Thursday 25 September 2008

The Joy of Scoops

Well who would have thought something as simple as an empty milk bottle could bring so much joy.

Every time I went down to feed the chucks I thought to myself I must buy some scoops for there feed, so when I was going to re-stock up on feed I reminded myself to look at the scoops, well look is all I did, at nearly £5 a scoop and I was looking at getting 4, no way could I justify spend that sort of money on plastic scoops.

Then the idea came while making a cup of tea, why not make my own from plastic milk bottles, they already have a handle made it is only a case of cutting the end off at an angle leave the top screwed on voila a scoop, so now I have scoops for everything in a couple of different sizes too.

Each of the feed bags has a its own scoop, I a couple of different sized ones for compost, one in the grit bag, and if one breaks I can replace it free of charge.

Down the garden at the moment I am busy clearing and prepping for winter, brassicas are all planted and the garlic arrived the other day so that's a little job for this week-end, then it will be time to get the greenhouse insulated. I like sitting in the greenhouse when it has its winter coat on, everything is muffled and cosy.
I have been working for a few days this week covering as courier my regular fella is off sick so I am doing his round for three days, its enjoyable but doesn't leave me a lot of time for other things, just as well its only for three days, but the pennies will come in handy for some more fruit trees that I want to plant in the front garden, the front garden is such a waste as its only used for prettiness, so I want to incorporate some fruit trees then under plant with pretty things, it is a large area out there mainly hard standing for parking, I have a fig tree that I am training up the front, but I think next year I might do some strawberry baskets in amongst the flower ones as well.
All thoughts and plans a sure sign that winter is on its way and its time to start mulling over the seed catalogues in front of the fire.

Friday 19 September 2008


This is the second half of the first Melon of the season, I ate the first half and it was fantastic, we have two more melons in the greenhouse not ready to eat yet, this was the smallest one.
Its not been a brilliant year for the Melons I usually manage to get a good dozen or so.
Its been a busy week so far, the weather has been fairly good, nice and dry so I have been outside clearing and weeding, another week I think then I will start insulating the greenhouses, a sure sign that Autumn has arrived. then it will be big haul of starting to move things under cover that need protection for winter. In preparation I am giving everything a good feed this week end and start tidying them up.
I have been making sausages this week and more planned for later on today, I want to get a least 50-60 packs done and in the freezer, we do like sausages and you can put anything in them and they are so easy to do.
Our lovely butcher gave us a load of Hogs Casings for free, our sausages are more of a chipolata size, rather than the big fat ones. So far I have done, Pork apple and Mango, and Spicy Beef, the cost is very favorable compared to shop prices. The pork ones were £2 for 16 sausages, yes I know you can get those cheap cheap ones but have you actually tasted them and worse still have you read the list of ingredients. FRIGHTENING.
Our new batch of hatching eggs arrived the other day so they are in the incubator doing what fertile eggs do I hope. We have six eggs in total this time, 4 black silkies 1 lemon cuckoo and 1 Peking partridge so it will be interesting to see what hatches out.
I was a bit shocked at my shopping bill this week, I checked and re-checked the receipt but it was correct, it came to £29, I bought two big bags of bread flour, bag of sugar, some meat for the sausages, some kit kats they were on special offer and hubby likes a kit kat, I did buy a big tin of chocolates as I have some friends coming to stop for the week end in a few weeks so I thought it would be nice to have a sweetie, mushrooms, milk, orange juice and I really cant think what else I might have bought oh some beansprouts as we were having stir fry that evening for dinner. but it is still a lot of money for only 1 and a 1/2 carrier bags. £10 was on meat and the chocolates were £5 that still leaves £14 on basics and very basics at that.
There is a new magazine out called Hand Crafted I have added a link to this page, it looks brilliant, and you get the things with each issue to make something, it also covers making gift/items from things around the home. With issue 1 you get the stuff to make a soap, and issue 1 cost 99p it is a part work and each issue is £2.99 but so far it looks worth it.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

They grow up so fast

The young bantams we hatched out are growing up so fast, they are now 7 weeks old, they moved outside a few weeks ago and a few weeks ago they came totally off heat, yesterday they moved onto growers food. I took this picture while I was cleaning them out this afternoon, they have done really well, considering it was our first go at hatching, we started we 6 Bantem eggs, 3 Plymouth Rocks and 3 Samutra's all we had was a little incubator that came with minuscule instructions.
Everything we read on incubation seemed to contradict what the other said so we really didn't
know what we were doing, we tried to candle them but didn't know what we were looking for, 4 looked different to the other 2 but were they a good 4 or bad 4 we kept them all just in case.
we were turning them twice a day then we were told we should be turning them 4-6 times a day then were read they should be turned every hour, we went back to turning twice a day and stopped at day 17 then on day 19 one of them started pipping I was so excited, over the next couple of days 4 hatched out we moved them into an indoor brooder that hubby made, the other two eggs just sat there and didn't do anything, eventually we threw them away.
Our babies have continued to thrive they started eating and drinking no problem then on day three I noticed a problem with one of the Samutras his eyes were not open and he kept bumping into things, we bathed his eyes he kicked up such a racket but his eyes opened and soon he was running around with the others, then the same chick a week later developed a very messy bottom that was starting to dry up and compact, so once again with cotton buds he was succumbed to a clean up operation.
They have remained relatively trouble free, again moving them outside there was lots of conflict advice, Hubby built them an outside brooder, and out they went we have done it by instinct it has been a very wet wet wet summer so we have left them with there light at night until a few days ago when it went off and stayed off but they have been fine and we have had a few dry days this week as well.
So now they are on the way to growing up fast i have taken the plunge and ordered some more eggs due to arrive next Tuesday.
This time I have gone for White Silkies and fingers crossed I will be a bit more clued up as to what I am doing this time round.
We wont do anymore then until the spring then we are looking at some Sasso birds for the table I also fancy some Quail but we will have to see, a lot could happen between now and next spring.