21. February 2020

Oak Hill Cottage Garden - November 2019

Lots of things happened at Oak Hill Cottage Garden in November. I made sausages, buried bokashi and most importantly: fixed up the root cellar!

The first snow came in November, and I finally got to experience every season here at Oak Hill Cottage Garden! And now it was time to take a better look at the root cellar.


I noticed that I haven't actually been telling you that much about the house itself, and what I want to do inside. For example, I really want to get some cozy lamps for my windows. The only problem is the electricity in the house. I think I might risk a power outage with all my tech plus a few new lamps.

The electrician in the village was supposed to come here and fix the power already in spring, but I thought it would be better to wait for the new wallpaper first. And I still haven't done it, so I guess I have to do without the cozy lamps in my window for now.

I still want to make this place nice though, so November seemed like the perfect month to fix some other important things here. One of the first things I fell for in the house was the root cellar. We don't have one, or a regular cellar either for that matter, at home so this feels like an absolute treasure. Even despite the many spiders crawling around here!



One of the many great things about Oak Hill, is that I can experiment and try new things that are difficult to do at home. My home life can of course be a bit hectic at times! So, I tried doing a few bokashi composting projects, made vermicompost indoors and even got to try growing some new vegetables in pots here at Oak Hill instead. So fun!

I was also able to outsource some things that I don't have the space to grow at home while renovating. For example growing all the basil we need in the cottage. I use the basil for salads, pesto, on top of my sandwiches and I also put it in my warm food.



November was quite a hectic month for me. I got loads done! I buried bokashi, cleaned my root cellar, made sausages, prepared the hallway walls for the new wall paper, had several meetings in my cute little kitchen and spent many nights here editing my vlogs.

And here are a few pictures of what it all looked like:


It might not look like much, but this is a hallelujah moment for me! I'm digging a hole in one of my new beds, where I'm going to bury some bokashi. The old grass sod on top is decomposing and I found some nice soil with large earthworms underneath.


I don't want to dig too much, I would rather just let the soil develop on its own. But using bokashi really pays off, so I decided to make an exception.


Napa cabbage is actually quite hardy. The only problem is that the plants can get a bit mushy if they freeze and thaw many times over. I made salad with this beautiful cabbage head for my friends and former colleagues Caroline and Lotti. They loved the taste and the color was especially fitting, since we used to call ourselves the raspberry friends when were working together.


I harvested all of the broccoli in my garden! It actually made it until November, but it's starting to get some frost damage now because of the cold.


I'm growing things indoors too. Here I have lettuce, arugula and scallions I decided to move inside, but my lettuce got aphids in December and withered away shortly after.


These ugly little fruits are actually great! I noticed the large japonica bush outside the kitchen window already the first time I came to look at the cottage in February 2019. The previous owner thought this was a crabapple. I didn't get enough of them to make jam, but I left the fruits in the kitchen for their beautiful scent.


This is the vermicompost I made in November. It was so much fun! I even got some special furniture for the compost, which is in the kitchen now. It took a while to create a perfectly balanced mix of compost where the earthworms could thrive. Some of them fell down on the floor though.


I almost feel the need to apologize for how boring November looks here in Sweden! Here, I planted plenty of strawberries right on the edge of two beds and I'm making a hole to put more bokashi compost in the bed. I can't believe that I can dig so easily now!


My first setback in the garden. I forgot to cover the area and an animal must have gotten to the bokashi, garlic and strawberries here. So annoying!


Me and Friederike got into the Christmas spirit by making sausages a late November night. We used my mother's recipe from 1992 and were very happy with the result!


20 lbs (around 10 kilos) of meat, and 7 lbs (3 kilos) of potatoes are some of the ingredients. Next year, I want to grow more of the spices and do a few different recipes. So fun!


I'm not really a prepper yet, as you can see here. But I'm still happy with what I managed to store here in my root cellar at Oak Hill so far! I'm just going to fasten the paper on the shelves of the root cellar.


November is grey, but the house still looks so beautiful here on the hill. I look forward to finding some new plants that look good in winter too! Verbena is a lovely summer flower that you can grow together with your vegetables.


The church and the oak tree. I think that the path trough the village used to cross the hill. But when they built a new church, they made a new road and my house had to move further up the hill. Back then, the cottage was a lot smaller though. They have a light display outside the church all year round, until 1 in the morning.


30th November, and I'm making gingerbread cookies. The kids are playing in the snow though. It's so lovely. It's dark outside but the streetlights light the garden too. My older children made a fire, and we are having hotdogs tonight.


This is what the place looks like at night. The yellow light comes from the streetlight right outside the use. I sleep really well in this cottage, such good vibes here!


I'm getting the clothes and shoes dry for tomorrow. This stove doesn't get too hot on top, which means that I can dry the shoes here. Very convenient!


Did you know that I love hibiscus flowers? I have even collected them at times. I have three favorite flowers, all of them come from my grandmother Margit's old plant. It's been a part of the family since my mother was a child. It's amazing! I moved one of the hibiscus flowers to Oak Hill, and it thrives here in the bokashi-enriched soil.


I'm going to post new videos from Oak Hill Cottage Garden every week on my YouTube channel. Don't forget to subscribe and hit the notification bell so that you don't miss any new videos!

And of course, you can continue to read more about Oak Hill Cottage on the blog too. I hope you are excited about this project! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

/Sara Bäckmo

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