What a glorious morning, when Mother Nature gets its right, there is no better place to be on Earth than England on a warm August morning! As I write this the cockerel is crowing, the sun is pouring in through the windows and it almost feels like I am on holiday 🙂
Talking of holidays, Hubby is halfway through his two weeks off, (from his regular day job anyway), he has got plenty to do here so it will not be a restful holiday, last week we put the new Rayburn in and he has had to pipe up all the new radiators plus move the cylinder. This is his normal job so you would think that all would be straight forward :p unfortunately he is from the school of ‘what do you need instructions for’ and so had to drain down the cylinder twice in order to get the hot water working properly! He has worked very hard though and yesterday I cooked the first of many cakes in ‘Rosie’ as we have named her. She will provide us with heating, hot water and cooking facilities all powered by the wood that we have either collected from taking down old fencing or been given by friends cutting down trees they no longer want.
On the fruit and veg front, I am still busy bringing in the harvest, with the help of my Mum, the freezer has been organised with military precision and is very nearly full, just the runner beans and the cooking apples to pick, cook and freeze, everything else can be stored in a cold dry storage area. The onions are hanging in string bags and the carrot box, which is a large metal trunk filled with sand has been allocated a space, that will just leave potatoes, and swede to be dried off and bagged up ready for storage. Parsnips can be left in the ground until needed and are better after the frosts have got at them. Cabbages can be harvested, chopped blanched and frozen, but the stalks left in the ground, then if you cut a + in the top if the stalk they will produce smaller but still useful baby cabbages, the same technique can be used for broccoli, it is something my Dad taught me a few years ago and it works a treat. I am keeping a careful eye on the nuts, just incase the squirrel gets any funny ideas about beating me to it. I had to laugh the other morning when I caught myself telling a Bee off for assuming that these runner beans I had lovingly planted belonged to him and he was getting quite irate that I dared to pick them! He didn’t seem to understand that he was after the pollen from the flowers and I was after the beans and so we could work in harmony!
The lambs (I should really call them sheep now) have been up to their usual tricks, I went to feed them the other morning and could only count 7, I heard bleating across the paddock and one of them had got himself firmly wedged under the chicken house! How they can get themselves in somewhere but be unable to get themselves out again is a mystery, I called Hubby and we had to roll around on the ground in amongst all the sheep s**t to get it back out!
The baby rabbits are growing very fast now and eat like there is no tomorrow, it would be lovely if we could keep them all but we need to find homes for them quite soon. We also have a large population of wild rabbits in the lower paddocks and sadly yesterday had to shoot one that had Myxomotosis, so I am guessing that it will not be a large population for long.
One of my older hens died of old age this week, they are the batch that we bought here with us and are nearly 4 years old, occasionally you will get hens that live much longer than that, but I think she has done well to get this far considering the amount of Fox attacks we have had. Sustained fox attacks will hopefully be a thing of the past as my Stepfather has now built us our very own fox trap, the other one we had was on loan to us and it works so well we thought we ought to have our own. I have another batch of 30 hens arriving next week, these will be my permanent laying stock, we will have eggs galore, if you want any they are £1 for half a dozen and we are quite happy to deliver in the local area when we are passing 🙂 The ducks are laying well too now and the eggs are £1.50 per half dozen if you prefer those.
Right I had better get back to work, make sure Hubby is not slacking, he has got a long list still to get through by the end of the week 😛 and I have to keep his strength up with plenty of cups of tea!