Sunday 31 March 2019

A Two Week Round Up

Its been a busy two weeks, the sun has been shining and its has been perfect for catching up on those outside jobs.
 Lambing has started for us, our Hebridean's lamb outside we don't bring them in, hardy little sheep that produce hardy little lambs, Our first couple were night time arrivals, once they are up on there feet we bring them down to a paddock beside the house.
 Yesterday this mama decided to use the old pig sty to deliver her twins in.
 The first born was happy taking in her new world while mama got on and delivered her brother.
 Within an hour those lambs are up and about building up those muscles in there legs. 
We still have a few more to lamb yet.
Eggs started hatching 
Even though all the eggs were viable out of the six we only have 2 ducklings, 2 died during hatching and 2 didn't hatch.
Not sure what went wrong, we will have to set more.
They have started laying
 Lovely speckled eggs, another couple of weeks and I want to get Turkey eggs in the incubator.
Poly Tunnel
Lots of seed sowing and planting has been going on
Asparagus in the new bed in the poly tunnel is starting to pop up, I moved some of the crowns from outside to in the poly tunnel so we can get an earlier crop there fore extending or cropping season.
 Back in January I got this little mini greenhouse thingy for £3 in the sale, I have set up in the poly tunnel
 Its perfect for hardening off those plants that have been started off indoors in the propagator.
Tess has taken a liken to mice and has been seeking out nests of baby mice and enjoys them as a snack along with any mice she finds in the traps in the poly tunnels that she checks daily. She is earning her keep by keeping down the local mice population.
 But this is more of  a concern, this is a badger foot print,
surrounded by forest we know there is lots of badger setts, and we don't mind the odd visit from them.
Now we have a love hate relationship with them
This field was for our sheep after lambing, and has been totally destroyed by badgers, it looks like a ploughed field.
We have a lot of repair work to do  as well as a lot of expensive work along the boundaries to try and deter them fro coming in. As well as this field they have also made a start on the Alpaca fields and the hay fields, this is going to be a real issue with gazing this year.
As well as destroying fields, they will also take new born lambs, raid poultry houses and bee hives. Very destructive animals. 
In The Kitchen
I have managed to get a few sessions done in the kitchen
 First up a new food processor, its something I use all the time and my Kenwood that I have only had about 8 years is starting to get t the end, two of the grating blades have broke and the main blade has a split, I have replaced these blades before but is just not up to the job, so a decision was made to upgrade to something that could handle the work, and after looking through lots of info I went for a Kitchen Aid, with a 3 year parts guarantee and a 20 year guarantee on the motor,
 It is a bit of a big beast but surprisingly quiet.
I love the dicing attachment
nice even sized chunks that is going to be great for canning and dehydrating, there are two dicing attachments, large and small.
I put the small through its paces
 making a sandwich pickle. (Branston pickle copy)
 Something else I got this week 
A hard cheese kit
 I have been wanting to do a hard cheese using goats milk for some time.
And my first attempt is on the go, its a Cheddar at the moment is air drying then tomorrow it will get waxed, left to ripen for 5 weeks then ready for Martin to do a taste test.
Making cheese always leaves you with lots of whey
I came across a video of dehydrating whey
 So I had to give it a go
 And yes it worked
powdered whey packed full of good protein that can be added to anything from soups stews to cakes and biscuits
Time Away
We took Tess to the Botanical Gardens on doggy day, 
This rusty old bull is packed full of sheep wool for the birds to use as nesting material.
 I was surprised to see this old tree still standing after all the storms from the last few months, its in a very exposed site.
 When Tess gets tired her back legs go and some one has to give her a helping hand,
 She enjoys going out and it would be a shame to leave her at home, so we are looking at dog buggies, so we can continue to take her out then when she has had enough we can pop her in.
The other day we had to drive over the other side of the mountain, my car had to go for a service.
They were burning the mountain
 The smoke was horrific and caused a complete white blanket across the road as well as filling the car and choking you.
 On our return journey, Emergency services were in attendance, bringing it back under control.
I will end with this picture  
My bike I have actually managed to get out on it early one morning and now I hope I can get it out more often.







  1. I enjoy your reviews - you do so much! Is there a link for your kitchen aid food processor? I'd be interested in acquiring something similar.

  2. Those little lambs are lovely. I allways enjoy new kitchen things more than a new(ish) car ;-). Must make my own branston pickle someday! Thanks for the update. Wendy

  3. Love the lambs. When I get sheep again I'd like some that look after themselves! Although I keep toying with the idea of goats I can milk and get he girls to do!
    A dog that eats mice is a good dog, could I borrow her? The cheese making is ama zing as well, what a great way to preserve produce.


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