Thursday 29 October 2015

Oh Rats ...............

This morning I caught a rat in the cage trap I had set
I had noticed the other day a burrow in the bank near the chicken run and could see a path running straight to the chicken run were it had chewed a hole to get in. Then there was a hole at the other end with another path leading straight to the Turkey run.
I set up the cage trap inside the run couldn't use a normal trap because of the chickens
Martin said I wouldn't catch it in the cage trap.
Well I did and the said rat is now no more, I dispatched it.
Rats are part of farm life and we will never get rid of them but we can do our best with traps and poison to keep them under control, is any one is offended by that then please get in touch I will happily send any rats to live with you.

I went into town yesterday needed a couple more feed bins for the goat feed, its no good just leaving feed in bags that's asking for trouble, I took the opportunity to have a wander around a few shops, In Wilko I picked up a few bargains in there end of season sale
 Strimmer Line 20p a pack
 Greenhouse glazing clips 20p a pack
 butcher hooks and pegs 20p a pack
and a couple of packs of seeds 20p a pack
They had loads of seeds but I have loads and I do prefer fresh seeds and those that are not hybrids.
the salad mix I will get sowing in the poly tunnel.

I have decided not to renew any of the garden magazines I have been getting, well there is only two Armature Gardener I have at the moment the last 7 issues sitting in there wrapper I haven't had time to look at and Home Farmer again I have the last few months waiting to be unwrapped, so there is no point in renewing subscriptions, I had a browse through the magazines in the shops yesterday and there was nothing that took my fancy they are all very samey at the moment.

On a good note I have sort of fallen into a cottage industry business, I have combined my love of crafting as earning a bit of money, I have been promoting my crafts through social media and taking orders, I will continue while I enjoy it but as soon as it becomes a chore I will stop, the money will be put to use financing projects on the homestead.

Another good news is in a few weeks a group of us bloggers are meeting up we all now each other through blogs and are all in the same area I am really looking forward to it. 

Thats all for now :-)

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Dark Nights Are Here Again

Sol went to the vet yesterday to get his stitches out, just a little scar on his eyelid
Once again a handsome fella, all the biopsy's they did have come back clear good news.

I made a big dish of Chili Con Carne yesterday
enough for dinner and Martin took some back to have during the week the rest as been portioned up and in the freezer.
When I went to make it I only had large tins of kidney beans
I used half the tin and the other half was washed drained and popped into the freezer to be used on a later date, when defrosted I just have to make sure not to stir them too much as hey are softer after freezing. 
You can do the same with baked beans pop any unused ones into the freezer.
With the clocks changing and the dark evenings are here it means animals are fed watered bedded down and dog walked by 5-30 given me more time for crafting and Martin time to pursue a few hobbies.
Last night he racked off the Pea Pod wine 
next week end he will be picking Sloes and starting off the Sloe Gin, this week I want to hunt out some Rose Hips for syrup, I also have the Apple Cider vinegar to see to, that is all I have planned for this week so far, pop over to my craft blog to see what I have been crafting in readiness for my next stall. What are doing with these long dark evenings ?

Sunday 25 October 2015

Autumn In The Poly Tunnel

 The Piquant Peppers from Dani are still doing well and are showing signs of starting to ripen
 The Sweet Potatoes are spreading and the tubers are swelling
 The Mange Tout that were grown from saved seed have put on a lot of growth
 and are starting to flower
 Tomatoes are still coming on although they have slowed down 
but are still ripening

 The Oca in the tunnel are only just flowering
 were the ones outside have been in flower for some time
 I have moved one of the pallet collars into the tunnel and made a raised are for carrots they have only just been sown
 Pak Choi is doing well, just picked some to have with tonight's dinner
 Radishes that were sown last week are now up
 The beetroot are becoming sturdy little plants
 Swiss Chard and Spinach mix are growing well
 some spare leeks planted for an early crop in the tunnel
 Chili peppers are still growing and ripening

As you can see there is still plenty going on in the Poly tunnel, I want to utilise it all year round, this is still its first year and very much a learning curve.

Now the clocks are changed the nights are drawing in 
the log burner is lit and it will soon be time to go through the seeds and start planning for next years growing season, I have made a few notes of what was successful, there is still plenty coming on in the veg garden and for our first year I am very pleased, we have managed to be self sufficient in the veg department and given a fair amount away as well.
I will do an update on the veg garden in the coming week.
We had a busy morning, the Alpacas have all had there injections, we have trimmed all there nails done a bit of harness training with the girls, the goats have started on there feet maintenance all cleaned up trimmed treated and they had a grooming session as well, the rest of the day I spent in the cabin and Martin spent it logging.
Time to sit and relax a bit now :-)

