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.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Goodbye Sol

New Years Eve we said our goodbyes to Sol
My big black bear crossed rainbow bridge
it was a toughie 
Over the week end he rapidly deteriorated
 It was time to our final goodbye.
 Sol was a true gentleman my constant companion
 and companion to Tess
 He loved life and the great outdoors
 a gentle undemanding boy
 whatever we were doing he was there with us
 he taught Tess well and she is lost without him.
 My boy who loved adventure and was ready for anything.
 You have left a big empty space in our lives and in our hearts
Run free and be at peace.


Saturday, 29 December 2018

A Bit of Field Work

 A bit of field maintenance work has been needed in the Alpaca area.
First all broken branches needed clearing
 There were branches that were broken off in storms
And branches that were damaged but still attached,
 all branches and trees need to be made safe,
so we don’t end up with damaged fences or get injured ourselves with fallen branches
then its on to the poo picking, 
it all gets loaded into the muck spreader
The chains are next, to loosen up the moss and loosen up the surface then the new spring grass will be off to a flying start.

I had a lesson on using the muck spreader today.
We are spreading the muck on the field we hope to cut for hay this coming year.
That big 74lb pumpkin I grew this year was enjoyed by the pigs,
it didnt take long for them to demolish it.
 Tess enjoyed Christmas day on the beach
 As did Sol, we expect this to be his last Christmas,
Sol is having health issues and the outcome is not good.
 In the meantime life goes on
 and the two of them enjoy each others company and enjoy trips out.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

It All Went Well

We have just gone through our first TB tests

 We had the pens set up and a plan in place, the Buffalo were brought in the night before, everything was set up ready for the vet to come. The mama's have gone through this before and familiar with the crush, the vet has never TB tested Buffalo before but has come up several times and met them. 
All went well, that was until we got to the calves who are a lot smaller and they needed there ear tags going in.
Percy decided he didnt like it and manged to turn himself around well sort of fold himself in half really and got jammed.
There was a lot of pushing a shoving to get him round the right way and through the gate at the end, all this time the mamas were getting concerned at the other end, you dont want to be confronting and over protective mama who things you are doing harm to her calf. 
We got the process done and ear tags went in, of course a few days later we had to put them through the crush again so they could be checked, this time none of them want to go through, Martin Vet and me were trying to herd these big beasts through the crush who had other ideas, we managed and all was good we passed the tests. 
Thank goodness we dont have to repeat it for another year.
We also had worming on the agenda, we dropped poo samples into the vets to do some Fecal Egg Counts, Alpaca were clear and Buffalo were clear, sheep and goats needed worming and we needed to raddle the ram, he is a fine looking fella but he has an attitude problem.
Martin had a bad confrontation with him the other week and his leg is all the colours of the rainbow.  

 Raddle is on with a yellow block, the idea is when he mounts the ladies he will leave a yellow smudge on there rumps, once we know he has done his job he is going in the freezer and his fleece which is super curly is going off to be tanned.
 We are now harvesting the third lot of potatoes this year, the name escapes me of these but they are yummy and fairly special.
 A lovely red colour through and through and they retain the colour through cooking, doing succesional planting of potatoes through the year has worked out well, we have one more bed of them in the poly tunnel which should be ready end of the year.
 First of the sprouts harvested and it looks like we are having a fab harvest of them this year.
 am going to wind up with a video of the Turkeys, during the day they free range, late afternoon they are brought back in.
These Turkeys this year are looking really good.
So its time to get your Christmas orders in.


Friday, 19 October 2018

In Stickle Tarn Kitchen

With all the harvesting there has been a lot going on in the kitchen,
 I came across a recipe for Dream Cheese, using clabbered milk, which basically is raw fresh milk left to curdle and seperate
 you then drain off all the whey mix in a bit of salt and leave it to drain again
 then its rolled into cheesy balls coated with a mix of dried herbs and then covered with olive oil. Ready for eating a couple of weeks later. All very easy and straight forward.
 As milking is still in full swing yogurt has been a staple in the kitchen. We always use the last pot as a started for the next batch.
 Its the time of year to get Sloe Gin on the go, its been a good year for sloes.
 The last of the courgettes were turned into courgette marmalade, which is surprisingly very tasty and has no resemblance to courgette at all.
 Wild Mushrooms have been in abundance this year, they have been dehydrated

 and canned for future meals.

 We have harvested some great red cabbages, as well as having braised red cabbage
some also got pickled

 The tomato harvest has been fantastic with over 100lb of tomatoes harvested, I have canned a basic tomato sauce, a spicy tomato sauce, a tomato based BBQ sauce, 
Tomatoes are still ripening  next on the list is some tomato base soups.
Apart from the foul weather last week end when our area was battered and soaked and flooded by storm Callum we are still enjoying  some fantastic weather.
There is still plenty more to harvest and put away for us to enjoy during the colder months.