Monday: It’s cooler this morning which means it’s a lot easier to be motivated as I’m not sweating doing the morning rounds. I did a bit of watering but we are expecting rain tomorrow so I have left most of the garden, if it doesn’t come I shall be watering for hours 😝 Went to Millets Farm with the grandchildren today to see the animals, fell in love with the Pygmy goats lol, definitely would like to get some one day.
We had a bird come in the window again today, this time it panicked and flew into the room then into the kitchen, eventually I managed to get it out of the side window, bizarre, it’s radar must be well off centre. We seem to have quite a lot of small birds especially sparrows at the moment, by my reckoning the bird boxes have had two possibly three lots of hatchlings in each box this year which is fabulous but they must be getting pretty full of debris by now and will need a good clean out eventually.
Tuesday: It finally rained ☔️☔️ just a bit overnight, but hopefully we will get more, the grass will be refreshed with just a bit but the trees and the shrubs need more so fingers crossed.
I have a feeling I am going to have hundreds of courgettes this year lol so I have been looking up recipes, I tried the Parmesan fingers, they are ok but I need to cut them thinner I think, I like them crispy. Also chocolate/courgette cake, I am always a bit wary of these recipes as mostly the veg doesn’t really add anything to the cake but I have found a recipe that uses oil instead of butter so I consider it to be a little more healthy. I am not a great lover of courgette, I add them to stews etc to bulk it out but never really tried much else with them, this is obviously the year to go for it and see what happens.
While searching through Pinterest I found a recipe for something entirely different that I am going to have to have a go at making, banana and peanut butter bread pudding, mmmmm all of my favs rolled into one and useful as a winter breakfast I reckon, I shall be saving all the end bits of bread for this one 😀
The courgette cake tastes lovely, definitely will do that one again.
I glanced out of the door to see one of our rabbits hopping round the garden, I looked over to their run to see the door wide open and also the door to the orchard pen 😝 we had a child visitor this morning who went to see them but didn’t close and bolt the doors properly, I put Mia in the pushchair and under a tree as it was spitting with rain and proceeded to round them up, luckily they were easy to round up and it was done fairly quickly, lesson: it’s worth double checking the gates even if someone says they have shut them 😜
Well it’s has definitely rained and rained good, thank goodness for that, the garden and paddocks were desperate, I mean really desperate, the raspberry bushes were beginning to die back, the fruit trees were dropping their fruit, the paddocks, especially the chicken paddock was bare and dry and brown but it will have a new lease of life after the rain. Normally we could easily go three weeks without rain but not with the temperatures we have had as well, you can spend hours watering but nothing is as good as a rain shower, it’s charged with energy to start with and blanket coverage means every root gets a drink.
Wednesday: Got some picking done, the runner beans are getting big enough to pick now, had Mia so didn’t get much else done apart from playing 😜
Went out into the back paddock in the evening, John missed a bit of ragwort so had to show him where it was, saw the little owl while we were out there and discussed having mains electric fencing instead of post and rail as the wood seems to rot away so quickly, either way we will have to spend some dollar 😜
Thursday: Rained a little over night which is welcome. This morning I am multitasking in a big way lol, I’ve stripped the sofas to wash the covers which will take 4 loads, done the feeding, got the sourdough bread on the go and picked fruit and veg, then on to clean the house.
I picked more courgettes, not quite sure what I am going to do with them all 😝 picked a few runner beans and some purple dwarf beans and a couple of outdoor cucumbers. In the fruit cage I picked raspberries and then some loganberries, these are like large blackberries and they need picking on time as they readily fall off the bush onto the floor. I need to make some jam with them but I also still have ironing to do from weeks ago lol, which activity will win, I’m leaning towards the jam. The sourdough bread is going to take a lot longer to prove than normal bread I think, I have done a fair bit of reading about it all to try and understand exactly what needs doing and why I’m doing it, so far I seem to have got the hang of it but we shall see how the bread turns out before I can say it’s a success.
