Hello :)

Sorry I haven’t blogged for a while but to be quite honest I couldn’t be bothered!
I was a the point where I was just writing the same old stuff over and over, well it felt like it anyway, an attitude adjustment was needed I decided, but which direction to move in is the dilemma.

Firstly I will give you a quick update on what has been happening, the long and glorious summer and autumn, rudely interrupted this weekend, has meant that we have been very busy. I can’t even count the amount of butternut squash I have harvested or how many lLbs of runner beans I have picked, safe to say it is many and of course once you pick them all they have to be processed one way or another. Cooked and frozen if I am keeping them for the freezer, stored well if they are to be kept over winter or bagged up and labeled if they are to be sold. We are now coming to the end of the harvest and I have a very full freezer as well as dried herbs, garlic, onions, potatoes, cooking apples and nuts to feast on through the darker months.

I have no idea what drove me to this kind of lifestyle choice, I only know that once in the cycle I am driven to planting, growing, harvesting, processing as much as possible without waste. I read somewhere that only another self sufficient pioneer would understand and I think that is quite true.

We have increased our fruits trees by four, one lovely morning we planted, 2 apples trees and 2 plum trees in the front paddock, hopefully they will make it to next spring and give us a nice bounty. One of the apples is a red fleshed apple which I am very excited about, one of the plums trees is a cherry plum, we had one at our last house and I do miss the small but beautifully sweet fruits. We have taken delivery of 30 pol of lay hens to increase our egg numbers as the amount of customers we are getting is still growing. When we are not harvesting we are mending and fixing or adjusting various parts of the farm. We have had some help over the summer in the form of volunteers who work hard for the day In return for produce, this is the most fabulous exchange as far as I am concerned, we spent one day culling and dressing the meat birds and they went off with a chicken for dinner, most times it’s a mix of veg and eggs but hopefully a win win situation for both parties.
We have had some unsavoury happenings as well, as from today I am asking customers to ring the bell for eggs as we have had some stealing, it’s a sorry state of affairs the one or two of the dregs of society ruin it for everyone else. We have also had someone wandering around at night, letting the horses and geese out, I am waiting for CCTV to arrive, we will be able to see what wildlife is mooching around and also if they are any unwelcome moochers. One night the front gate was either left open (although hubby swears he shut it) or someone opened it and the dog got out and killed all my little pekin bantams and the ducklings, some weird goings on of late that’s for sure.
In the past the blog has consisted purely of happenings on the farm, and not all of them at that because we occasionally have some right funny buggers turning up in the day. I don’t usually include these stories as they involve outsiders from the farm but I think in future if we have one of these random happenings I will include it for sheer entertainment value because it can be very entertaining. I am also not very political but obviously I have views especially when they affect the lifestyle choice we have made, normally I would not comment on these issues but if they do have an impact on our way of life then I may voice my opinion, be assured it is just my opinion and I am not seeking a debate over the issue although I am always keen to hear other points of view. One topic that is current at the moment is that of hazelnuts, the price of them will be higher this year as will things like chocolate/nut spread, because the harvest in Turkey has been bad this year, this is where we import most of the nuts from. This makes me cross as in this country we have millions of nut trees, many cultivated orchards but also millions of wild trees as well, why are we importing when they grow so well here? This year on the farm we have had a bumper crop of hazelnuts and if we could have a system like the French where all small producers take their harvest to a collective point there would be no need to import at all.

In the beginning I did set up a recipe page but I have not added to it for a long time, I will try to rectify this in the future, the recipes are not my own, I am not that adventurous but they will be recipes that I have tried and am happy with, on the whole I like my recipes simple and easy to whip up quickly so that anyone can have a go. I have been given a recipe for green tomato cake, I was also given a slice of the cake at the same time so I can safely say it was lovely and a new way to use up the glut that usually happens at the end of the season, I will add this one soon.

I have at last got a sourdough starter on the go, I have been meaning to do it for a couple of years but it is a five day process that I never quite got off the ground, I am on day four today, once you have the culture started it can be kept and reactivated for years even passed on through the generations. I love sourdough with soup, no idea why it tastes so good like that, it could be that the first time I had it was with leek and potato soup in the Blue
Mountains in Australia and the memory has stuck with me.
Luckily, although I was a bit late with winter veg, I managed to find some leek plants at the local garden centre which I was very happy about, the best soup on a cold winters day has got to be leek and potato a firm favourite with all the family.
The photo this week is a rhubarb and custard cake that I made with the last of the rhubarb and some of the hazelnuts that I roasted the flavour of those was incredible. They are now in the freezer to use whenever I need them.

Have a fabulous week whatever the weather, to be honest I am glad to see a bit of rain and I quite enjoyed the sharpness of the frosty morning we had in he week as well. I will be back with a blog soon, if I can be bothered πŸ™‚


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