Saturday, 25 March 2017

Parsley And Wild Garlic

The other day I cut back loads of Parsley in the poly tunnel
 I decided to dehydrate it or most of it, I don't freeze herbs as they take up room in the freezer and I think thy lose some of there flavours.
I did one tray in the bottom oven of the Rayburn 
 It came out fine and had good colour although it took longer to dry out.
 I did five trays in the dehydrator
Now I had a jar of parsley in the cupboard that I bought last year while waiting for mine to grow
 The above picture is shop bought dried parsley
 This picture above is oven dried parsley
 This photo above is the parsley from the dehydrator 
in comparison the shop stuff is brown and doesn't have that parsley smell, compared to the parsley I have done.
 The shop stuff is now on the compost heap and I re-used the jar for my own, it looks a lot fresher.
 I picked a load of wild garlic yesterday (Ramsons) I have set 5 trays in the dehydrator, I thought it might be nice sprinkled on dinners, when thinks are dehydrated the flavour and colour intensifies.
Will report back on it later.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Potting On Pottering

It was time to pot on the tomato plants

 The roots were starting to come out of the bottom of there starter pots, they also have there true leaves now
A few of the peppers needed potting on as well
 I sowed some more sweet peas, the tops got pinched out of the young sweet pea plants, there are all going to be planted in the cut flower area, I love the scent of sweet peas and I hope by staggering there growing I will have some to pick later in the season.
The dogs and me headed over the fields to do some foraging for the goats, Brambles and Ivy, when the goats went in this evening I did some hoof trimming, I haven't been taking enough off, I have been watching a few you tube videos on hoof trimming and gave them a good manicure this evening, there hoofs are easy to trim in the evening as they soften up after being on damp grass.
they also got a good brush down, Connie who is on the right in the photo has a long coat, while brushing her I noticed the hair on her hind quarters is a bit matted, a hair cut is in order I think as she is due any time so the sooner her hair is cut the better, I remember the mess she got into last time she kidded and had to be shampooed down and a hair cut.
This morning didn't start well, the rouge buzzard is back and had one of the doves, fortunately it was the lone dove and not one of the parents but still a sad loss.
There was also another loss I don't know when it happened
we only have one baby dove in the nest, some time in the last few days one must have died and the parents removed it from the nest.
 I managed to get a good photo of the survivor, still ugly.
Today's eggs from the chickens got set in the incubator
21 days and we should have some chicks.
 More seeds have been sown, these are in the heated propagator 
Cucumbers and Squashes, they need a bit of bottom heat to help them germinate.
 The sideboard in the lounge is filling up
 I also have a couple of mushroom kits on the go
 There is lots of young ones coming on
 One of them is more in a rush than the others
Chestnut mushrooms this time.
The poly tunnels got a good soaking today in readiness for planting,  the sun was shining at it was a lovely day for being outside, although the ground was still very wet after after the downpours snow and hail over the last 24hrs.
We are getting more good days weather wise than bad days and spring is on the way properly now.

Dogs And Doves Update

Doves are doing well raising there young
two weeks old 
They are growing at a rate on knots and now feathering up
Still ugly though but there mum loves them.
Mum is leaving them more and more. Another couple of weeks and they will fledeg.
I must get out the step ladder and get some better photos.
Monday mornings is now our doggie weigh in day
Tess weighed in at  32.9kg down 1.1kg total loss to date 6.7kg
Sol weighed in at 33.5kg he has lost 200g instead of putting on.
The weight loss to Tess has made such a difference, her mobility and breathing is a lot better.
She still has issues with back leg weakness when she over does it
like the other day coming in from outside those legs went right in the door way 
Martin had to slide her across so we could shut the door
He was then trying to dry her off 
 Her tail is wagging all the time
   She is such a funny dog, we move her bed beside her roll her into it then move the bed with her inside back to its place, there she stays tail wagging until her legs have recovered.
She loves going out in the car and whenever the opportunity arises she is there trying to get in, she has been here a month now we have learnt how to get round her deafness, yes she is extra work but we love her to bits.
Yesterdays weather was very mixed, sunshine, sleet, hail snow rain and wind a bit of everything.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

101 And Finished

Its Sunday and the bad weather that was forecast for the week end seems to have skimmed past us.
Yesterday Martin spent the day concreting the second bay of the goat house and I was down the cabin sewing.
Today the sky may have been grey but it wasn't too bad outside
I was determined to finish planting the Cherry Trees 
and set to with the help of the chickens
 101 Cherry trees now planted all finished never to be done again yippee. I even counted them twice to make sure.
 Martin moved some more dumpy bags down beside the fruit cage for me to spread out during the week, he also fixed the pigs water trough again every few days the wreck it. He also made a start painting the small field shelter.
Then we both got stuck into replenishing the log supply
 I brought the logs up from the field
 Martin split them
 Then I moved them to the log shed.

