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.