Windfall chuntney with the first apples of the year

Tonight I’ve made ‘windfall apple chutney’ using the first lot of apples we collected from the ground.  The kids did all of the collecting and I’m very pleased with them.  It was a cheap chutney to make which is right up there on my priority list!  It says it doesn’t need to mature like the other chutney’s but I’ll leave some to.  Apparently it tastes best with a good cheddar and some homemade bread.  There’s that word again!  So that’s my plan, it’d be rude not to!  Here is the link if anyone is interested in making their own.  It’ll be the first of many recipes for me using the food for free which we have in the garden and surrounding areas.

Chutney bubbling away on the Aga
Steven was finishing the roof on his new gym room and instead of buying the pieces he needed we took a trip to a local farmer friend.  He had a mountain of wood in one of his side fields and said we could take what we wanted. 

So the roof of the new room in the barn is now on and complete.  I spotted a couple of panels that will do just nicely for either a duck/chicken run or to create a new muck heap (we try to keep it as neat and tidy as possible so we don’t have mounds out in the open given that we don’t have lots and lots of space) so we took them too.  He didn’t want any cash for it all (would have cost us a fortune to buy at a timber yard) but he did have an interest in hens.  So we’re going back in a few weeks with 3 laying hens in exchange for another couple of boards which he said we could take.  I love that we can buy thing without money changing hands.
There’s also a factory right near him that we can get some fence panels (they are extra-long pallet panels which look like fences to us) off him which we’re going to set aside for the pigs – a 2017 task but we’ll have them whilst they are there.

Gym time (not for me!)

11 sleeps until my 2 weeks off!
Steven has been working away like a trooper on his latest adventure.  He’s always been one to try and stay in shape and over the years we’ve paid endless amounts in gym memberships which he has made more than effective use of.  However we’ve decided that now we have the space and to make it more efficient for us as a family to work together, that we should create the gym at home.  So in a corner of the big barn, opposite my lovely horse, he set about making a shell for the room which would house the gym equipment.  It didn’t take long before he had the frame up

I was supervising 🙂

followed by the slats to make the outside walls


and a door to be able to lock everything away on a night (the barn itself is locked so just extra precaution here) along with a roof so now it’s almost ready for the equipment.  Almost, after lights and carpet go down!

I think he should be enormously proud of himself for managing to do all of this by himself, as to be fair, I generally sat in the fishing chair and supported the build from the sidelines :D.

Duck update:  We popped her into the small dog crate which we kitted out with straw, duck feed and water after checking her leg thoroughly.  It’s not obvious where the injury is so we’ve put her in the crate which will restrict her movement and hopefully give her some much needed respite.  I can close the barn door and let her wander about in the barn in a day or 2, again in safety.  It won’t be tonight though, maybe tomorrow after 48 hours.  I’ve covered the crate partially with a horse rug so she feels safe.  Bless her.