Thursday, 19 October 2017

Goose Obsesssion

Tom one of the ganders has an obsession
It might even be goose love 
 He has fallen head of heels in love with the pink wheelbarrow, he follows the wheelbarrow everywhere 
even when you know he hasn't seen you and he is down the other end of the field and you move that wheelbarrow out of sight he will find it.
 today Tom was most upset when the wheelbarrow was turned over and the wheel taken off, it had a puncture
 while it was upturned he stood guard over his friend, give gentle little pecks as if to encourage it to hang in there.
 he doesn't like his friend being upturned and out of action. 
Hang in there Tom, Pinky will be better soon.
The other two Jerry and Gertie have no interest in Pinky and not at all concerned when Tom disappears to be by Pinky's side.

Another bit of news Thomson and Morgan contacted me earlier in the week asking if they can use my blog as part of there 9 Wonderful Welsh Garden Blogger Article, of course I said yes, 
you can read the article here on there blog 9 Wonderful Welsh Garden Blogs

Friday, 13 October 2017

Its All Change In A Few Days

Harvests are still coming and something has to be done with them, I purposely didn't grow some things this year as I had plenty still from the previous year.
 The last of the Bramleys from the old tree in the garden have been turned into apple sauce
 I portioned it up for freezing, once frozen I took it out of the silicon cases and popped them into a bag, Martin is the only one who eats apple sauce I dislike cooked apples, now when we are having pork I can just take a portion out for him.
Tomatoes are still being harvested, roughly 6-7lb a couple of times a week, this lot are destined to be canned.
 Mushrooms are still popping up in the poly tunnels and they get added to dinners or mushroom on toast for breakfast, they certainly like growing in the poly tunnel, next year I am going to set up some mushroom beds in one of the poly tunnels.
 My father in law brought me some of the tomatillos he grew added to some of our tomatoes red onion garlic pepper piquant pepper from the freezer and some coriander
we had a lovely salsa. I didn't have enough fresh coriander as I was out I popped into Thomas and picked up a bunch for £1 also got a couple of pineapples for a £1
they got put in the dehydrator
I do like to nibble on them.
 Martin has got the last of the roof panels onto the workshop barn.
 and made  start on the dividing wall, this is workshop side
 this will be the wood store side, with a mezzanine floor giving a place to store vegetables so they will be close to the house. There will be proper stairs going up no ladders for me, thank you.
 New gates we now have proper opening on closing gates, all the old rusty ones that were just filling a gap and not usable as a gate have been changed, this one leads over to the Alpaca field on the new land
 The fencers have been busy another line of fencing complete, this one divides the sloped field from the Alpacas field, the other side separating them from the hay field was done a few months ago.
The brush is still being chipped, the hay field and sloped field have been cleared, just the Alpaca field to clear then we can start on the dividing hedges and the back fields.
Its all coming together 😀




Monday, 9 October 2017

Moving Homes

The past few weeks we have had an influx of family visitors,
It dosen't take much to throw you out of your routine.
Martin's parents were over staying with us from France, there was lots of trips taking them out and about to see the beautiful area we live in. 
Martin's mum got stuck into brushing out some lamb skins that we had tanned 
 she did a grand job
and chose one to take home with her, they come out lovely and once trimmed up they were ready for the guest room.

 Martin has got himself another tractor, it is bigger than his other one, as he has been buying lots of attachments he needed something with a bit more power, once unloaded the forks were put on and it was put to work
we needed a bigger house for the geese, now the first lot of table chickens are in the freezer we have used there house for the geese
of which we now have three, Gertie has joined Tom and Jerry, they spend the day roaming around the field at night they are shut in there secure house in a secure pen. I hope next year we will will have goose eggs and fingers crossed they will raise a nice little family to increase there numbers, they are Chinese crested geese.
 The younger second batch of meat birds are now free ranging in one of the paddocks clearing up bugs and slugs these Ross Cobbs like slugs, they have also moved into bigger accommodation, the old Alpaca field shelter in the background has been re roofed and the front has been closed in with a door and and pop hole, Martin got it done with the help of his dad.
The Billy kids have now been weaned from there mums they have moved into there own paddock with there own bachelor pad.
 Another field shelter that Martin adapted to a goat house.
 The boat has returned home after being re-tubed and serviced its now all ready to hit the waves.
 Another acquisition for Martin a transporter trailer, its just as well we have space to store all these boy toys.
This weeks project, Martin is re-roofing this barn with new box panels, the old leaky corrugated sheeting is coming off, half of the barn has had a concrete floor put in and will become Martins workshop the rest of the barn is being given over to a wood store and veg store. 
We need it weather tight before winter sets in, the roof will be finished today next job is wood cladding on the outside, as it is near the house it needs to look tidy.
I wont leave it so long for my next blog post everything is now getting back to normal.👍  



