Milk delivery / veg box let down again

Well on Wednesday I had my veg box and milk delivered as usual.  Well I was supposed to.  Those who read daily will know the last 2 deliveries haven’t been correct.  This was the 3rd one which was incorrect too!  They delivered only my skimmed milk (Steven drinks it, yuk) but not the semi skimmed and put a note on to say I wasn’t getting any this week.  Considering you have to order a week in advance so they can get it in and the fact no one had informed me in advance (they know the day before if they have it) then all I can assume is something happened on the morning of the delivery, making the semi skimmed unavailable.  However I did say that if they mess up for a 3rd time, then I’d move on and I have.  So sorry The Organic Pantry but I’ve now placed an order with Riverford who use regional farmers and dairies local to myself, which are set to send me a milk and veg box delivery on Wednesday.  They have lots of other items too so fingers crossed they are up to the mark and then I can shift a lot of the order to them instead of the supermarket.

I must say however The Organic Pantry veg boxes are lovely, it was just the milk that was the let down. 

With regards to the milk, I’d go to the dairy to buy it but there isn’t an option.  I only want to use someone who is already in the area if we get a delivery as creating more carbon footprints just to get my milk to me doesn’t sit well with what I’m about.  So I was pleased to hear the Riverford are in my local area every Wednesday.  I’ll keep you posted as to how I get on with them.

In the mean time, it’s Friday and that means I have one more week in the office until I break up for my 2 weeks and a day off!  I don’t think I have mentioned that yet have I :).  We have a few plans, people visiting, days out, jobs to do at home, walks and adventures along with kids birthday parties, so it’ll be lovely to spend the time together and enjoy a more relaxed way of life!

2016 harvest so far

Normally on a Wednesday I would get a veg box delivery.  I haven’t ordered one for this week, for the simple reason, we have lots of our own to use!  It may be short lived, time will tell, but for now, we’re supplied for the next week with enough produce to keep us going.  I’m really pleased with this.  It led me on to think that later in the year, or next year, I will probably look back and wonder what we’ve managed to make from our home grown products so I thought I’d make a list showing what this Spring and Summer has offered us in the way of fresh veg, preserves, cordials and so on.  Here we go:
2 large kilner jars of strawberry jam.  I think this simple jam is actually my favourite.
Elderflower, rhubarb and gooseberry jam, 4 jars.
Raspberry Jam, 3 jars
Rhubarb and ginger, 5 jars
Elderflower cordial 2 litres
Blackcurrant cordial apx 350ml
Gooseberries, Rhubarb, Blackcurrants, Red currants, White currants by the bucketful along with more strawberries and raspberries.  There’s still more ripening now!
This week, we had our first tomatoes with our tea too!  So tomatoes are on the list now.
Fresh veg
Asparagus, Purple and green broccoli, Cauliflower, Broad beans, Peas (red pods and greed pods), Onions, Leeks, Lettuce, Radish.  The list is still increasing.
Really, looking at this little lot, we’ve done well so far.  My mind goes in to over time with excitable thoughts!  I’m learning each week and next year will continue to learn.  For example labelling everything – I intended to do it then either forgot to move the labels in my excitement of pricking out and potting on, especially once things went outside.  I need to figure out the best way to organise the greenhouse as it’s all a bit messy which I don’t like.  I like tidy but I’m not a natural by any means!  Also thinking about an easier method for getting the rain water to the greenhouse and veg plot as it’s a long trek when you need 50+ watering cans full!  Rain water hose pipe or sprinkler springs to mind.  Could we harvest the water from the stream that runs along one edge of the orchard.  I’m thinking about how and when to heat the greenhouse and if it’s worth it.  A polytunnel would be great but isn’t an option in this year’s budget at present.
I’m starting to give thought to 2017 veg plans but before that I’m going to be making lists of what else I can sow now to see us into (and maybe even through) Winter.  I’m going to bottle the next lot of raspberries in some vodka, along with blackberries & elderberries when they arrive too, just a few small bottles to try at Christmas. If they’re nice then we will use them for gifts to select people.
So as you can see, lots going on in my head and my 2 week break can’t come round quick enough as  I have 101 things I want to get done!

Mid week thoughts

I’ve noticed the daylight hours are getting ever so slightly shorter.  I go outside at 10pm every night and some nights it had been as bright as it was at noon.  However now, by the time I come back in it is would definitely be described as dusk.  The light is fading and the shadows are becoming darker.  It reminded me that we need to get the security lights up before the winter nights arrive as you can’t see your hand in front of your face by 5pm in the depths of winter.  Not conducive to locking up the animals, even by torch light.

With this in mind I’ve been thinking ahead to my two week break I am having in August.  I plan on doing all sorts of things, from pottering, fixing fences (Ste, not me), getting some birds ready for the table, buying new stock, tidying rooms that haven’t been organised since we moved in, planning for winter crops and 2017 veg schedule, thinking about when and how to get pigs in 2017 and planning a little Halloween party for October this year, but most importantly having 24/7 access to do whatever we want, when we want, as a family.  I’m also tentatively thinking about doing some form of exercise each day during that period.  This may not transpire 😉