Kaarina Kreus

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since Apr 10, 2022
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9 acre permaculture farm in Finland, Northern Europe.
100 tree fruit orchard.
400 berry bushes
Two Beehives
Mushroom cultivation.
The farm borders a river rich in fish.
1/2 acre vegetable garden
Smaller herb garden.
5 acres of forest.
Snail farm.
Old Northern landrace chickens.

No electricity, no piped water or plumbing. Doing it the old way.
Professional gardener and chef de cuisine. Also doctorate in economics.
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Finland, Scandinavia
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Recent posts by Kaarina Kreus

I just did simple prioritising. Chickens give me eggs, Momma Nature's perfect lunch packs.
I can wash myself elsewhere. Bu where would I get pproteins, all vitamins and mineral (except C)  in a tasty bundle?
1 week ago
I don't have a new sauna yet. Next summer (no construction can tae place in the frozen half of the year)
1 week ago
I have no electricity, not even solar panels. I would need electricity mainly in the winter, but the days are only about 6 hours and the sun so weak that solar is useless.

My electricity resides in the local library, where I charge my phone power banks and rechargeable batteries for led lights.

So the water freezing problems keeps me grounded here. I can go away for the day max. Otherwise the chickens seem OK in the cold.
1 week ago
It is pretty easy to see. Chickenhouse, wood shed, tool shed, water fountain, outhouse. By far the best trodden is the road to the chickenhouse.
I am saving money and keeping myself busy by collecting grasses for the deep litter in the chickenhouse. Those that stick out of the snow, I mean. It is really cold here, and keeping the house warm and cooking takes a lot of time.
The days are six hours only, so after sunset I pretty much just read.
Just had a chat with another farmer and we laughed that in the summer we work all the time, and sort of hibernate in the winter. Hard to understand for those city folks who work 9to5 all year long.
1 week ago
Thank you!
Yes, the litter is very dry, I immediately add more stuff if it gets moist. So no composting happening then, until I get up to half a metre /couple of feet. Now it isn't even half of that.
Hay is expensive, so i have been cutting grasses, weeds and hay from my forest. Maybe I have simply been too lazy.
You know how you bring in an enormous pile and spread it nicely and everything looks fluffy and perfect. The next day, the pile has sunk dramatically and looks rather limpy!
At least I can be happy about the sweet aroma of fresh hay. The coop smells really nice, which in itself is a great achievement.

I will have think of another way of keeping their water from freezing then.
2 weeks ago
My chicken house used to be the sauna bathouse. It has the hotroom and a dressing room. The hotroom can be heated, but the dressing room cannot. Thus there is a thick substrate in the dressing room, which I am at pains to get composting.

The substrate has all the poop produced by the flock of 25 and I have mixed it occasionally with a fork. It has smelled wonderful all the time, which in itself is a great thing. But it just does not heat up.

I may have overdone the amount of hay: I bring in new hay from the adjoining field every day. If that is the case, what would correct it? Humanure?

I covered the substrate with spruce cuttings in an attempt to "put a lid" on it. No idea if that was wise.

The waether forecast for the upcoming 10 dayd promises below zero Fahrenheit. I would really need the extra heat.
2 weeks ago
I think the permaculture way is to feed them what grows on your farm (unless it is rocks like Betty notedπŸ˜„).
I grew buckwheat, peas and a lot of veggies. My chickens get all of these - as I eat them, I put a portion aside gor them. Chickens love all kind ow weeds, and I dried lots in the summer. Crumble them and ust add hot water!
My farm is new, so I am supplementing with commercial feed this year. Hope to be able to stop in the next couple of years.
2 weeks ago
I have a leaky house and live in the serious North. My solution was making wooden frames, onto which I fastened a padded cloth. As it is white, it lets some light through. Cheap & easy. I just pop them out when I want to see through - in the bedroom they often stay on during the day as well.
2 weeks ago
I probably give them far too much to eat, as there is always food they haven't gotten to yet. I have four hanging feeders with just commercial stuff. I want to be sure that even those low in the pecking order get enough.

Their litter in the henhouse is strewn with grains and seed, which they love to dig up. The chicken run is strewn with kitchen scraps, grains, seeds and fruit (mainly apples). I gave them huge pumpkins, but they were not too fond of them. Tomatoes are probably the favourite.

Chickens love greens. Clover, dandelion and salads disappear immediately. Of course,nothing stays alive in their run as it is eaten up, but I bring them cuttings.

Now that the temperatures are around 10'F I bring them two hot meals: porridge, potatoes, pasta. They love youghurt but I rarely have milk as I would have to buy it from the shop.

The flock is 28 and freezing temperatures mean they need energy. I give them fatty winterbird feeder balls which are actually meant for small birds.

My chickens are not fat, but surely nobody stays thin either! It is quite endearing to watch how much they love eating. Especially if you throw the food around and they get to dig it up.

My definition of a happy flock is that you see lots of tails as they are pottering around πŸ˜„
3 weeks ago
It just happens that I had a long discussion about this today. I do exactly the same in the autumn: let myself get a bit chilly to wake up my Siberian settings! Just a couple of weeks is enough, and I no longer need a jacket for fetching firewood or water.
I have the habit of walking in the snow barefooted every morning. Takes a while to get used to it, but gradually you can start standing barefooted in snow for lengthy periods. No more freezing feet!
4 weeks ago