Sunday, 24 September 2017

A Week End On The Ranch

It has been a busy week end, as summer comes to a close and we roll into Autumn it time to start making preparations for winter.
Martin bought me a new bit of equipment
My very own chain saw, best of all its battery operated, with a 2 hour run time, we have several petrol chainsaws but I cant start them with the pull start, my wrists just cant do it, I have to resort to using a hand saw when collect branches for the goats or need to cut other things up, but hand saws also give me joint issues, this is just perfect for me, Martin gave me a lesson on using it and we gave it a good try out I took down my first tree, Martin was impressed with it as well, not a toy by any means.
This week end we aimed to reduced chicken numbers, our hatchings this year gave us 3 more cockerels, they are surplus to requirement and have now been dispatched, we keep to cockerels running with the girls to give us fertile eggs, the 3 dispatched have been double bagged and gone into the freezer whole they will be used in the fox trap over winter.
There was also a hen that was not pulling her weight she has been broody through the whole of summer damages eggs by gathering them up so she joined the cockerels in the freezer. This may sound harsh but we cant keep free loaders especially one that causes problems.
Its also time for the meat birds to go in the freezer
at 20 weeks they have reached there maximum growth, they are coming in between 6lb and 9lb the bigger ones are getting jointed up, they have so much meat on them, free ranging has paid off, we have 6 for the freezer the next batch are only 8 weeks so they still have some growing to do. 
Tomatoes are still being harvested 
 Primmabella salad tomato
 Nepal beefeater
 Amish plum tomato
I brought in another 6lb yesterday and there is still more ripening
 4lb of them got roasted
 and turned into tomato puree.
Cucumbers are still being harvested
 These got made into two big jars of refrigerator pickle.
 The goats are still giving plenty of milk 
I used 1 gallon this morning to make some Mozzarella
 I do find it fairly easy to do now
 This produced a 1lb 2oz cheese, I have now found a recipe for a hard cheese done with goats milks, Martin has been given the task of making me a press then I can give it a go.
While in the kitchen this morning I made up some Ranch Style Beans 
we had some on toast for lunch, really spicy, there is some left and they will be used in a chili con carne next time we have one.
This just about sums up our week end how was yours ?




Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Let There Be Light

We have had a busy time with visitors, all gone now until next week when Martin's parents arrive for a visit.
This last lot were a group of friends that Martin knew from school days and I have know for about 30 years 

 we had a couple of trips to the beach giving Martin and his mate to try out some diving equipment
 They were doing a walk in off the beach.
The same friend happens to be an electrician and during his visit fitted up electric in the goat shed
Just in time for winter coming with dark mornings and short daylight hours we now have lots of light to help us with the milking, foot trimming and come kidding time.
also for the running of the milking machine and pressure washer for when we clean them out.
No more extension leads and all out of reach of the goats.
The poly tunnels are still doing well
 The two oranges trees have a good crop of fruit
 The tomatoes are still doing there stuff and have lots of fruit
 Considering they started showing signs of blight they have bounced back really well.
 I have been getting spaces planted up with endive and chicory
 Chinese cabbage and winter salad leaves under the tomatoes
 Beans are now flowering this is the third sowing of cannelloni beans and borlotti  beans
 outside and empty bed has been planted with turnips more chicory and winter radish.
Figs have been ripening up I am the only on who eats them so I have been eating them as they are ready although I have found some have been going missing, caught the culprit read handed, Tess has taken a likening to them as well and has cleared the lower branches.
end of last week we got a lovely salmon, it was cut up and put in brine and then hot smoked, once it was done it was vac packed and into the freezer for future meals, the smell was fantastic and the taste, this lot was smoked with whisky oak chips.
We have a busy week end coming up will update you as we go along.

Alpaca update the twins didn't make it sadly.