In the end I did the ironing so I could watch the tennis at the same time lol, thinking about it I could do with a tv in the kitchen then I would never have to sit down 😋
Things were going well, I was getting loads done and then pain struck in the bottom of my thumb joint, you don’t realise how much you use your thumb until you can’t! I must have strained it somehow and it was very painful, took a couple of ibrufen and waited for it to get better which is did but slowly, turning off a tap, lifting a saucepan even doing up your jeans is so much more difficult never mind putting the covers back on or prepping veg.
The sourdough was ok, not 100% but around 90 I would say, I think the mix was too wet as when it was proving it started to spread over the side of the tin, tastes good though and the texture is good, the next one will hopefully be even better.
Friday: whipped round his morning as have routine blood tests to get to. Later in the afternoon my Friday help came and did some picking, the courgette numbers are ridiculous, I have no idea what I was thinking planting that many! We inspected the chick peas and there are loads of little pods on the plants, happy with that. I did a bit of tidying and some picking, then collected the eggs, the pullets are laying really well and we are getting 36 out of 38 birds already which is helping out in the egg shed massively.
I was very sad to hear that our local fencing supplier had died, he was ‘old skool’ and a real character, I shall miss him ringing up for duck eggs and giving me abuse if we didn’t have any lol.
The air tattoo is on his weekend and we have had noisy aeroplanes around all day today, it would be nice if the cloud lifted so we could actually see them and get a free show.
Saturday: Got off to a flying start, John did the birds out in the front paddock while I did the others then he went off on the fortnightly feed run, meanwhile I cleaned the boot room, burnt the paper sacks and rubbish and started tidying up the back covered area, John helped to finish that when he came back. I had put the wildlife camera out last night up the back and checked out the footage, Mr Fox, no surprise there. Did a bit of veg picking while John watched the qualifying and I had a good haul of self set potatoes, they will feed us for a week or two at least. I spotted 10 apricots on the tree, the birds had already got to a few of them but I ended up with six, not bad considering I thought the frost had got all of them, maybe next year will be better (I say that every year, last year they were plentiful but pitted). Such was the success of the courgette/choc cake I have made another two today along with some more sourdough bread and a regular loaf. The sourdough takes ages to prove, I think I may go back to the old way but not until I have used up the starter and at least I know how to do it now even if I don’t!
We have another fly phenomenon in the living room this time, I hoovered up around 30 flies yesterday, we have identified where they are coming from and John has gone to get some expanding foam to fill the hole. The problem is the wooden hollow walls and the rat poison, bad combination 😝 still at least we can fix it, he is also picking up some wasp nest killer as I still have a nest in one of the compost bins and I can’t work near it because they get angry, I will show them who is boss 😉 We have a bees nest in the feed room but I won’t be killing them off as they tend to mind their own business as long as we mind ours and we can co exist quite happily.
Courgette and Chocolate cake recipe
Basically just put it all in a big bowl and stir, then bake at around 160c for approx 40mins or until the knife comes out clean. This make two lb loaf tin size cakes, give it a go you won’t be disappointed I can tell you. I used pecans in the first one and walnuts in the next lot, also olive oil in the first because that’s all I had and sunflower in the second lot. You can buy courgettes in the little shed 😜😜 or actually I have that many that if you are reading this and just ask me I will give you some for free 😀
I have set the camera again tonight, lets see what, if anything, we get.
Sunday: Checked the camera and have more video of Mr Fox, I have tried in vain to transfer it from my laptop to the iPad if I actually succeed then it will be on here fingers crossed. In the end I had to video the video! Nope I couldn’t upload it even then 😔 I will try uploading it onto the Friesland Farm Facebook page and hope that works.
Martin came over to do some more to the play pirate ship, just some finishing touches to go now, the smile on Joshua’s face was a mile wide when he went in, Mia and him will have such fun although I think us adults will have just as much, can’t wait to dress up and play pirates, yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
Pulled up an enormous swede today, there were a couple more that were quite big and I don’t really want them any bigger so I dug four up and hopefully they will store well until they are needed. A drop more rain this afternoon means I won’t have to water 💦 yay. A common problem this year is tomatoes not setting fruit, mine included, plenty of flowers but they are not turning into fruit at all, it was the hot spell that caused it, the pollen becomes sterile if the temps are consistently high, there are a few tomatoes on each plant so all is not lost but it would have been nice to have had a jackpot load.