Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunsets, WWOOFer power and stuff.....

There has been some fantastic sunsets over the past few weeks. This is just one! There where even some very confused swans flying around in the sky when this was taken...they must be lost It is December!!!

The river has started to ice over, it actually has grown even more that what is shown in this picture! We are expecting a big dump of snow on Thursday which should make it look lovely and Christmasy!

In the summer I grew some gurkins, and yes, these are gurkins! When you want to save the seed you let them grow on for a longer time and they ripen into this orange colour (This sort has this colour anyway, they can be yellow also) I scraped the seeds out then washed them off in a sive which was a bit tough, so I put another batch into a jam jar with a bit of water and left it for a few days, shaking occasionally. This helps to loosen the jell like stuff which surrounds the seeds. Afterwards they are laid out to dry, either on a sheet of paper or a plate. I then label them up into paper bags.

We have had a couple of WWOOFers staying and we have been cracking on with a variety of jobs. We have put sides and a roof on the wood shed and I will grab a photo tomorrow to show the finished result. Here Hamish is cutting down a small birch with his large heavy duty knife.

Here are the roof supports in place ready for the roofing sheets.

We have also taught the WWOOFers how we make bacon, so we have a pile of bacon for the winter. We did a different recipe this time combining salt, sugar, nutmeg, coriander, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme. Fionn is here massaging in the spices. This is done every day for 3 days for a normal cure, and a little longer for a stronger cure. It is then washed off and hung up to dry. We will can some of this bacon, probably on Thursday when it is snowy outside.

The other day we had a warm day. It warmed up to +9 in a about an hour, but this meant that the brussels sprouts defrosted enough to pick them easily. We collected a good pile! I have prepared them for the freezer by cleaning up the loose leaves, plunging them into boiling water for a minute, then plunging them into cold water and here they all are drying ready to be packed into a bag. We have had a great year for the cabbage family..... we have plants still going in the garden!

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