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Monday, 30 September 2013

The latest happenings.

If you check out the website on a regular basis, you get a little feel of all what happens fairly constantly with my tweets.
 
As tweeted we have had loads of mushrooms this year, there have been 2 harvests, one in July/August and a 2nd one now in mid September. Shop mushrooms don't compare. But field mushrooms have a very short shelf life, so in order to make the most of them, mushroom soup was being made daily, in quite large quantities.
 
Which leads me on to the fact that I hate waste, so this time of year is frantic in trying to pickle, freeze, eat or make something with surplus veg.  Most of the veg has produced well this year, which was reassuring after the last few years when things had been so difficult.
 
In the spring we hatched out a handful of ducks. There were 2 drakes amongst them which were dispatched recently and were pleased with the end result, we haven't done the taste test yet, we've put them in our freezer. I've attached a picture of the remaining ducks which we are going to keep for egg production, they are very nice young ladies.
 
September is the last month really for any tunnel planting, possibly a few days into October, but the days are too short now for much growing.
 
The field is looking lovely with all it's veg, we've managed to keep the carrot fly, caterpillars and pigeons off of everything up till now with insect mesh. The slugs were fairly quiet this year for a change. No doubt winter will see the pigeons doing battle with us again, pigeon pie sounds good to me!
 
 
 
 

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Another week.

Another week has flown by.
 
The weather has been lovely, although there is an autumnal feeling to mornings and evenings. This little bit of rain at the end of the week has been welcome.
 
It's been another busy week here for us in the shop with lunches, cream teas, cake orders and all the usual other stuff.
We were running short of some beef so we were glad to be able to process Jessica, now all chopped, minced and ready for use, all a necessary part of our business which enables us and our customers to know exactly where their food comes from. All of our cattle are grass and silage fed and have an outdoor life throughout the summer months, unlike so many now. They are slow growing and all reach the 30 month threshold for slaughter. All our meals contain our own beef naturally, and many complimentary comments are made about it. We make steak and kidney and steak pies, both of which are hugely popular.
 
Christmas must be coming as the turkeys arrived this week, aagh!
 
The silage pile is growing once again as the boys gather it in from the fields. Our straw arrived during the week ready for winter use. We seem to spend half the year enduring winter, and the other half preparing for it.
 
 
 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Babies.

The last two weeks have produced numerous new babies, some planned, some not.
 
Sally and her babies continue to do well.
 
Two calves arrived this week one little girl named Jade and a little boy called Marty.
 
Two hens produced two little unexpected broods, always a lovely surprise when mother proudly emerges from a hidden nest with her babies. The incubator produced a handful of chicks, not as successful as we had hoped, the hens make a much better job of it.
 
Whatever the baby they're always lovely, we still get excited on their arrival.
 
Sadly not all of them make it as we were rudely reminded this week with Piggy Little. We had never reared a piglet by hand. We thought she was going to be alright when she reached a week old and appeared to be doing really well, but it wasn't to be.
 
We're very fortunate to witness so many births and it is rewarding, but it also comes with responsibility and can be stressful knowing when to intervene and when not to. 
 
       Sleeping beauties.                                                   Jade and Mum.
       Marty and Mum, just a few hours old.                        The last 6 to hatch, 2 days old.