Sunday, 17 February 2019

A Tantalising Glimpse Of Spring

Sunday 10th Feb
Alpaca Janine had her injections for her poorly leg, pleased to say she is now all better, a good reason to be checking livestock twice a day, spotting problems early and getting on top of them.
In the afternoon  we took Tess for walk around Keepers in the forest
 She had a great time sniffing and exploring everything, she couldn't manage the steps to the bridges
 Martin had to give her a helping hand to get to the other side.
It was a challenging for our oldie, up and down hills
 Every now and then he had to have a rest and a cat nap but she managed the whole circular walk, slept like a baby when we got back.
Monday 11th Feb
We were working with some of the pork we got back from our pigs,
 mincing and seasoning
 and made up a lovely batch of pork chili burgers.
 The skins were salted and into the oven for pork crackling a snack Martin enjoys.

 Also a lovely joint of pork roasted for dinner.
Tuesday 12th Feb
Preparations were on the way for lambing
 Our little herd will be lambing outside, so a shelter has been put together using pallets in the paddock near the house were we will move them to.
Another pork session took place
 we made up some lovely looking salami using a pork and buffalo mix.
also some sausage rolls and pasties to go in the freezer.
Wed 13th Feb
It was a day out for me, there is a little group of now 7 crafting sewers who meet up once a month taking turn about hosting and we have a go at new to some a small project, pop over to my craft blog to see what we were doing this month. My Craft Blog
Thursday 14th Feb
For some its valentines day but we don't bother with any of that now, been together far too long. It was a fantastic sunny spring like day, I was up in the woodland field

 I had another batch of young trees to get planted up
 I also cleared a load mole hills. Don't need big tufted mounds when I am scything up there.
 In the poly tunnel, I was getting more things on the go, peas and some broad beans.
Friday 15th Feb
Another glorious sunny day basking in 17c
I gave Martin a hand in the afternoon to put a new haylage bale into the buffalo boys.
 the boys did there bit to help as well
 It was my job to keep them away so Martin could get the bale unwrapped and in the ring.
 a short video of the boys getting excited.
Saturday 16th Feb
Martin went on the lambing course learned hands on about presentations castration tube feeding etc, they use dead lambs to practice on that are donated by local farmers.
We discovered the ducks had made a start laying
 They had made a nest and our first four eggs were there, another few weeks and we will set some in the incubator.
The Chickens are in full lay as well so there is lots of eggs on the menu.
 The Coriander and Basil seeds are coming up great under the grow lights, I have a growing area set up in the spare bedroom, two heated propagators and two lots of grow lights.
 this handsome fella is also up there, its a young pineapple plant I bought in.
Clearing some space in the freezer I dehydrated a bag of chopped onions 
 They were then ground down into a powder
  ready to add spoonfuls to whatever is being cooked, 24 onions in that jar. I am going to go through my jars of dehydrated stuff and get a lot of them ground down. Takes up less space and easy to add to casseroles soups etc.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Pickling and Preserving.

