Every bank holiday this year has had great weather so we can’t complain about that!
We have had a busy few days this week with one thing or another, the farrier came to do the horses feet and bought his very entertaining four year old with him, he had a captive audience of adoring women laughing at his stories about his pony, Mike the Knight and his wish to have two Dalmatians, so that he can have lots of Dalmatians lol.
We have had a party of campers over the weekend, my niece wanted to camp for her birthday and so friends and family arrived with tents and set up, it was a lovely evening, the rain stayed away, at least until the morning, we ate heartily, sat by the fire pit, and had breakfast on the barbie in the morning (which yet again was my favourite bit). We were expecting picnickers on Sunday from the other side of the family but the little girl went down with a sickness bug so that will wait for another time.
The never ending task of getting rid of the red mite has continued, all the small huts have now been taken apart, washed with jeyes fluid and creosoted, a most unpleasant job but one that had to be done. We re-assembled the hut that was completed, put Vaseline on the ends of the perches to catch any strays, put it into an empty pen then caught all the hens and dusted them before putting them in the pen. There are still red mite! Arrrrggghhh, the difference is that the numbers are small and hopefully we can keep on top of them, with Winter approaching they will be less of a problem.
With the lack of eggs from the hens, I decided to look around for some laying ducks, we picked up six today and I hope we will at least have plenty of ducks eggs on offer, trying to keep the customers coming back for when we have plenty is the main aim. I have been keeping the little shed full of produce so at least there is something to tempt them. The ducks seem to have settled in well with the others, although at the time of writing this we have not yet tried to put them to bed, could be a long evening when we do.
The cockerels finally had their last day on Saturday, seven birds to dispatch and sort, as they were all about two years old we decided to use them for dog feed, they were hybrid and quite lean so not enough for a good roast. Two more of them escaped the fate of the others, the one that free ranges permanently, if he suddenly disappears we will know there is a fox about, and the gold laced Orpington has been allowed to stay with his ladies for the time being. It is a little bit quieter round here at daylight now.
The cucumbers continue to sprout in magnificent numbers, they must be at their peak soon, if only the tomatoes were the same, I could sell lots of those, it’s always the way I guess. The runner beans seem to be slow, and a lot of them are shorter than usual but there are plenty on there, the soft fruit has now gone over with the exception of a few Autumn raspberries but not enough to fill a punnet each day sadly, must make a note to plant more for next year. The pumpkin patch is looking magnificent, the foliage is all dying off to reveal big balls of orange hiding underneath, it is probably the best pumpkin harvest I have had to date.
I finally got round to making some jam today, but not from anything I have grown, I made an impulse buy on the way back from collecting the ducks, the cherries for sale in the layby lured me in and so now I have a few jars of black cherry jam, mmm delish, I should make a Black Forest gateaux but I think a Victoria sponge will have to do. I have so many projects I want to get on with but day to day stuff always takes up the time, some of it very boring too, this week I will mainly be doing paperwork, I have a lot to get through, about three days worth I reckon, yawn, still once it’s done my mind will be free to think about cheese making and painting my milk urn.
The nighttime visitors seem to have increased with the darker nights, we have a hedgehog and last night I think, judging by Kai persistently barking, a fox is checking us out, we have set the trap just in case, but worse than that, on Saturday night, the biggest rat I have ever seen literally crossed the doorstep! Hubby managed to shoot it when we found it strolling across the drive, I think it was already poisoned as it was not as fast as I would have expected it to be, I hope it does not have extended family living near by!
Blackberry picking season is almost upon us which coincides nicely with the apple harvest, that means lots of pies and crumbles for the Winter nights, I have plenty of windfalls if anyone would like some, at the minute they are all over the drive and grass verge because I have not had time to pick them up, it is a shame to let them go to waste, I do have a sign saying help yourself and some customers do but obviously not enough to clear them up for me 😉