Wednesday 24 October 2018

It All Went Well

We have just gone through our first TB tests

 We had the pens set up and a plan in place, the Buffalo were brought in the night before, everything was set up ready for the vet to come. The mama's have gone through this before and familiar with the crush, the vet has never TB tested Buffalo before but has come up several times and met them. 
All went well, that was until we got to the calves who are a lot smaller and they needed there ear tags going in.
Percy decided he didnt like it and manged to turn himself around well sort of fold himself in half really and got jammed.
There was a lot of pushing a shoving to get him round the right way and through the gate at the end, all this time the mamas were getting concerned at the other end, you dont want to be confronting and over protective mama who things you are doing harm to her calf. 
We got the process done and ear tags went in, of course a few days later we had to put them through the crush again so they could be checked, this time none of them want to go through, Martin Vet and me were trying to herd these big beasts through the crush who had other ideas, we managed and all was good we passed the tests. 
Thank goodness we dont have to repeat it for another year.
We also had worming on the agenda, we dropped poo samples into the vets to do some Fecal Egg Counts, Alpaca were clear and Buffalo were clear, sheep and goats needed worming and we needed to raddle the ram, he is a fine looking fella but he has an attitude problem.
Martin had a bad confrontation with him the other week and his leg is all the colours of the rainbow.  

 Raddle is on with a yellow block, the idea is when he mounts the ladies he will leave a yellow smudge on there rumps, once we know he has done his job he is going in the freezer and his fleece which is super curly is going off to be tanned.
 We are now harvesting the third lot of potatoes this year, the name escapes me of these but they are yummy and fairly special.
 A lovely red colour through and through and they retain the colour through cooking, doing succesional planting of potatoes through the year has worked out well, we have one more bed of them in the poly tunnel which should be ready end of the year.
 First of the sprouts harvested and it looks like we are having a fab harvest of them this year.
 am going to wind up with a video of the Turkeys, during the day they free range, late afternoon they are brought back in.
These Turkeys this year are looking really good.
So its time to get your Christmas orders in.


Friday 19 October 2018

In Stickle Tarn Kitchen

With all the harvesting there has been a lot going on in the kitchen,
 I came across a recipe for Dream Cheese, using clabbered milk, which basically is raw fresh milk left to curdle and seperate
 you then drain off all the whey mix in a bit of salt and leave it to drain again
 then its rolled into cheesy balls coated with a mix of dried herbs and then covered with olive oil. Ready for eating a couple of weeks later. All very easy and straight forward.
 As milking is still in full swing yogurt has been a staple in the kitchen. We always use the last pot as a started for the next batch.
 Its the time of year to get Sloe Gin on the go, its been a good year for sloes.
 The last of the courgettes were turned into courgette marmalade, which is surprisingly very tasty and has no resemblance to courgette at all.
 Wild Mushrooms have been in abundance this year, they have been dehydrated

 and canned for future meals.

 We have harvested some great red cabbages, as well as having braised red cabbage
some also got pickled

 The tomato harvest has been fantastic with over 100lb of tomatoes harvested, I have canned a basic tomato sauce, a spicy tomato sauce, a tomato based BBQ sauce, 
Tomatoes are still ripening  next on the list is some tomato base soups.
Apart from the foul weather last week end when our area was battered and soaked and flooded by storm Callum we are still enjoying  some fantastic weather.
There is still plenty more to harvest and put away for us to enjoy during the colder months.

Monday 8 October 2018

That Warm Glow Inside

Nothing feels better than knowing you are all prepared for winter, 
Every corner of the barn is filled with bales of hay for Goats, Alpacas and sheep.
 We have enormous bales of straw distributed around the place for animal bedding
 22 wrapped round bales of silage for the buffalo this winter they are staying in the buffalo house and yard, we plan to put them in December and they will stay in until end of March start of April 
They will be on a deep bed system of straw, and fed silage and cow cake rations with some shredded sugar beet. We got the Buffalo last December and we were feeding them hay as well as letting them graze but with wet weather the fields became rutted and full of pot holes, we are not doing that again.
 The log sheds are full, lots of bags of starter wood, so there is no fear of us not keeping warm.
 Martin has sorted out a method of getting water to those animals not near a water supply 
Back in summer when we struggled with keeping everyone water troughs filled and most of the day was spent carting water over in 60l containers fill a water trough for a water buffalo to slurp it all down in one go or stand in the trough and then tip the whole thing over to make a mud wallow and you would have to go and fetch more, Martin spotted these for sale on ebay and bought them both.
He had a couple of spare IBC tanks 
The tanks are now secure on the trolleys they can be moved around easy with the quad bike or tractor, filled up taken and parked up were needed, we have hoses fitted to the taps so filling troughs is easy peasy.
We still have a few preparations to make for the coming winter but we are ahead of were we were this time last year.  
We just hope we are not having another freezing Siberian one like last year. 



Monday 1 October 2018

Farming Year Rolls On

Harvesting has been in full swing here, anything we that is not coming into the kitchen is used for feeding livestock, the pumpkins this year were fab
 Our biggest one was a real bad boy and weighed in at 74lb, I was only growing normal everyday sized ones, a bit for us and the rest will go to animal fodder then this one just kept going.
 Red cabbages have also been doing really well we have eight decent sized ones and these two big ones who weighed in at 8lb, Tess was sulking because I wouldn't let her eat them, pickled red cabbage is on the go and this week there will be braised red cabbage on the menu a few times.
 Boy these chilies are hot they are Ghost Chilies and even handling them I wear gloves, some get added to sauces and i have these hanging up drying,

Tomatoes I have never had such a fantastic harvest of tomatoes, so far I have picked roughly 80lb so there is lots of tomato processing happening.
A dozen jars of a basic tomato sauce, a dozen jars of tomato based BBQ sauce, a dozen jars of spicy tomato sauce, the store cupboards are brimming over  and I am running low on canning jars.

 I picked sloes yesterday for Martin to do his sloe gin with, again sloes are in abundance this year we might even collect a second lot and do a double batch.
Turkeys are growing well, there run and house is all set up, wood chips have been put down to give them a mud free area
There house has roosts for them and there feeder and water is also kept in there, window has been reinforced and the whole house has been tied down so it wont go over in storms. 
The calves Percy and Lily are growing well, we have our first TB testing in a few weeks, the calves will be tested as well as they are over the age of 6 weeks, we have been getting them use to going through the cattle crush in preparation. 
The weather is still being kind to us, lovely dry sunny days this means we can get lots done outside preparing for the coming winter.