An early Spring and now an early Autumn?

Well I hate to say it again but there are signs of an early Autumn! Just as the Tortoises came out of hibernation early, they are going to bed early too! I thought perhaps one of them was ill, he had taken himself off into the house, so after a day or so I thought I better check, he seems fine, just keen to get indoors and under his straw pile. The apples and plums are earlier than usual, the nuts appear to be ripening early, all the signs are there!

Just as well then that we have an exciting new project starting next week in the form of a new Rayburn that we will not only be cooking on but will also do our hot water and heating, bliss! We have electric storage heaters that cost an absolute fortune and throw out the heat at the wrong time of day, so for three years it has been very cold indoors, we are looking forward to this Winter instead of dreading it! We have lots of old wood and people have given us their chopped down trees and so we decided to take the plunge, weigh up the costs and go for it. I researched the environmental impact of buying and running a wood burning stove and was satisfied that as a tree gives off as much carbon when it is rotting away as it does when it is being burnt it then becomes carbon neutral, together with the fact that Rayburns are 95% recycled and recyclable, I don’t think I have compromised my ethics!

I have literally just received an e-mail to say that my birthday present from the girls is on its way, a grape-vine, a goji berry, a kiwi, a pomegranate and a fig, I knew some fruit bushes were coming but didn’t know what until now, how exciting, lots of new fruits to try next year. I have been picking plums this week, the harvest is not as good as last year but still adequate enough to make plum jams and plenty of plum crumble for the cold Winter months, all made on the Rayburn (did I mention I was getting a new one 🙂 )

I am still harvesting plenty of veg and at long last might get some peppers although my tomatoes are still green, apart from putting a ripe banana in with them I don’t think there is much hope of them turning red! I will have to rethink for next year and possibly heat the greenhouse somehow, I am loath to use electric or paraffin so I will have to look at eco-friendly methods, solar power or possibly the Victorian method of using a pile of manure 🙂

The animals are all ticking along nicely at the minute, the rabbits are growing bigger and eating voraciously now, it will soon be time for them to be separated from the Mum, she will start to get fed up with them in the next couple of weeks, can’t blame her I suppose, eight little bodies eating all the food and climbing all over her, I have attempted to transfer some video footage of the baby rabbits from my phone to the computer but failed miserably:(  and will try again when I have a whole day to try to work it out!!!! I have not got round to doing the Farm Cat stories yet so apologies for anyone waiting for them, I will do it as soon as I get a minute.

Hubby has been planning and scheming again, this time he has come up with an idea about joining the caravan and camping club and using the front paddocks in the summer for up to five caravans, hmmm, I am not committing myself to a yes just yet, I quite like the peace and quiet and am not sure if I want to share it with holiday makers! I think he is envisaging that he can retire early on the proceeds from the egg and vegetable sales because being the optimist that he is we are sure to be fully booked from March to October! I dread it when I hear those words ‘ I have a plan’ although he has learnt to say  ‘I doubt if you will like it’ straight after!



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