I like the moment I decide to make a cuppa and sit down to write my blog, sharing the ins and outs of daily life with you is one of life’s little pleasures, not that there is much to tell to be honest.
It’s been pretty hectic some days, constant streams of egg customers, people coming for free manure, deliveries of compost, plants, the phone ringing, people buying chickens, everything always seems to happen at once, especially on the day I decided to make the lemon curd, more about that later.
We have taken delivery of 100 new point of lay hens, 80 to replace the laying flock and 20 that have gone into the sale pen. The old ladies had to be moved under cover of darkness, rather more for their benefit than for ours as it’s easier to catch them and they are less stressed. As always with most jobs it got left until the absolute last minute and of course it rained incessantly that day, luckily it had lessened to a drizzle by dusk and so we spent a hour catching, crating and moving 77 hens from the front paddock to the far back paddock, I think it was four trips with the crates precariously balanced on the wheelbarrow. By the time we finished it was pitch black and we were having to use the torch to pick our way through the mud puddles, as you can imagine there was much muttering from both hubby and myself mostly about his wheelbarrow driving and my navigation 😆 The new ladies arrived just before the weekend and have settled in well, the old ladies are a little put out at having their roaming space reduced but are on the whole enjoying the relocation, most of them anyway, a few have decided to ‘go over the fence’ everyday and try to get back to the front paddock but they go back in the evening so we just let them get on with it.
I have finally got under way with sowing seeds in the greenhouse, I was panicking, thinking I was behind when the last bit of dry, sunny weather was here, but I held off for a while and then decided to invest in an electric heater for the greenhouse. This goes against everything I believe in really but the truth of the matter is that if I want plants ready to go when the weather turns, I have to give them some heat to begin with, we are quite exposed which usually puts us back around two/three weeks, so I figured that I would counterbalance that with heating the greenhouse for a couple of weeks, we will see if it works out that way. So far I have sown a large range of veg, from beans and peas, to tomatoes and peppers, all doing well at the moment. In the poly tunnel a couple of weeks ago I planted, lettuce, radish, beetroot, peas, spring onions, garlic and potatoes, everything has come up except the potatoes which should make an appearance any day now.
I spent one whole day just hoeing and cutting back dead stuff, raking the paths and putting the contents of the compost heap on the garden, a most enjoyable day that I felt I had accomplished a fair amount, which was abruptly undone by the small flock of unruly, free range chickens scratching the dead stuff, newly added to the empty compost pile, all over the pathway, one step forward, two steps back 😖
Mostly we have been busy tidying, that includes cutting back trees, bushes and hedges in the paddocks, picking up Winter debris ( which is a surprisingly large amount of twigs and branches) Hubby has also been setting up the other water tanks to collect more rainfall although they are not yet connected eventually they will hold around 14,000 litres of free water 😃
The geese have been laying well and last weekend we sold 11 goose eggs in 10 minutes, egg sales have been constant but I did keep a goose egg back to make Lemon Curd, however, it was a disaster as it would not thicken up despite a good half an hour of stirring 😔 I didn’t waste it though, I turned it into a cake instead, I will have another go at some point and follow a different recipe, I will let you know how it goes.
I gave my youngest sister a couple of goose eggs for her birthday and look what she did with one of them.
Our youngest daughters boyfriend revealed a useful talent a while back which I put to good use recently, his stint working in bars left him with excellent chalkboard skills, so I set him to work on our roadside board which now looks a whole lot better than my slanty, disappearing lines of writing 😃
Hopefully, although we are getting a fair amount of April showers, the ground temperatures will begin to warm up and the grass begins to grow as well as the veg and fruit, because grass is an important crop for us too as far as the geese and the horses are concerned anyway.
Have a good week and I hope the sun shines for you ☀️