Saturday 24 October 2015

Confining The Goats

Visitors went home yesterday, now I am getting back to normal after a hectic week and noisy, when you are used to just silence it can seem very loud with children around.
It was lovely to see them all and see them enjoying our space and an opportunity to catch up on what they have been up to.
First on the list of today's chores was the goats, there has been a bit of lameness, this was becoming a problem to try and treat as I could not get near them and there was no were to enclose them, there paddock was too big an area to try and catch them.
So I came up with a plan, as it was going to be raining this morning and goats don't like the rain they would be in there shelter, so Martin ventured out and with a tall sheep hurdle snuck up and trapped them in there shelter, 
Next they were moved in there shelter with the forks on the tractor and re-homed in one of the bays in the side barn.
 this has all gone as intended, and now I can handle them and treat there feet.
As you can see Thelma has lost her horn, I don't know how, when I went to feed them the other day her horn was laying in the shelter, the kids have taken it home along with pine cones, shells, a sheep's jaw bone and the trimmings off next doors horses hoofs.
I don't like keeping animals confined but sometimes needs must, I will take the opportunity of having them confined to do lots of handling grooming and lead training, when they released  which wont be for a good few weeks hopefully they will be more tolerant of being handled.
Tomorrow will be the start of there new regime.
Tomorrow we also have some work to do with the Alpacas, I have a batch of injections to give them and some of those need nail trimming as well. 
The clocks are changing tonight, I have been slowly altering animal feed times to take the time change into account, that is the only problem with having a routine, they let you know when its feed time and they don't like sudden changes to routine.  Mind you neither do I.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Busy With Visitors

I have a houseful this week, daughter and six grandchildren.
 walks in the woods
 Baby's included
 playing rain showers with the leaves
Climbing trees
 Crafting in the cabin
Baking biscuits 
Child labour 
 Down on the beach
Restraining toddler in a sand hole 
 That grey blob in the sea is a seal
This one popped up to say hello

short video of dolphins and seals off New Quay.

Normal blogging service will resume soon :-)

Sunday 18 October 2015

Domestic Goddess I Am Not

I am no domestic goddess unlike Bovey Belle I am sure she will be sharing with you her domestic magic soon.
Anyway I did have a day in the kitchen pretending
 Before the herbs disappear for winter I got some dehydrated, Mint and
 Coriander this time I don't bother drying any of the herbs that stay through winter I would rather use them fresh.
 I found a chicken in the bottom of the freezer so I cooked it up, ready for some dinners and sandwiches.

 Along with a joint of pork, I took the skin off the pork and is was dressed in a honey and red wine vinegar marinade
the skin didn't go to waste, it was cut into strips sprinkled with salt and put in the oven on a tray to crisp up, pork crackling for Martin one of his favourites
All sliced up, this was after we had some for dinner, this lot will be packaged and popped in the freezer for future quick meals

 The usual weekly bread was made
 as I was in the mood for baking I did a shortbread base, just 2 cups of plain flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, 1 cup of melted butter mixed together pressed down into baking tin baked for 20 mins at 200 c
 I had three tolberones left from Christmas so I melted 200g  (two and half left now) and spread it on top and left it to set then cut up. Chocolate covered shortbread.
 There was some rice krispies left in the cereal box, s I melted some marshmallows with melted butter, stirred in the krispies pressed them into a baking tip then once set cut up. Marshmallow krispies squares. 
All these things are really quick and easy to do my idea of baking. :-)

I had a box of peppers from the fruit and veg wholesaler for £1, they have now been diced and in the freezer, I think this the only veg I have bought since about May. 

I will do a post during the week of what we are harvesting now and what is growing there is plenty of variety in the veg garden and poly tunnel. We are still waiting a frost and also waiting for rain we haven't had any for 3 weeks we have some rain forecast for Wednesday. 
Anyone else spending time in the kitchen :-)

Thursday 15 October 2015

Flies And I Mean Flies

 In the shed today there was a plague of flies, the above photo shows what was left after I had zapped them with fly killer, the windows were covered with them, my initial thought was something had crawled in there and died, I emptied the shed shifted the units checked every bag, pot and bucket, nothing to be found, I have no idea what was the reason behind the fly swarm.
 Picked another load of runner beans, they are coming to an end there is no more flowers, there is a last picking still on there left them to grow a bit more.
 I managed to get a photo of the stags displaying, all puffed up and doing a dance, they make a kind of huffing boom noise when they are doing it.
 Soup on the menu today, I had some dried pulses so into the pot with loads of veg
I used some of the small squashes, carrot swede, potatoes, courgette and onion all cooked up with some herbs and stock, 
All blitzed up to make a lovely thick soup, there is plenty for Martin to take back with him and some to go in the freezer.
Tomorrow I am planning a day of cooking, I have defrosted a chicken and joint of pork. I need to get some bread done as well.
Sol is a lot better, we both had a good nights sleep, he had his post op check today all is OK. His stitches come out in 10 days.
We are still having lovely weather, Sol and me had a lovely dusk walk down in the forest, we were a bit late for our walk I was caught up on the phone. The sunsets and sunrises have been beautiful, we still haven't had a frost but no doubt we will get one soon.
I hope you are all enjoying this Indian Summer :-)