Thursday 27 April 2017

The Day That Was

Linking up with Five On Friday 
5 special things that occurred on the ranch this week
1-: The little kids had there special day
The vet came to de-horn and castrate
I set up a comfy cosy recovery corner putting to use a couple of unused dog beds, had blankets on hand to keep them warm while they woke up
 They were all marked with dots for numbers and weighed so the right amount of anesthetic could be used goats dont do well with anesthetic so it was important for the vet to get it right.
With six of them to get through it wasn't a 5 minuet job
 The horn buds were removed and now they are all sporting blue circles, the older three who are three weeks old we don't know if the de-horning will be successful as they should be done before two weeks.
 The boys are now all sporting blue bits, 
everyone recovered well, next day they were back to there usual selves leaping all over the place.
They are de-horned to make it safer to handle them and less chance of injury to each other, castration the males are destined for the freezer come weaning the kids will all move together to a new field and we don't want no unexpected teenage mum's.

2:- Another goat event,  yesterday morning when I went to feed and milk, Helen was already up on the stand waiting
 This was a big occasion, she has taken to milking now accepts it as part of her morning routine, she is a very very friendly little lady but she has been handled since she was born, this makes things a lot easier, she still only uses 3 legs, I did speak with the vet about perhaps having the bad leg amputated but we will see.
 she gives us a good 2pints every morning.

3:- News on Tess, when ever I walk up the drive it's usually just me and Sol as Tess doesn't like going past our neighbours barn,
yesterday I thought I would try Tess again
 and she happily walked up the drive and back with me and Sol off her lead, what ever it was that scared her before she now has the confidence to walk past, in 8 weeks our rescued lady is a changed dog. See how slim she looks 8kg (17lbs) she has lost.

4:- On the plant front, last year I failed at growing Tumeric 
This year 4 roots have sprouted
 I am doing a happy dance, I still have fingers crossed that the ginger will grow too another failure last year.

5:- Now a failure, annoyed with myself, last night I creamed off the goats milk, in total I had 1pt of lovely thick cream,
 thought I would do butter in the mixer instead of the small butter churn, set it all up, I was washing dishes keeping an eye on it, it started to separate, went to dry my hands, came back and I passed the moment it should have been slowed down or stopped and it had re-mixed back to cream, it is nigh n impossible to rescue butter from this, it is now back in the fridge I might give it another try today but dont hold out much hope, it will be destined to have with strawberries I think.

That's my five for this week, follow the link and pop over and have a look at the other blogs taking part.

Tuesday 25 April 2017

A Glut Of Milk

Now Helen is being milked every morning and giving just 2pts at each milking, it wont be long until we start miking the other two as well and we will be awash with milk its time to start doing something with all this goodness,
I had six pints sitting in the fridge, first step was to put it through the separator
 I got half a pint of thick cream from the six pints, 
the cream I have kept to one side, in a couple of days I will do the same with the next batch and hope to have a pint of cream, I can then turn it into butter.
I heated up 2 pints of the skimmed off milk to make a wild garlic soft goats cheese
The by product of making the cheese is whey, that is kept in a container in the fridge to be used in cooking also the dogs get a small amount each morning.
the rest of the milk has been used in every day use, the next batch will be used for yogurt and more cheese.
Once milking is in full swing with all three ladies, some will be frozen for when they not being milk.

Over the week end, Martin was butchering and packing the second of the pigs, it came in at 123lb meat weigh. A lovely size.
We took a trip out to New Quay on Sunday afternoon
There was a swarm of Jelly Fish beached by the tide
 There was lots of them as well and they were big,
 Sol found a friend to play ball with
 Tess is still unsure about the beach and sea, even off her lead she sticks beside us.
 Over the week end I caught the three of the napping while they were suppose to be doing the bonfire
While they napped in the sunshine I was in the kitchen
A seeded split loaf this time.
Today like a lot of the country we had a brief reminder that winter had not long left, hail, snow and sunshine the wind had a real chill to it, the young plants still went out to harden off, the young kids didn't mind the change in weather as they jumped and ran about, mama dove is again sitting on eggs, last week the buzzard came and took her baby that had grown and fledged.
Today I stayed in and got to work finishing off a quilt that was started some time ago.
I am now off to bed to read a book.


Sunday 23 April 2017

Using What we Have Got

Our meals are based on what we have in the freezer or cupboard, what is growing in the garden and what can be foraged
Just some of this weeks meals

 Omelette's, eggs we have plenty of and are  year round staple
Bacon and mushroom for me made with our bacon, reared and cured by us
Wild garlic omelet for Martin, wild garlic is very prolific around here.
The other evening it was meatballs and pasta
 Most of the ingredients are home produced, bottled tomatoes that were grown and bottled last summer, cider apple vinigar, lemon juice from one of our home grown lemons, brown sugar that I make up from white sugar and molasses, onions from the store, meatballs from our own lamb.
 I forgot to take a photo when it came out of the oven, but here are the two extra portions that have gone in the freezer for a later date,

last night was roast chicken jacket potatoes with a garden stir fry
Asparagus, young swiss chard leaves, wild sorrel, garlic and a few mushrooms left in the fridge.

I love the fact that most of what we eat has no air miles or chemicals. Best of all we eat seasonaly and look forward to what ever is next to harvest.
The goats don't get left out either
a bucket of goat salad to go with there dinner in the evening, made up from what I forage, willow bay, chickweed, comfrey, honeysuckle, young elder leaves, dandelion, sorrel now they have kids to feed they need all the goodness they can get.


