I have managed to find a spare minute to blog! It’s been pretty hectic on the farm for various reasons over the last couple of weeks, firstly I turned into my half century year, oh my goodness, where have 50 years gone :) We celebrated in style with a party in the paddock, rock band, ice cream van and fish and chip van as well as a pimms tent and cake, thank you to my lovely daughters for arranging the surprise. I then spent my actual birthday beside the sea, it was lovely to paddle me tootsies in the salty water, take a stroll along the pier and have lunch on the seafront albeit a bit blustery it was a glorious day.
The veg garden has kept us busy too, plenty of picking now and with that comes the processing and freezing, the runner beans finally got going although I have yet to pick a cucumber. We are also picking tomatoes, peppers, beetroot, carrots, courgettes, red cabbage, raspberries and blueberries on a regular basis. The plums in the orchard have begun to ripen and for the first time ever I have beaten the wasps and birds to the greengages, they are beautifully sweet if a little scabby, the damsons have also been picked and I am just waiting for a time to be able to make jam with those. The cooking apples are coming off the tree as windfalls on a daily basis so we have been making use of those and I need to spend a good day prepping some for the freezer. The thing I have noticed though is that all the fruit tree fruits are maggoty, I have tried the sticky wraps around the trunk and will have to try codling moth traps in the spring to see if we can sort the problem. All the fruit trees are getting on for forty years old and the plum trees are showing signs of their age, I have tried rejuvenating them but to no avail, so I made a decision to invest in some new ones and plant a new mini orchard. This will be an exciting project, the trees will arrive in September and we have decided to use the lower part of one of the front paddocks. The old trees will remain where they are for the time being until the new have become firmly established.
I have started to dispatch some of the meat birds although they have not got as much on them as I would have liked this year, I think that’s because we have given them more space to move around, it’s kinder to them but reduces the weight by quite a bit. I have now sold out of point of lay birds, the remainder are being kept back to increase the laying flock, it’s just as well really as we sold 45 dozen eggs last week! For a while we had a backlog of eggs then all of a sudden we had a rush on and now we are back to waiting for them to lay before we can put anymore out. The young ducks are showing signs of maturing, lots of head bobbing going on, this is a sign to imminent mating, and therefore egg laying should commence soon as well. I do have a few too many males though and so some will have to be dispatched for the freezer, this will be the first time I have ever done ducks and I don’t expect it will be as easy as chickens so I will let you know how it goes.
Hubby is in the middle of two weeks off and getting lots of DIY done, we have been given a share in a few lorry loads of wood, off cuts from a workshop, the pile is building up nicely and each time a load arrives we have to sort it, bag it and put it neatly away in the wood area. It should keep us nice and toasty this winter. A few rails in the paddock need mending and the fences in general need straightening up, the wind and the wet ground has taken it’s toll on them over the past couple of years and they are decidedly wonky so that’s another job for him to do. There are a couple of areas that need concreting, and another pile of logs to saw up, should keep him busy until he has to go back to work ;)
I am having the weekend off this week and leaving him in charge totally :s I am off to the Green Man Festival, hubby bought me the ticket for my birthday. I am very much looking forward to it and it’s a tick off my bucket list, camping, bacon sarnies and a mug of hot tea on the campfire, music, probably rain, great atmosphere, brilliant. I will try and get a few photos to post next time. Hopefully once hubby goes back to work I will get back into the routine of blogging weekly again, doing it sporadically means I probably forget half of what we have been doing!
We have a full moon at the minute and a supermoon at that, this coincides with the perseid meteor shower, so a great spectacle in the night sky at the minute for anyone who wants to get outside and watch :)