Thursday, 22 June 2017

The Missing Week

Thought I better get a new post done before people thought I had dropped off the face of the earth.
Its been a busy week and a very hot week
The asparagus bed was weeded  we have finished picking it now time for it to rest and rejuvenate.
 and mulched with the soiled bedding from the goats
 had to make a batch of peanut butter as I ran out
 with the last picking of asparagus I made up a quiche for when Louise came over for a visit,
 the hot spell we had saw me seeking shade and doing things that were less taxing
 like carding up alpaca fleece while listening to an audio book
 and clearing this border early morning before the heat builds up
 doing a little each day I have slowly made my way down half of it.
 Still harvesting lots of goodies, 
the pak choi is fantastic this year

 I have been getting hanging baskets done
 and window boxes,
 I have always wanted to plant up some window boxes.
 today we turned our attention to the orchard area, is was badly in need of a cut
 I cut around the fruit trees with shears so Martin could work with the strimmer without snagging the trees accidentally 
 now it is under control again we can see the trees
 the paddocks have all been topped as well.
 the fruit cage is now all finished with a nice mat of wood chip and the paths around the veg beds
 that just about sums up the week I didn't post, lots of jobs we are now on top of, it is making a big difference having Martin home more. I have also been getting some sewing done I will update my craft blog in a few days.
I hope you have all been enjoying the good weather 🌞🌞🌞

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Working On Winter Feeding.

Things are just rolling along like they do at this time of year
The little Ross Cobb table birds have moved into there new home and foster mum has re-joined the flock 
 They are not so little anymore, but I am keeping on top of there feeding so they don't grow too fast and go off there legs.
The teenage egg layers have also joined the main flock.

 I have made a start getting wood chip down on the pathways around the raised beds
 It is very heavy work and difficult to move those dumpy bags full of wood chip.
 I finished getting membrane down in the fruit cage and managed to get another load of wood chip down
 one more bag should finish the fruit cage, there is one sitting not far from the door that big blue one in the photo, I might manage to get it emptied today but I have a couple of things on toady's agenda 

 A bit of experimental growing is taking place
 with sugar beet, a little late in the season, the packet says late spring early summer so I hope they will still come on, I don't even know if they will grow here, I have never grown them before
 I set three long rows in the feed growing area, I want to use them for animal feed if they grow.
Now there has been a disaster in animal feed area, the pumpkins and squash I planted got battered and broken by the high wind and heavy downpours we had just after I planted the out.
There is one lonely squash tying to grow, all is not lost, I have found a local nursery who has some plants and they are sending them out to me, I so want to grow a field of pumpkins.

 On the animal feed front
 I have been harvesting nettles and laying them out to dry, the plan is to chop them up and add them to the goat feed over winter, I plan to keep collecting nettles to get as many as possible.

I did get a bit of baking done when it was too hot to be outside.
 A couple of sticky Malt loaves.
I have a bit more baking on the list for today.

I have to make an apology, 
I seem to missing out on a lot of new blog posts from those I follow, I am going to set up for email following then new posts will pop into my emails, they seem to fall off the page on the blogger reading list and I then miss them.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

A Success After Failure

I had a big success this week, 
something I have tried a few times and failed 
 Butter not just any butter which I have made many times, this butter is made from our own goats milk 😁goat milk butter is white rather than yellow it took 1 pint of cream that was collected over a few days.
Martin was putting the finishing touches to a chicken house and run
 for the Ross Cobb table birds.
I have been trimming back the grape vine and thinning out the bunches
 I have reduced the vine down to 20 bunches, I might reduce them down further, its about quality rather than quantity and reducing the bunches means bigger and juicer grapes.
The peas in the poly tunnel are cropping well
 another harvest for tonight's dinner has brought this seasons harvest up to 1kg so far and there is plenty more to come yet.

Can you see what I see
 Mama dove is on top of the dovecot, daddy dove is on the house roof and if you look you can see 2 young doves who are almost ready to fledge, The doves have had a hard time with the buzzard this adult pair keep trying to raise young last time they were successful in raising one that fledged and was finding it wings when the buzzard stuck and it was RIP baby dove.
I am hoping there is plenty of other food around for the buzzard and he leaves these alone to become adults.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Casualties From The Wind

This week we have had downpours of heavy rain a big gusts of wind, all was not lost even though there was casualty
The day after the high winds I went round and collected these

 The Alliums on there tall stems were flattened, still I can enjoy them indoors.
The wet weather has kept me indoors, except for normal chores
The other day I used some of the goat milk glut for fudge
 Chocolate and Pecan, very tasty.
The poly tunnel is producing
 Time for peas, I love fresh peas, we cant grow enough of them, this is the second picking with loads more to come.
I bought myself one of these
A salad cutter,
easy to use, pop your salad bits in and cut through the slots, turn it 90 degrees and cut again and you have a nice chopped salad, its ideal for up to 2 portions it wont do a family salad.
Perfect for doing  a quick salad for my lunch.
I am looking forward to a break in the weather as I have things to get on with.


