So this week has been exceptionally busy produce wise, the weather on the majority of days, for me has been just perfect, overcast but warm, this means I can get a fair amount done outside.
We finally got the tractor repaired or so we thought, so I took it out to move some livestock housing and a mound of earth, but the clunking noise didn’t seem quite right, so I called the tractor man who came back and confirmed it wasn’t! More parts need to be purchased £££££ and it will be fixed sometime, eventually! Back to doing everything by hand then 😕
As I reported last blog, the veg is coming on in leaps and bounds and so I began picking, freezing and putting any excess out for sale, well the minute I put it out it sold, which is fab but it turned into a frenzied couple of days picking, stocking and restocking the little shed. Available at the minute are garlic, beetroot, broad beans, runner beans, potatoes, bunches of herbs and raspberries. In the end I was working through the evening picking to get a head start on the next day. I also put out some jars of jam which were very quickly snapped up I am pleased to say.
Hubby has very nearly finished the chicken shed we hope to move them in on Wednesday evening. Last night was quite funny though as he had gone out to finish the door, eventually he came back in saying, I have been shouting you, I didn’t hear him honest. He had screwed the ply onto the door frame, but beforehand had bolted the door through the open framework so it didn’t move ( the bolt is on the outside) and then proceeded to screw the ply on, from the inside 😝 and consequently couldn’t get out lol, the options were to unscrew the ply or shout for help, luckily one of the livery girls was still in the field and eventually heard him 😂
Just as the produce sales were picking up, the hens decided to go off lay, when one goes, they all go, well at least half of them. I hate it when that happens as there are never enough eggs to go round and I have to explain to customers there will be a shortage for a while. We are hoping that a change of residence will kick start them a bit and at least a few more of them will start to lay again. Before we move them in we will have to catch them up one by one, give them a dusting of lice powder and put Vaseline on their legs to prevent mites. It’s always a good opportunity when moving them to do this then hopefully they will be bug free for a good few months. I will also begin to put garlic and cider vinegar in their water, all this is preparation for the winter months to make sure they are as healthy as can be before the weather turns cold again.
The weather always makes a difference to laying hens, you might think that summer is ideal for them but they do not like prolonged dry spells which is exactly what we have had. The paddocks are beginning to look scorched and even some of the trees are beginning to develop yellow leaves, a good indication of lack of moisture. Each time a cloud passes over that looks like it may rain I am hopeful but usually it passes on by leaving my hopes dashed.
With it being so dry the one worry we always have is fire especially living in a wooden building! The other night we went to bed and at the minute we have the window open a little, I had gone to sleep but woke up when I realised Hubby was sitting up, “whats the matter” I asked him, ” I can smell smoke” he said, “yep now you’ve said it so can I” was my answer. We got up and went outside for a quick scout round, it was fairly strong outside but did smell more like a bonfire than burning buildings. We got back into bed but a few minutes later the smell was stronger so Hubby got dressed and went out for a better look this time, he checked over all the surrounding fields just to make sure they hadnt caught, satisfied that we were not in danger he came back to bed and we were still here the next morning 😁
We still have to re home two of the kittens and get Bella in to be done as soon as possible, I am ringing the vet today before she ends up pregnant again! I am hoping that an operation and some recouperation time will break her rather stupid habit of sitting in the middle of the road down the lane, otherwise I can see the op being a waste of time and money if she ends up squished!
In the next few weeks I hope to be picking apricots and morello cherries, apricot jam is one of my favs and as I have never made cherry jam before that will be exciting. I have also been looking into the process of making my own glacé cherries as I use them in fruit cake, it’s a two week process though but worth it in the end hopefully, I will let you know how it goes.
The pics are of the cherry tree, apricot tree, veg garden, shallots drying (that are more the size of onions ) and Patch in his favourite position, laying down 😜
Have a good week