The dream is becoming the reality with each week that passes (including menu plan!)

I’ve been working on the menu plans now I am full steam ahead with the veg box and Tesco decision.  I will normally update this post type on a Thursday, but this week it’s Friday seen as though we’re just getting going.   Veg is delivered on a Wednesday, each week.  Items delivered will be seasonal and I’m working a menu plan based on the delivery contents instead of shopping to the menu plan. 

Wednesday veg box cost £26.27 and contained:

Veg box (£13.50) contents:  Milk, cheese, cream, salad bag, tomatoes, plums, oranges, bananas, sweet peppers, new potatoes, onions, broad beans, carrots.

In addition to the Standard Box I bought:

1 x RAW MILK 1ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.50

1 x SEMI-SKIMMED MILK 2ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.79

1 x SKIMMED MILK 2ltr (Emma’s Dairy) £1.79

1 x CREAM – DOUBLE 500ml Acorn £2.02

1 x RED LEICESTER CHEESE (Lye Cross Farm) 245gm £3.27

Plus delivery of £2.40.

The menu plan to use these lovely items is as follows:

Wednesday – Slow cooker beef with veg patch and veg box veg and mashed potato. Leftovers – make pie and freeze/use mash in potato cakes.

Thursday – 12 egg frittata with bacon tomato & cheese, potato cake, salad (veg box) and veg patch radish with salad cheese.  Leftovers – Lunch on Friday/after work snacks

Friday – Veg plot cauliflower cheese soup followed by veg box broad bean, Feta & Spinach Pie with veg box salad

Saturday – Bacon & Egg buns/Sausage buns, meal out (not takeaway and once in a blue moon!) with visiting family on night but home for pudding of strawberry shortcake with extra thick double cream.  Saturday extras – Make quiche/flapjacks/meringue/shortcake & sweet potato soup.

Sunday – Diced beef in gravy, veg patch peas if any, veg patch cauliflower, broccoli & cabbage with veg box carrots & new potatoes.  Use onions in gravy.  Strawberry shortcake if any left or strawberries with meringue (made Saturday) and cream.

Monday – Shakshuka with sausages served on plain flatbread or with pittas (never made this before, looks yum).

Tuesday – Slow cooker chicken curry with rice and naan

 

The plums will be eaten fresh and also used in a chicken, leek and plum pie for the freezer/coming meal.  The cheese, milk and cream will be used in some of the above meals, breakfast and in general everyday use.

In addition to the veg box, every Friday I will get my Tesco delivery of fresh items that The Organic Pantry don’t sell.  Each week I need food to cover the weekend’s guests that drop in (bacon, cakes to be made etc), my daughter’s packed lunch items for the coming week (son doesn’t have them), the weekly basics and top ups of items that have ran out such as flour, treacle, toilet roll etc.  Today’s Tesco shop includes:

6 small pork pies – £2

Deodorant £1.5

1kg Jam sugar * 2 £4.16

Sweet potatoes 5 –

Apple juice cartons * 2 packs £1.6 (check as coming up as £1.95)

Rolls * 12 £1

2.5kg potatoes £2

Oats 1kg £0.75

220g Cherry tomatoes £1.50

600ml dbl cream £1.5

30 pack shreadded wheat £2.18

Bananas £0.80

Bubble bath (Christmas hampers) £1 each * 2

Shortcrust pastry £1.50 (Yes, I know).

8 pack Blue ribands £1.69

Lunchbox malt loaf singles £1.35

Mixed fresh peppers £0.85

Mushrooms £0.90

Tuna 4 pack * 2 £4.98

Choco snaps * 3 for offer £3 check this too

More bananas £0.90

Mild cheddar stick £1

Baking butter £0.85

Carrots (horses) £0.45

Squeezy yoghurts * 2 pack £2

 

This allows me to put together 5 packed lunches for Grace, afterschool snacks (pork pies, yoghurts), breakfasts for all of us for the week, soup basics and some quiches for my lunch/teas.

If you’ve managed to get to the end of this post without falling asleep, I salute you.  I would like to say, to avoid any comments that may question it.  Yes the veg box scheme and milk is more expensive than going to Aldi or Tesco.  Yes I could save more money buying the same items in there.  No I don’t want to do that.  However we do have a budget and we stick to it.  We want to be able to eat locally and seasonally whilst supporting as many local businesses as possible.  This helps us and does my part for them too.  Ideally we want to be self-sufficient but know that we can’t be entirely due to our lifestyle of having to work (for now).  This is a big learning curve for us here on our smallholding and we are embracing every minute of it.  Happy Friday everyone 🙂 xx

PS some pics of how things are coming along.  I will post about them in another post but I don’t like non picture posts, especially on a Friday!

This is the muck heap I threw the old supermarket potatoes in that were destined for the bin/compost otherwise and they’re growing!!

Eating or cooking?  No idea.

More apples, eating or cooking I don’t know.

Plums?

More plums?
Definitely plums!
A redcurrant bush hiding at the back of the orchard which seems to be thriving well on its own!
Our first harvested onion 🙂 We also had potatoes but they went too quick to get a photo.

Aren’t they growing?  Adorable!

I was being spied on by the neighbouring cows when letting the ducks out this morning.

Lots of little updates…the best kind

We now have 9 chicks with the last one being hatched today which is day 24. They are all gorgeous and seem to be thriving well. My handy husband has made them a bigger brooder ready for when they are too big for their current cardboard box. The new one is fully collapsable and can be stores flat if required. I did remind him I intend on having all kind of chicks in there for the coming few months so it’ll be staying put for a while.
Lovely and clean
Brooder # 1
Brooder # 2
One hour or so later!

Today 🙂

Today I have applied for a cph number as we’re hoping to get some pigs in the next month or two and this is something we must have before we can buy them. They said we should have it within the next 15 days. That fits in well time wise. 
There’s no sign of any geese eggs yet but a couple of friendly bloggers have said it’ll probably be March time before we can get any. I’ve also checked for a nest and not noticed anything yet. They have started taking themselves to bed on a night though so that’s a nice step forward.
The geese having a nosey at what seeds I am planting in the greenhouse
Follow the leader
The hens are doing well and the eggs are intermittent. Some days we get 3 and others 2 but that’s fine by me for now. They are young girls after all though maybe some would say that means they should be producing daily.  They are starting to follow the older girls and getting closer to my daughter, occasionally getting close enough to eat from her hand.
Loving our hens
We have also managed to move a ginormous water container in to place to harvest rain water. That will be used to water the plants and for the geese to wash in etc. I’m not sure if it will be OK for the geese and hens to drink so I will look in to that.
The first water container in place.  2nd one behind it ready to be installed.
Seedlings wise I have planted a few more tomatoes as I’m trying to do them staggered over a few weeks. The first lot I sowed are looking strong which I am really pleased with as I thought they might die.
I’ve set myself a challenge if only shopping every 2 weeks for food and the first delivery is on Friday.  I’m going to update the menu plan page for those interested. The budget is £350 a month for all groceries Inc meat and toiletries. That’s to feed these monsters :).
Our gorgeous daughter and her chick
My amazing som with his little chick
The mood last night – stunning
The moon tonight – again, stunning.

We have chicks!

As I type this we have 4 chicks hatched with another couple pipping, meaning they have started to break through their shells. They are gorgeous. The breed that has hatched are cream legbar and can be sexed at birth based on colour and markings. So far we think we have 3 girls and a boy which is just perfect. The boy is Bernard, then we have Marmalade, Angela and Sophie 2nd.

What a lovely day.