Operation Paddock Perfection and Raspberry Jam!

Last night I made raspberry jam and goodness me it was delicious.  I used the full 800g to make it and it yielded 4 medium jars.  I couldn’t get over the colour of it, such a deep, strong red colour.  It reminded me of Christmas and the lovely colours of holly berries.  The jam is going in the pantry with the remainder of the jams, to keep for the rest of the year.  No more buying jam!

Operation Paddock Perfection is now underway & started last night too.  When Sonic took ill on Sunday, I had a panic that he was poisoned.  He wasn’t but the thought is there and when I discussed it with the vet, she advised me to check for Sycamore trees and fence them off or removed them.  We identified 3 small trees in reach of the paddock and as we don’t have a lot of paddock space anyway, fencing them off wasn’t an option so Steven started taking them down.  We have stacked the felled branches into a corner of the woods that I will cordon off once we’re finished removing them from the paddock. 

The point of Operation Paddock Perfection is to muck out, weed, feed and rest the small paddock but do it all in 2/3 weeks!  I have mucked the field out so there are no more poos in there.  Steven has topped the nettles, and I’m going to take the thistles out.  Last night I noticed a few docks in there along with the odd big stone or 2 which need to come out.  We’re due some rain later in the week so I plan on getting the grass seed down that I’ve just purchased, in time for the rain to soak it in.  Then once the final trees are down, we will let the paddock rest for another 2 weeks and hopefully the seed will have established enough to allow the small ponies on for an hour or 2 a day.  I shall report back with updates as this is the trial run before doing the bigger field.  They’re both small enough to do by hand.

The first logs

Today saw hubby fell his first tree to start filling our log pile. Obviously it will need to be seasoned but we’re off!
The heating is going off soon too. The Aga warms the kitchen which is where we spend most of our time.
We have found a local supplier of coal so plan on collection some over the next few weeks and get stocked up for next winter.
Also I have been planning the shopping list that will see us through 2 weeks. I will be ordering it for delivery on 26th Feb and will post how we manage on it as it happens. I am really looking forward to it. I love challenges like that.
The view from the end of the garden looking back up to the house. We are so lucky.