Thursday, October 31, 2013

The garden is still going!

We had some frost earlier on, it went down to -6 but it has warmed up a bit so things are still going in the garden. Above are the sugar beets and some self sewn parsnips in the foreground. We hope to make some sugar in the next few should be interesting, maybe even a complete failure ! But I would like to try.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New ram!

I bought a new ram a few weeks ago. He is called Emil and is very calm and friendly. He has the yellow head collar on. I introduced him to his new girlfriends the other day so I hope he does his stuff and we have lambs next spring! He has lovely quality wool so I hope that this will breed some good lambs which I can bring along to keep to replace their aging mothers. In a few years I will swap rams to a meat breed and breed heavier genes into the mix!

Bumper sprouts!

This year it has been really good for the cabbage family and the frost has come but has not been persistent and this is another batch which I picked and froze. I have been picking off the old yellowing leaves very regularly this year which helps to keep air circulating and also takes away the rotting leaves so that the mould does not spread into the sprouts themselves. They have been strong plants all year with no caterpillar damage. In fact I only did a caterpillar pick one time and I found so few I did not bother again!! I know that many people had all sorts of trouble this year. I am not sure why we got away with it. Perhaps they were just really strong plants growing in really good soil with plenty of birds around to eat the caterpillars ..? I also planted some wheat next to them which the birds stripped. I am wondering if this also encouraged the birds in to eat the caterpillars. I will do the same next year and see what happens. Perhaps I will even do a control patch without wheat....if I remember!

Pub.....almost!!! And last!!!

Recently some "after works" have been organised in the village which happen once a month. We missed the last one but made it last Friday.  We took the chess board, some beers and there were lots of people there. There was bread (the local bakery's bread) cheese and salami to nibble at, coffee and people took their own beers. There were kids there and a really good turn out from the village! Everyone was talking and having fun! Not quite a pub, but nearly!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Dry rendering leaf lard

Inside the pig carcass there is a layer of fat which when rendered down makes excellent baking fat. I am using the dry method here, but there is a method you can use by boiling the fat in water then skimming off the fat from the surface. This apparently makes even cleaner, taste and smell free fat. Maybe I will do this the next time but this is the way which I have been using over the past few years and it is ok.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dog food

A slab of elk meat from the scrap pile from the hunting lodge. One of many. What a waste.....but not any more it is now chopped up and is Fenris's dinner.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Working for your dinner.....

This photo shows the dog, Fenris, literally working for her dinner as she is pulling a loaded wheelbarrow of Elk feet, off cuts,  lungs, liver and legs we collected from the hunting lodge in the village. She makes a big difference although to start with I am not sure she wanted to be in front of the wheelbarrow....rather in it!! I am going to chop it all up into dog dinner sized pieces and freeze it. I am desperate to get her off the rubbish dog food which you can buy from the shops. Even the expensive stuff is terrible stuff. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Giant doggie treats!

This is an elk foot, and Fenris is a medium sized dog.....Pretty big!! She was in doggie heaven last night..... today I will collect some more!! I will take my camera up to the hunting lodge as the set up is pretty impressive ........and the trailer of scraps is pretty impressive also!!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Winter's coming and a carrot mountain!

In the last few days I have been digging up the carrots and packing them ready for future use. I am so glad that I have an earth cellar, I can not imagine life without one now!! I have a couple of sacks of peat  which I use from year to year. This is not the best thing to use as far as the environment is concerned and I would like to try something else in the future. I have tried saw dust with not such good results. I would like to go up to the village sand pit (a big sand bank out in the forest) and bring home a few sacks to give it a go. Next year.....

Monday, October 14, 2013

Harvesting the tunnels and off to England..

Whilst riding to work on his motorbike, my son, Eli, had a Landrover and trailer pull out in front of him and stop in panic when the driver saw Eli coming on his bike. Eli was in hospital with a multitude of injuries so I decided to go back to England to see how he was doing. Before I left I had to clear the tunnels and the photo above shows some of the tomatoes and peppers I picked.