Monday, 5 June 2017

No One Else To Blame Or Is There

 Sol is feeling really sorry for himself, but its his own fault, or is Tess to Blame 
Since losing all this weight 11kg now, Tess can get into places she should be, a favourite place she has discovered is the chicken house and steals the odd egg
A few days I caught both dogs in the chicken house having a party eating eggs, they were both given a stern talking too, Sol has never ventured into the chicken house before so Tess has taught him this, 
The next day I could see Sol's tail wagging outside the pop hole, I opened the big door and there he was on his own he had eaten half a bucket of chicken feed, a few hours later after drinking water his belly swelled and swelled he was bloated uncomfortable and feeling sorry for himself, a few days on he is starting to recover having only boiled rice and chicken to eat, the vet said it just have to work itself through.
To prevent any future raids
 Martin has fashioned a pop hole door to there run that the dogs cant get through, the chickens free range we just open the run door for them, the pop hole on the chicken house was originally made to accommodate the Turkeys and is larger than normal. 

The area that Martin was cultivating the other day I have made a start planting up with surplus veg plants, this will be food for the goats, I would like to try and grow as much as there food as possible.
 I popped out to a local nursery yesterday, I was after a clematis to be planted in front of the cabin and train to grow over it, they had a big crate outside filled with seed trays and a big sign 
Please Help Yourself.
So I did, I left plenty for other people I thought a few friends would like some too, Louise from Living The Good Life In Wales  is visiting in a few weeks and I have some for her.
 Martin got the Rayburn Chimney cleaned out over the week end,
It is now burning lovely again, we no longer pay the chimney sweep to come out saving £150 a year
Harvests are starting to come in, lettuce radish sweet white onions, asparagus is still producing, new potatoes and I did pick the first of the peas.
 I made us some mackerel fish cakes to have with salad

 The spare ones were open froze on trays then into a container for future meals. The fishcakes were lovely with sweet chili sauce.
 Yesterday morning the three goats were milked we collected 8 pints,
I do expect this will drop in a few days as they adjust to not feeding the kids over night.
That's it for our week end news a wet day today, think most of my day will be in kitchen using up the milk glut.

Saturday, 3 June 2017

At Last He Is Here

Thursday Martin came home with all his luggage, he is now home, well most of the time, he still has to make trips back every few weeks for a couple of days, but he is home with me at last.
He brought a new toy home with him
 A cultivator to go on the tractor
 He has been trying it out this afternoon on the area the pigs were in the ground was like concrete now it is all crumbly and ready to plant into.

Today is a big day for the goats
 The kids are ready to be be weaned over night, the goat house has been partitioned off, kids one side
 mums on the other, tomorrow morning we will start milking Thelma and Connie along with Helen, I am sure the mums will be relived to have the nights to themselves with no boisterous kids jumping all over them.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

A Pumpkin Patch

I really want to grow some pumpkins, I haven't bothered before in the raised beds as they take up so much space.
Now the pigs have gone we have a lovely space of cleared ground
 My plan for this area is to grow some food for the goats over winter, part of the area I thought would be good for pumpkins they will have plenty of place to sprawl.
  I thought I would try a no dig method, I have been reading a bit about it and makes a lot of sense, but different to how I have gardened before, the pigs have already turned and cleared the ground, one of the compost bins was ready to be emptied, it was mounded up over the area
 and covered in membrane creating two ridges to plant into. This also means I don't have to weed the area and the plants wont be competing with weeds.
 The pumpkins have been planted through the membrane along with lots of surplus squash plants I had. 
next to planted in the pig area is some brassicas and sunflowers that will also be goat food. I plan to move the Jerusalem Artichokes over here they will have plenty of room to multiply and help filter the wind.
Harvesting is on the way 
 Red and white strawberries from the poly tunnel, I have been picking then for the past week, I really don't know if its worth giving poly tunnel space to them just to harvest a month earlier, something I have to think about.
 lunch was home reared and cured ham, lettuce and red onions from the poly tunnel with some home made bread.
last night I pulled up a few of the new potatoes from the poly tunnel to have with my dinner, they were lovely, I didn't take the plants up just put my hand in and pulled out some tubers, there is something special about the first potatoes of the season.