Bank holiday plans.

Our surrounding farms are in full swing.  They have their cattle out in the fields, who were obviously really interested in something, so much so they lined up in a semi-circle for it.
The currant bushes are laden!  I am really excited as I can’t wait to make those delicious cordials again that we made last year.  I’ll be stocking up on them this year though, to preserve rather than use right away.
We’ve been eating asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli a few times a week.  So far we’ve had it whole and in stir fries and it’s delicious.  I’ve got a load of PSB in for 2018 as it’s a lovely crop to have and fills the gap when waiting for the next years crops and finishing the last of the leeks and so on.  It takes almost a full year to harvest, so it’s in a separate bed near the fruit trees.  Time will tell if it’s any good there.

This coming weekend is a bank holiday and we’re spending some of it with friends and the rest of it in the veg plots and paddocks.  The pigs will hopefully be moving to their new accommodation on Sunday.  We’re out Saturday otherwise we’d do it before and if they escape, we need to be on site for it.  We’ll be home Sunday and Monday as normal, so that seems sensible.
In the veg areas I want to get some more plants out but I’m hesitant after this week’s frosts.  I also need to get a lot of things potted on and some more sown to ensure successional sowing.  I’ll give the ones that are out already a feed and some pellets for the slugs (no hedgehogs can get in, it’s rabbit proofed for those who worry).
I’ll be checking on the fruit and nut trees that we have recently planted but I won’t need to water them as we’ve had rain, snow and sleet in parts.  Shot lived but enough to water them.
The main crop potatoes are showing through so I will earth them up and cover them in the ongoing battle with the chickens.
I am also going to try and get something done with the field that I flattened.  I used my fiesta, as in my car.  I asked the farmers, tried to pay people and looked online.  No one could help, so I used my initiative.  I knocked myself sick going backwards and forwards, but the job’s done.  Now I need to get the grass seed sown.  Obviously the ground is flat and hard, so I need to get my thinking cap on.  I have basic tools only!
I’ve been weeding as often as I can, to try and stay on top of it so they don’t take a hold.  The weeds get thrown onto the pile of ‘scrap but useful’ items we keep behind the barn and the chickens see to it.  They love scratching round in them.
A busy weekend planned.  It’s all too much for Rodney and Buster.

Monday’s post that didn’t post !

12 sleeps until my 2 weeks off begin, well 11 but I have to be in work on the Friday so it doesn’t officially start until Friday 3pm.  I can’t wait!

 

4 weekends have now past since I announced we wouldn’t be having any more takeaways and I am super pleased to be able to say, we haven’t!  We have had a meal or 2 out at a local pub however I don’t see this as a problem.  For me, that’s getting out into the community and supporting local businesses.  Although buying a take away is supporting a local business, I don’t think the food is generally very healthy and it’s certainly not good for the grocery budget.  Whilst we’ve had a day or 2 off work, we’ve enjoyed being able to get out and about together.  Sunday night was a tester for me though, I was tired from the weekend and didn’t fancy making a Sunday lunch, so I did homemade (there’s that word again Louise!) pizza instead and it was delicious.  I made the tomato base from the greenhouse tomatoes that were ready and I haven’t tasted a tomato sauce so lovely before.  Next year I want to grow even more so that I can fill the freezer up with it for all year round “go to” tomato base.

On Friday we all had the day off together that we hoped for and took the kids to a theme park for the day.  They had so much fun and made the most of it.  We managed to get a discount voucher so it wasn’t too hard hitting, though those places aren’t cheap!

We sold 2 of our top grade chickens over the weekend, they’re only 15 weeks old so not laying yet.  It was a pair, boy and a girl and the family seemed nice so off they went giving us £25 in our pocket towards the next lot of feed.  I’m sad to say that one of our female ducks was attacked by our geese on Thursday and she’s still limping however they’ve had another go at her, so I’m bringing her inside into the dog crate for some TLC.  I’ll post an update on her soon.   She doesn’t look too good.

Both Saturday and Sunday we had family over visiting for one reason and another.  It’s nice that people take the time to visit us, as we rarely have spare time to visit others but we do try as it shouldn’t always be on them.

I also found 3 cherry trees that I didn’t know we had!  The black ones are laden however they are so high up and out on a limb that I couldn’t pick them all.  We’ll figure out a way to get them though.  For now I have half a tub waiting to be weighed and turned into something delicious.  I’ve also got lots of the white currants stripped off the bush and I am going to make jelly from them to go with meats.  I also discovered a huge supply of sloe bushes when I was out riding, there are a ridiculous amount, so I hope we like them!  There’s bramble bushes a plenty too all along the bridle routes (which, selfishly, I’ve not seen anyone else use).  Our pantry will be overflowing with goodies and I hopefully have the start of the Christmas hampers.  Cherry brandy is apparently a real treat, so I’ll get a few small bottles to decant them into if I make some.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about the free food I keep finding!

I’ve also got some late season purple sprouting broccoli to put in.  It may be too late but we’re behind people here anyway, so I’ll give it a go and put some in asap.  I’m right in the middle of sorting one of the fields, so I will try and spend at least an hour in each area a few nights this week.  I am realising how much I really need to look after the small fields we have otherwise they will be no good in a very short space of time.  So taking out the horses muck is a daily task now.

I managed to get the raspberry vodka made too, it was very easy and I hope it tastes as delicious as it looks.

Finally, I am pleased to say I learnt how to use the manual lawnmower at the weekend.  So now I can crack on and get that done instead of adding it to Steven’s shoulders.