Thursday 20 April 2017


Five new things from this week I haven't shared with you yet,

1:- New blog name, did you spot it, the old one and old links still work, I just wanted a change, I also wanted it as a proper web address rather than blog address easier to remember. I can also do more with it, that's a few ideas for the future when time permits.

2:- We had some wild sorrel the other day
we had it wilted on new potatoes with bacon and egg flan our own home produced bacon and eggs , with purple sprouting broccoli from the garden,  raw sorrel tastes a little like apple peel, wilted it seems to take on a lemon taste, it was nice and free, there is lots of young sorrel about at the moment

3:- The kids got a couple of new toys
 Courtesy of BT they were at last replacing the telephone cable that runs up our drive they found 4 breaks in it, I asked for the empty reels, the kids love them I am going to get Martin to run a log across them, the kids are growing fast and today on my list is a call to the vet to arrange de-horning and castration of the bucks.

4:- The pigs got a new water trough
 The old trough that was fixed in place they kept ripping down and tossing it around there run, I got fed up of retrieving fixing it in place and re-filling it, when you do it 5-6 times a day you have to come up with an alternative, I filled the big trough for them for a couple of days it was fine then they had fun tipping it over and rolling it around there run, it took a lot of water to fill it each time, so yesterday I filled it with lumps of concrete and then filled it with water, so far they haven't tipped it over lets see how long it lasts.

5:- The chicks get a new more grown up feeder and water dispenser
They growing up fast and out grew they feeding dish, they are also starting to get there first feathers, they spend time away from the heat lamp, I have moved the heat lamp up a bit higher, as they get older the lamp will be switched to low during the day and high at night, then it will be no heat during the day and low at night, there food and water will work its way down the brooder too.

I am linking up with Tricky and Carly over at Fast Blog for five on friday follow the link and have a look at some new blogs that you may not have come across before.

Wednesday 19 April 2017

Sometimes It Just Falls In Place

Not all the time, but sometimes you get that perfect day when everything falls in place, today was one of those rare days.
The sun was shining no breeze, washing got done and was out on the line first thing, every one was fed watered milked let out,
 bread was on the go.
 Flash enjoyed breakfast in the sunshine
 Young plants are brought out for hardening off, taken back in the poly tunnel after the evening feed round
The tomatoes were planted into border of the poly tunnel
 I am using rope to tie them into this year, I am also using soaker hose for watering.
 The squashes, cucumbers and peppers were all potted up
The last of the potatoes got planted
 With help from Tess I got some more wood chips down in the fruit cage
The asparagus is up

 The strawberries in the poly tunnel are in flower a couple of weeks and we should be picking some
Joy of joys the sweetcorn that was sown in situ in the poly tunnel are now starting to pop up
The day wound to a close with watering the poly tunnels, everyone was fed watered and put in for the night, young plants were brought back in again, log baskets were filled, then it was time for a sit down, satisfied with the thought that everything is as it should be, it was a good day. 😀
Why cant everyday run so smoothly ❓


Tuesday 18 April 2017

Routines And Animal Updates

Over the Easter week-end I had family visiting, it has been a hectic few weeks and now its time to get back into the old familiar routine, I like routine and its good for all the livestock, it also makes it easier to manage them.
The pigs are growing so fast they will only be with us a few more weeks, they have done a great job at clearing the land, they are also great for disposing of wheelbarrows of weeds that I bring over to them. As soon as they see the wheelbarrow coming they start squealing.
The goats have all settled into a new routine now they have kidded, the kids are picking up on it too, Helen is being milked every day and is getting used to going up on the milking stand.
 The kids are now having tastes of whatever there mums are eating.
 The little chicks have hatched, out of the nine eggs set we had 7 hatch, one didn't make it so we are now left with 6 chicks, I might set another clutch later on haven't decided yet.
 Tess has now slimmed down to 32kg, she can now sit on touch command, she takes her lead from Sol. A treat is always a good incentive too.
The young dove can now be seen taking to skies with its parents, 
long may it continue.
Its lovely when everything settles into a routine

Thursday 13 April 2017

Lots Of Buds And New Life

My foot is a lot better and providing I am wearing the support brace then walking isn't so bad, the bruising has all come out now and I have a lovely rainbow foot.
I took Sol and Tess over the fields and paid a visit to our little woodland to see how the new trees are coming on.

 Lots of buds and lots of leaves, its fantastic to see all the new baby trees burst into life 
The daffodils on Daffodil Alpaca's grave are blooming
The wild garlic planted on Kara's grave are all growing well
talking of graves we have a new one, the little weak kid (Hope) that didn't make it has been buried  beside the shed, on her grave I have planted a Hop rhizome

 It is just a root at the moment with a few buds, I hope to train it up over the shed, The Hop is called Fuggle, I have never grown one before and don't know how well it will do here.
Our super slimmer has discovered
 She can now wiggle under some of the gates, the gates she can get under only lead to another paddock, there is no way she can get off the ranch, this gate is on the way to the goat field, she thinks she should go everywhere I go, she is not allowed into the goats while they have kids. Once through this gate she cannot get any further and has to wait for me to come back.
Talking of goats, all the kids are thriving 
Connie had 1 doe called Bunty and 2 bucklings
And now all spend there time outdoors, 
And chicks have started arriving, we have 5 so far.
Hope you all have a good Easter, I have my sister and brother in law arriving tomorrow for the week end.
Martin is due home tonight I am looking forward to a few days rest.