

Al the activities where on Saturday, they are mostly camping and food related. You could prepare a wild boar, pig roast, bake bread in a dutch oven, have some guided tours around the veluwe and carve spoons.Needless to say I carved spoons, while keeping a hungry eye on the food preparation. It was very good to see a spoon carver in action, my knowledge comes from books and the internet only and it is much more instructive to see things in vivo. When one is able to hold a spoon in your hands the proportions and relations of the handle and the cup are easier to see then on a picture.  And I had the chance to see some other tools from gransfors, djarv and karlson.

Seba made freinds and did the activity “getting dirty” in the woods. Followed by getting sand in your shoes and the filling up your hat with pine needles.

Here is the only picture of me, Seba took it. I had to cut off the ford KA on the side, it did not look wild enough. Also it would not work well when Seba is explaining to his sceptical mother that we “need” a “sjeep-auto”.

At night we ate wild boar, pig and deer. Obviously the food was too late, according to Seba who was very hungry.

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.’

Douglas Adams  – Speech at Digital Biota 2, Cambridge, UK, (1998)

Finally Ray Mears is back, after a year or two silence there is a new series. Well it is out on BBC2. For the occasion I dusted off the television and put an extra cushion on the couch.

Ray Mears is visiting the boreal forest or taiga in Canada for 6 x 1 hour programmes. I might be a bit biased as a Ray Mears fanboy  but I thought it was a very good programme, the filming was stunning. And all thou  Ray has made hours and hours of television on bushcraft and living in the wild, he never stops surprising. It is almost like nature.

This programme features a first nations woman making decorations out of birchbark using her teeth only.  I’m going to try If I can make some myself but the birchbark in the Netherlands is might be too thin, the warmer the climate the thinner de bark. Results will be posted.

For those that live in the UK you can watch it here on the Iplayer. Else you have to wait for the discovery channel.

The next episode is on Sunday 1 november at 20:00 GMT on BBC2

Ray-Mears-001

“Bushcraft is what you carry in your mind and your muscles.” – Ray Mears

00afrikaantjes

Our vegetable patch is more and more looking like a marigold (Tagetes patula) plantation, although it looks very nice and colourful, some of them are getting a bit out of hand. Half a meter wide and about the same height. There won’t be any roundworm alive in the earth after this attack!

Serious, the reason for the Marigolds in the garden is roundworms. Roundworm, nematodes for scientists, are little worms that live everywhere. Soil, water, roots, animals and humans; they are all over the place. You can’t see them with your own eyes but under a microscope you will find up to 50 in a cubic centimetre of soil. In a square meter of soil there are up to 10 million of them.

According to wikipedia there are 80.000 known species of roundworms and there are and estimated 500.000 different species. One group of this half a million, targets the roots of plants, specially perennials but also potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes. Against these roundworms you can use the marigolds, it is not that the worms are scared away by them. Although everything looks peaceful there is an underground war going on.

Some science for the other geeks: the inner skin of the roots (endodermis) of the Marigolds contains chemicals called thiophenes. When a roundworm enters the cells of  this inner skin, it forms peroxidase. The combination of this peroxidase and the thiophenes create O3 (ozone), this aggressive form of oxygen burns the roundworm. So far for the peaceful vegetable patch.

The bee doesn’t care about any of this and comes for very different reasons to the Marigolds.

00bee

Snap peas or mangetout comming from the french “eat everything” grow like crazy in our garden. They have been giving us snap peas from early june allready and it just doesn’t stop. It has been around  1/2 kilo every two, tree days. And just when I thought it would be over for this year I see new stems growing up from the soil on top of the dieing stems with new fresh Snap peas.

Harvested peultjes

For next year I’ve allready saved some seeds.  I’ve selected several more pods for seeds, I shoud be able  to grow at least 30 plants next year. Now I have twelve.Peultjes zaden

Raspberry Harvest

Raspberry Harvest

It happened, after a slow start because of the colder winter, and a sneaky attack from the neighbours’ electrical shears. But raspberry peak is here right now! I’m harvesting about ½ kilo of raspberry a day and that from only one bush. In the supermarket you pay €2 or more for 100gr of these!

Some of them we freeze in waiting for making jam (usually together with the red currants that will ripen slightly later, and some strawberries that escaped the strawberry eating frenzy in may.) The rest gets eaten either straight from the three or with some ice-cream.  Sometimes we even get some extra protein from the raspberry worm.

There aren’t any real difficulties growing raspberries, they grow like crazy, shooting up in your garden meters away from your original plant. If you leave be them be you’ll have your whole garden full of them.  Raspberries are über-healthy, they contain lots of vitamin C,  see wikipedia here for some of the benefits!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raspberry#Nutrients_and_potential_health_benefits

http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=23

Hi and welcome at the forest of food. My family and me are exploring a new lower impact lifestyle. I’am Erik,  a 34 year old man from the Netherlands, my wife is from Argentina (Patagonia). Right now we are living in the Netherlands where I have a job and my wife has her own company in fibre art and ceramics, look at her work!  www.florcita.eu

The main topics of this blog will be food, permaculture, biological agriculture, (lost) crafts, gardening, technology and my favourite transport, biking.