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Luise Carr

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since Mar 30, 2012
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Recent posts by Luise Carr

We’re a multinational family with two kids who moved to rural Småland in Sweden almost two years ago. This area of Sweden is still very old-fashioned and natural due to a huge emigration wave in the 1800s and some people call it the area “where time stands still”. Nevertheless there are many opportunities for creative people and there are a bunch of alternative-minded families (including us) who want to make this place a future paradise.

We have a neighbour here who has a good-sized farm and used to grow vegetables for the local population, but unfortunately he decided to move for various reasons and we’re sad to see him (prepare to) go. We’re sure there is a market here for growing eco veg (maybe not to the locals because they mostly grow their own, but there are quite a lot of restaurants and big kitchens in a 1h radius) and there is definitely possibility to make a living if one has several income sources and a creative approach.

So, basically I’m writing this to find some interested permies, ideally a family with kids, who are not daunted by country living (think: no pubs, cinema and parties within a 30 min driving radius), but like to farm (maybe in combination with off-farm work), do work-sharing with the neighbours and like some social life. Someone who would either buy the farm or possibly co-buy it with another family? Someone who has realistic ideas of what it means to work for a living and isn’t scared to find out more about a different culture (because rural Sweden really is its own culture).
Interested? Questions? Tell me about yourself or let me know what else I can tell you!

3 years ago
Hej Markus, great little house! I have a question about tiny houses in Sweden. I know in England you don't need planning/building permission if your house is on wheels or not a permanent structure. Is there a similar law in Sweden? Can I just buy a tomt, put a house on wheels on it and call it my residence or does the land have to be registered building land? How hard/easy is it to get building permission for a tiny house or a house on wheels? Takk så mycket!
5 years ago
Hello everyone!
I've had a lucky strike end of last year and managed to lease an apartment that came with a hectare of land and a few greenhouses. Jealous, yet?
It's very run down, we will have to do a lot of renovations and the budget is small, so we're looking for clever solutions.
We're currently using one of the greenhouses and while it heats up beautifully when it's sunny, it stays pretty chilly in cloudy weather and doesn't retain the heat very much during the night. A waterbutt to store heat will eventually come. In December we tried to heat up the greenhouse by putting a huge compost pile of free woodchips in there. The pile heated up nicely and at least kept the greenhouse from getting frost inside. However, it also brought a lot of moisture and a lot of plants suddenly showed signs of mildew.
We weren't sure if the little heat the pile brought balanced out the downside of getting so much moisture in, and eventually just left the pile be to cool down again.
It did, the plants recovered and since we're having a very mild winter, I didn't think about it again.
The other day the Permaculture magazine arrived and I read an article about someone heating their greenhouse with a compost pile and even using the pile as a hotbed. I was very happy that it apparently worked for that person, but I didn't find any clue as to how.
Does anybody know how to heat a greenhouse with a compost pile without having your plants die from mildew? Does it depend on what I'm composting? Please help!
6 years ago
I'm also using those sawdust pellets, but I have noticed that you can avoid buying them at a very high price at a pet store, if you just buy the very same pellets from a hardware store labelled sawdust pellets for woodstoves. It's the same thing, but maybe a quarter the price and at least in fall/winter you can get them in any hardware store here in Germany.
If you're worried about getting too much "bad stuff" in your compost from your kitty poo, try running the compost through a cycle of mushroom growing first (don't eat the mushrooms), after that it should be fine.
8 years ago
I have had trouble with my peas this year...
I read in Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living (which I highly recommend!!) that she plants her peas as early as February when there's still frost and snow and then they just lie in the soil and wait until it warms up to pop out with a headstart. I tried that last year and it failed, but I figured it was the fierce late frosts that did them in. This year I tried again. Nothing happened. I dug some up and they seem to just have rotted and fallen apart. Does that mean that I misunderstood Carla and peas, like beans, rot unless the ground is the minimum germination temperature (which is 6 degrees Celsius for peas if I remember correctly)? Or did something else mess with them? Because... after the ground was definitely warm enough (I checked with a temperature and it was 11 degrees C), I planted them all again and after a few weeks when only 10% were showing even though it had been very warm, I again dug some up and many had little holes (tiny worm sized ones) in them or the root had been bitten off. So here I suspect interference but could that creature also be responsible for my pre-spring losses?
I hope somebody can enlighten me!
Thanks a lot!
8 years ago