You will remember that I wrote last week about never being able to recall what I had been doing even though I had been busy all week, well this week I decided to write everything down, so now I know exactly what I have done 🙂
Monday started off with writing the blog then going on to do the cleaning and washing, after that I decided to bake that Tea Loaf I told you about, It turned out a bit stodgy so I will have to try again before I pass the recipe on, it still tasted good though and was soon eaten up. Later in the afternoon I thought I would get the brewing kit out and start my first ever brew off, I followed the instructions which were fairly easy although sterilizing a 5 gallon bucket in a tiny sink proved a bit of a task, especially when I had to empty it back out, trying to decant 5 gallons into the sink where the tub was already sat was a bit of a messy mission but in the end the brew was sat nicely with its airlock on and it was not long before it began to bubble away and according to the instructions as long as it is doing that then something good is happening 🙂
On Tuesday as the weather was still quite nice I decided that the lawnmower could do with a service before cutting the grass for the first time this year, it needed a good clean, the air filter was checked and the blade taken off and sharpened, I checked the oil level which was fine, the only thing I could not do was the spark plug as I couldn’t get it off, but as the lawnmower started up with no problems, I figured it didn’t need looking at! I was all ready to cut the lawn but had to abandon that as there was not a drop of petrol in the can 😦 There were plenty of other jobs to choose from and so I filled the rest of the raised flower bed with compost from last years heap, sorted out and connected up the watering system for the vegetable beds and creosote one of the chicken houses inside and out. Luckily I had just finished doing that when the heavens opened and the last of the Sunshine disappeared for a few days.
Wednesday was cold and rainy with a measure of hail thrown in for a laugh so that was the day to spend sewing 🙂 I had ordered the material a few weeks ago to make some new cushion covers and bunting to create a vintage look to the new seating area in the garden, I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it and ending up with something pretty at the end of the day was a real joy, as the weather has yet to improve I have not tried them out but the minute it does I will be out there with a cup of tea admiring my handy work 🙂
Mum came up to give me a helping hand on Thursday and together we filled the other flower bed, and planted it up, built a cold frame, potted on the courgettes, planted more salad crops in the greenhouse and made the greenhouse warmer by insulating it with bubble wrap to get the crops growing and also weeded the potato bed which due to the cold still has not been planted.
On Friday morning we woke up to a very hard frost, later inspection around the farm revealed that the Pieris, Buddlia, and Dicentra had all been affected by the frost but they should recover, I was glad to see that the blossom on the plum and pear trees seem to be unaffected and hope we don’t get another frost that hard or it will have an impact on the fruit quantities. Some of the animals had an alternative breakfast that morning, it is good to vary their diet now and again especially if they are on pellets of any kind. The rabbits had a bowl full of carrots and apples, plus some hay instead of their usual food and the dogs had duck eggs.
According to the instructions I could now test the brew as the bubbles had stopped in the airlock, trying to understand the instructions was not so easy this time! I had to use a hydrometer to test the gravity of the brew, according to the meter it was ready to rack off into the barrel but I was unsure if I was using it correctly and the explanation that came with it was beyond my scientific understanding! So I dumbed it down to my level, tipped some of the beer away, added more water thus watering it down and the hydrometer gave a different reading, with my logic I knew I was on the right path 😉 I did decide to leave it another day though just in case :p
I finally managed to get some fuel and cut the lawn, I say lawn but it was really just a bit of rough ground near the veg patch that conveniently grew grass, and it is the only bit of grass in the place that is not grazed by animals thus it became the lawn! I also mowed the grass all down the front driveway and swept the drive so that it looked all nice and tidy for Easter, and it did look lovely especially with the daffodils out. In between mowings I had a couple of people arrive to buy chickens, two little girls who had chosen theirs before they went away on holiday had arrived back and were very excited about collecting thier Easter present, we managed to catch the right ones which had been leg ringed for easy identification, I hope that at least one of them laid an egg for them on Easter day 🙂
On the Saturday I tested the brew again and this time I was confident it was ready, so I sterilised the equipment and racked of the brew into the barrel, I added the sugar as per instructions and it now has to sit for 7 days before we can drink it, by new Monday I will have tasted it and will let you know if it is any good or not!
After the week being fairly quiet, Saturday was an explosion of people at the farm all doing various different jobs, Hubby was busy cutting up wood as always, although I did give him a new job to try, which was sieving the compost that had been dug out from the heap, I knew he would like it even though he says not 😉 My Stepdad was busying bagging up a pile of ballast that we had been given, he keeps his holiday home down here and he is working off his rental. My daughters boyfriend was here with his quad bike dragging the rest of the paddocks so while all that was going on I creosoted the goose house, potted on the Tom’s aubergines and Melons, and paunched and skinned a rabbit that the BF shot at the end of the day.
On Sunday, after feeding the animals, I HAD A DAY OFF 😀
And that is what I did last week!! On top of that of course there were the 11 animals and 75 poultry to feed and water every morning and evening, eggs to collect and box up, the fire to light and wood to get in to keep it going all day, washing, cooking, putting the dustbins out, getting them back in again, cleaning and bits of paperwork to do, the question I am asking myself is, what the heck does everyone else do around here?? 😉