I have been asked if I get bored, being here at the farm all day every day by myself, usually by my Father In Law, I don’t think he quite realises how much there is to do. As well as the farm which encompasses animal care, feeding, cleaning, health matters, there is the veg garden, digging, growing, harvesting, processing, the outer paddock areas including maintaining the hedges and verges etc, onto the normal household jobs cooking, cleaning, washing, generally keeping good order and also the accounts for Hubby’s business, so no, bored is not an option! With this comment in mind I decided to voice note one of my typical days, rudely my youngest asked if it consisted of coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee, she was of course joking (hopefully) this is how it went:
Alarm goes off at 6.45 and we are pretty good at getting up when it sounds, have breakfast and a morning cuppa, get dressed and go out to do the morning rounds. Turn off the security lights and feed the cats before they pester the life out of me. Let the geese out into the back paddock and refill their water buckets, take the horses some morning hay, feed the chickens in the back pen, collect more fed from the feed room and go round to the duck pen, empty yesterday’s dirty water and refill, fill up feed trough let out the ducks, collect the duck eggs and take them into the boot room to be washed later. Collect more feed and take round to the orchard, refill water buckets and let out the bantams and chicks, give them their morning feed then out to the main chicken paddock. Move the electric fencing to give the hens new grass, fill up the feed troughs, refill the water troughs and let them out, once they have all piled out I go in and scrape the mess off the floor into a bucket, skip out the nest boxes and refresh with new wood shavings, empty bucket, reconnect the electric pick up any windfall apples to chuck in to the hens, check the egg shed on the way back. Feed the dogs and refill water bowls, check the quail and pick up any quail eggs. HAVE COFFEE!
On the way round I made a mental note of how much weeding there is to do and that the main crop potatoes have nearly finished flowering and will need digging up soon on a dry day. The amount of rain we have had lately means everything is growing at a great rate, weeds, veg and grass, the latter we have been waiting all spring and summer for, finally the September flush as its called, is producing results.
Go out to veg garden and pick runner beans, French beans, cucumbers, courgettes, patty pan, tomatoes and artichokes, bring them in and organise the ones for sale, weigh, price and bag up and take to little shed any that don’t look too good put aside for the chickens. HAVE COFFEE 😄
The early morning sun has now disappeared and it looks like it’s going to rain again, my greenhouse leaks during heavy rainfall and at the moment that’s where the onions and garlic are drying out, or trying to, so I need to move them into the back covered area to prevent them getting damp. While I am there and have deposited the onions I look in the freezer for something for dinner, I decide on chicken casserole for Hubby and think I may have curry.
Take out the rubbish and at that point take a moment to refocus and prioritise jobs because the weather looks like it is set to get worse, get outside jobs done first. I check the greengage plums on the tree which are already starting to split because of the rain yesterday and the wasps are gathering (note to self, pick before they are ripe next year) so I pick what I can and bring them in the check the current supermarket prices, weigh, bag up and put out for sale.
11am go out to veg garden and pull up a large bunch of carrots, to use for dinner later, take the tops to the horses. Prepare all the veg for the freezer that I picked earlier along with most of the carrots, keeping some back for the casserole which I prepare at the same time. Tidy up the kitchen and do a quick tidy around the rest of the house.
When I blanch veg for the freezer, I don’t change the water in between so beans, carrots etc all use the same water, then if you taste it at the end you will find it makes pretty good vegetable stock 😄 which can be frozen or used the same day.
As predicted earlier it did begin to rain while I was preping veg, I decided it was a good day for soup so I used the veg stock and made roasted garlic and potato soup which I will have later instead of the planned curry. I also stewed a few more plums for the freezer while I was in the kitchen.
That took me up to 2pm when I sat down in the living room with a cup of tea, checked my emails, had a browse on Facebook and a text conversation with my brother who has just dislocated his shoulder, I also made a much needed appointment with the hairdresser.
2.45pm it’s still raining so I decide to fling the Hoover around the kitchen and living room, hard floors mean visible dust on a daily basis! After that I decide to try and find the rectal thermometer as the cat is looking a bit off colour, not Bella, she has recovered well this time, but Deisel is a bit lethargic and off his food, I did spot a regurgitated rodent that may have caused some tummy upset, and although I found the thermometer I thought it might be wiser to let the vet have the pleasure. Meanwhile I put on a load of washing and it’s already time to go feed the chickens and ducks their afternoon scratch corn and collect the eggs.
I collect 53 eggs from the main laying flock in the front and 12 from the pullets at the back, wash any dirty eggs and box them up, check the egg shed to see what has sold, pick up the money and restock. Our eldest daughter arrives home from work and I tell her about the cat looking poorly so we go and find him to give him a look over and decide what to do, he eats the tuna we have bought him as a treat, has a bit of a groom, looks a little sorry for himself but not too bad so we decide to wait until tomorrow and see how he is before taking him to the vets.
Feed the dogs and then feed me, I opt for the soup I made earlier with a couple of slabs of bread and butter, Hubby is working at our daughters cottage after work and so will be late home tonight, when I finish my supper I put his dinner in the oven on low so it’s ready when he comes home.
I plan on giving the dogs a bath as it has been raining and they are now filthy after running around the farm in the rain but my Sister and Brother in Law turn up for a cuppa so we sit around the kitchen table and chat about the Victoria Plum Jam I have made especially for him as he has been unable to find it in the shops anywhere. Hubby arrives home around 8.30pm just as its getting dark, he puts the kettle on again to make more tea for everyone while I go outside and shut away the chickens, geese and ducks for the night and turn on the security lights, that’s it done outside for the day, I just need to wash up and relax on the sofa till bedtime with a quick wee break for the dogs around 10pm and bed for us around 10.30pm.
And that is how my voice noted day went, not much chance to be bored unless I choose to be!
Footnote: The cat had perked up no end by the next morning and so no trip to the vet was necessary thank goodness 😸
2 whole heads of garlic, roast whole in tinfoil with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt for 40 mins
3/4 medium potatoes cooked until soft
1 onion chopped and sauted in a pan with some butter
Add cooked potatoes and veg stock to the onion pan along with salt, pepper, thyme and Parmesan cheese to taste, add a cup of milk and squeeze the roasted garlic from the heads into the rest of the ingredients discarding the outer remains, you can add cream if you like and purée it if you prefer, heat up gently and eat with gusto!
Have a great week 😃