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Hallo!

My name is Elin and I am a small scale farmer and very interested in permaculture. I found this forum and Wow! Anyways, I take a course in market gardening and now in the spring and summer we would visit other gardeners, but because of the corona virus we can´t.
Instead I would really like to make contact with gardeners and farmers in other parts of the world and would be very happy if anyone here wants to share their stories with me and sow a seed of inspiration and new ideas I want to know everything, big and small, what you want to tell. For example; What do you grow? What climate do you have? Cultivation techniques? Are you self-sufficient? Do you sell your products and if so, how do you sell them? Why are you gardening/farming? Do you have any cultivation tips or tricks? Do you have any farm animals? Do you have a blog or a website? Feel free to show pictures of your place Please also tell me if it is OK to share your story with my classmates.
Let me start by telling you about me. Me and my husband have two small farms with about 7+5 hectares of land in northern Sweden and we rent some more land for hay and grass silage. We grow vegetables for our own needs and want to expand it a little so that we can sell vegetables. We have dairy cows, sheep and some ducks. We grow and have animals to be self-sufficient in food, get some money and live the life we ​​love. I want to teach my children to take care of the earth so that we can live a good life for many generations to come. Here are some more info about me and pictures of my place in the world
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sheep in summer pasture
sheep in summer pasture
 
Elin Hörner
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Our cows sunbathing in the spring. As you can see we are working on increasing our arable land. The forest has been reclaiming this land since the last farmer on this farm gave up farming many decades ago. We moved here 2016.
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Elin Hörner
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Our field of vegetables. We have been growing vegetables mostly for our own needs but we want to be able to sell some to others aswell. We plow this field every year and make raised beds with the potatoplow to sow in. We sow the seeds directly in the soil and have two rows on each bed. This year we will try and presow the seeds and put them out in the field as plants, except for the carrots because I have heard they are hard to succesfully move as a plant. We grow carrots, various cabbages and turnips, beetroots, new zealand spinach, pumpkins and zucchini, beans and peas and also potatoes in another field. Hopefully we will have time to start on our terrace cultivation this year and I would love to have a herbal garden and also get the plastics on our greenhouse so I can get all the tomato- and pepperplants out of the kitchen . I am also very intrested in perennial herbs and vegetables and in fruit trees and berry bushes and agroforestry (anyone here planted a tree guild?)
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Elin Hörner
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We have chosen to place the silage in the upper corner of the vegetable field because there are so many treeroots in the soil and very hard to plow. And I want to keep the birches healthy and don’t mess with their roots every year. Sometime in the future we will make walls to the silage. Anyone who has any simple, cheap, functional, naturally beautiful ideas on how to build the walls?
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Elin Hörner
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We also make hay and put it in the haybarns with a hayblower. We dry the hay on the field for a few days and then we finish it with a haydrier. Due to the weather changes we experienced the last years with both cold and flooding summers and extreme drought we are looking for more resilient and perennial crops to grow for silage and hay. We want to try jerusalem artichoke, anyone who grow jerusalem artichoke and would like to tell us more about it? Other crop suggestions?
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Elin Hörner
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Our cows can choose if they want to be outside or inside in the winter. They mostly go outside during the days and go in for the night. The cows are strong and healthy and they love to enjoy the brief sunlight we get during the wintermonths. We almost always feed them out in the fields, unless it is really wet and muddy.
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Elin Hörner
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The cows can also choose were to give birth. Most of them choose a place outside. We separate the cow and her calf the day after birth to milk the cow and feed the calf with milk in a bucket. But we are considering to let the calves stay with their mothers until weaning, to meet the demand from many swedish consumers and for the animal welfare. We were thinking about separating the cows and calves during the night, milk the cows in the morning before letting the calves in and milk again in the evening when we separate them. To let the calf stay and in the same time milk the cow is completely new to us. Any thoughts and ideas?
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Elin Hörner
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This is our cows barn. We use small wood chips for bedding since last summer, it works really well. We clean out the manure once or twice a day (not to hard work because they stay outside a lot) and the bed keeps dry, semisoft and comfortable.
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Elin Hörner
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This is our milking parlour. It is a step up parlour with room for four cows at a time. We milk from behind.
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Elin Hörner
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I hope someone wants to share with me With all the best wishes to you! //Elin
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pollinator
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Location: Portland, OR
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Hi Elin,

Welcome to permies!

You will find lots of info here, and many nice people to learn from and share with.

I am in Western Oregon, US. It’s a beautiful spring here, and we truly enjoy it.

What breed of cows are yours?

We have 3 dairy cows, two Guernseys and one cross, and we absolutely love them.

 
Elin Hörner
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Hi Liv and thankyou!
I had to google Guernseys, never heard about them before. They look a lot like my girls I have swedish red (or "svensk röd boskap") and jersey. They all have their own personalities and they are lovely <3 I hope to find a nice bull for them this summer, hopefully a "fjällko".
Do you make something from the milk? Our plan was to sell the milk to the "big" dairy in northern sweden for a couple of years and then start a small farmdairy at home but probably we will have to do so much sooner. But it is a long, complicated and expensive progress so I´m searching now for a place that is already in use that I may rent 2 days a week.
The spring has finally arrived here aswell, the sun is shining, we have about 20 degrees C, the midnight sun is here and the snow is all gone:)    
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