Sunday 3rd Feb 

The Alpacas were due there Vit D injections, a two man job, one holds them and the other has to stick the needle in, it is usually e on the needle end, Alpacas have very thick skin and a few times we have had an Alpaca break free from grip and bounce around the pen with a syringe sticking in there bottom, anyway job got done without any accidents.
 I made a big chicken turkey and ham pie for dinner, it was divided up into 9 portions so a few extra meals put away in the freezer.
Monday 4th Feb
 I made a start with some seed sowing, I treated myself to a new heated propagator back in January, my old one works but is not efficient and it used to belong to my dad, the lid is going opaque and not letting in enough light.
 A start was made on emptying the compost bin
into the raised beds along side the poly tunnel.
Tuesday 5th Feb.
Martin went away to work today, Tess and me had a tip out
The goat and sheep skins we had prepared and salted had to go to the Organic Tannery the other side of town.
 Carol who runs it with her husband, showed me around and explained the whole processes
 The skins are soaked in these big pickling baths about 5 to a bath, the main ingredient used for organic tanning is Mimosa.
 The whole processes with the pickling, washing, drying stretching and combing takes about 5 weeks
 The goat skins a little less, they have a lead time of about 16 weeks so it will be a while before ours are back.
Wed 6th Feb
After the animal rounds I met up with a crafty friend in Swansea for coffee I had a few bits I had pre-ordered and needed to pick up,
 I had bought a box of clementines for  £1 and in the evening sat and peeled prepped and sliced them before getting them in the dehydrator over night.
Half the slices I kept whole for snacking on adding to baking etc, the other half I ground down into powder that can be sprinkled on yogurt, porridge etc.
Thursday 7th Feb
After doing feeds etc I spent the day down the cabin, working on something new, you will have to pop onto my craft blog to see what.
When I did the late afternoon feed rounds, Alpaca Janine was limping badly, well more hobbling around on three legs and the other she wasn't weight bearing on, I gave the vet a call, he checked her leg it didn't look like any breaks but the joint above the foot felt hot and swollen, a few injections given and more injections left for me to administrate in a couple of days.
 Friday 8th Feb
Martin is back, today was the day we collected he two porkers from the butcher
 Such a lot of meat from two pigs,
we are very pleased with it and not too much fat, some of this meat is being sold the reason why we had it done by the butcher.
The third pig has gone to bacon gammon's and sausages  and will be collected in a couple of weeks.
Saturday 9th
Another day of crafting for me along with clearing out junk from the storage unit, 
We had another delivery of shale, we have had many over the past month that we have used in gateways and were tracks are becoming muddied and waterlogged, this load was earmarked for filling in the pot holes along the drive.
Another job ticked off the list. 




Monday, 4 February 2019

It Came It Went It Came Again

Well all the weather forecasts were wrong we got snow when they said we wouldn't and when we were all prepared for the big snowfall last week we had a dusting,  it was a couple of weeks snow then sun snow then sun.
Lets hope that's it for this winter and the march towards spring can continue without any setbacks.
 The Buffalo's don't really like the snow. 
I have been harvesting the trial sugar beet I set, 
it was grown with the livestock in mind.
The roots are chopped up
 The leaves are taken off and fed to the goats
 The roots are then put through a root chopper
Grated up and fed to the buffalo to supplement there feeds.
This year I am going to put a larger area over to root crops for the livestock.

 Something else being harvested from the aquaponics bed is watercress, which is primarily what I wanted to grow.
It makes a lovely soup.
Those pesky pigs we had went off to slaughter last week.
I was glad to see the back of them, one in particular was a trouble maker and constantly broke out, they have cleared the are for the next lot of willow to be planted, and I am looking forward to having some pork in the freezer, we are letting the butcher do them this time as we wan to sell some of the meat, one is going on for bacon and sausages.

Saturday after doing a stall at the village market, I took Tess with me a Bird box making  workshop down in the forest, it was only £5 and I was really happy with the bird box I made.
Tess was very nervous, lots of strangers and in a strange place without her guide Sol, we need to take her out more so she is more accepting of strange places. She has really come into her own since Sol's passing we have got our names down for another dog, I am also keeping an eye on the rescue sites. 
Its just a case of waiting until the right one comes along. 


Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Its Spring Again

It certainly feels like spring, 
warm sunny days in January
warm enough to outside without a jacket.
We had a Billy on hire, he spent about 5 weeks with us, 
Sunday was time to return him, he was of a lovely temperament 
lets hope he throws us some nice kids with his temperament
 The poly tunnel has been having its winter clean up,
just the outside to wash down now.
 I have been setting some horseradish roots and split a parsley
 and moving some of the plants around.
 The last of the heritage potatoes have been taken up
there is still some everyday white potatoes to take up.
 We are down to the last of the fresh tomatoes now, 
really impressed its January an we are still eating fresh tomatoes, these were called Nepal another heritage one, you can pick them green and store them until the end of the season.
 Up at Sols final resting place, I ave been planting some Hyacinth bulbs for a bit of spring colour.
He is buried next to Kara. 
A lovely spot in our woodland field that gets the sun most of the day.
Thank you every one for your comments they were appreciated.