I spent a bit of time in the poly tunnel pruning back the citrus trees picked the last two lemons
 I also cut back the parsley, this lot is heading for the dehydrator.
 When Martin walked Sol he picked a big bunch of wild garlic our first this year
 They were cooked up in a left over stir fry for dinner, there was a bit of Haggis left from last night a bit of chorizo and some oddments of bacon all cooked up together with some onions.
 lots of seeds are now germinating, the growing season is well and truly on the way, I got loads of squash seeds sown, in a few days I will do cucumbers also the tomatoes need potting on.
I also made a start with the Basil and Coriander two of our favourite annual herbs. 
Time to jump in the shower now then sit down with my feet up for a bit.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Yippeee Its Friday

After a few days of the promise of spring, this morning started dull overcast gloomy with a chill in the air.
The other day we had a beautiful T-shirt type of day, I was in my t-shirt working away clearing weeds from one of the garden borders and cutting back ready for the new shoots to spring forth.
There was a few bumble bees about when one flew down my t-shirt unknown to me until it stung me and I could feel it buzzing inside my clothes, I ripped off my t-shirt out popped the bumble bee it went about its business as I stood half naked in the garden in pain.
 under the armpit is not the best of places to be stung.
It throbbed and swelled up but now its fine, just left with redness that will fade in a few days.
 I had a lovely delivery come in the post
I saw an ad from the Woodlands Trust about growing trees from seed, I am a sucker for trees and they were giving away free seeds I applied and they arrived the other day

The seeds are already germinating so need to be planted asap.
 Back to being Friday
Friday is clean out day
The Alpaca shelter got swept out
 The chicken house has been cleaned out, I didn't do the goat house as I am hoping that over the week end they move into there new house, first kids due in 5 days.
Another Friday job is making bread for use over the week end.
 I also got some yogurt made, I had some with raspberry sauce this evening.
 Being Friday means Martin is coming home, that's the best bit of Friday, he wont get home until about 10-30pm the evening is spent watching for the car headlights with the dogs, 
It looks like the weather is going to be naff this week end as we end the tail end of the American snow storm arrive as rain.
Regardless of the weather the goat house has to be finished.
I will have to get crafting this week its only a couple of weeks until my next market day and I need to get stock made.
Right time to sign off need to jump in the shower and await my hubby. Have a good week end everyone 😁

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A Kitchen Trip North Of The Border

Sorry I haven't been anywhere just in the kitchen, I am sure I mentioned before my family roots are in Scotland we moved away when I was tot, I was brought up with Scottish food and traditions, my parents were loyal to there heritage.
There are lots of Scottish meals I enjoy and none more so than Haggis, before we moved here,there was a local butcher who stocked many Scottish cuts and dishes and I would buy Haggis from him, but here in Wales I have come across no such thing.
I miss it and thought it was time I had a go a making some.
I bought a Haggis seasoning mix along with casings when I order some sausage casings 
It came with a recipe suggestion, the suggestion was 1kg of lamb liver heart and pluck or  1kg of lamb of mutton, I had liver in the freezer and minced it with some lamb breast

600g of beef suet
 And the seasoning oatmeal mix
 All mixed together with 1lt of liquid
 The casings were soaked for a few hours in tepid water
 The casings were filled and tied,
The first three in the pan cooking one and half hours in water at 80c
 Another three waiting to go, they weigh about 1.5lbs each
 Once cooked and cooled they will keep for several weeks in the fridge or can be frozen.
There was some of the mixture left over I dry fried it and had it for dinner 
It tasted just like Haggis 👍
On Monday I picked a big bunch of Purple Sprouting Broccoli
It was cooked up using the Broccoli and Bacon Recipe from this book
This book was recommended to me, it has lots of great seasonal recipes, I got mine off Amazon for 1p plus p&p
If you like cooking seasonal food I highly recommend it.



Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Dogs And Doves

I will start with the Doves 
So far so good, the hatching's are now 1 week old 
Or Squabs is there proper name 
 Both eggs have hatched and the Squabs seem to be thriving, ugly little things, sorry this is the best photo I have managed to get without upsetting mammy dove who's house keeping leaves a lot to be desired.
Doggie weigh in yesterday
Tess lost 1.1kg last week total loss so far 5.6kg she now weighs in at 34kg she is doing great and will soon be slimmer of the year.
Sol has managed to put on 70g he now weighs in at 33.7kg not a vast increase but better than losing it.

We had a scare with Tess on Sunday morning she couldn't stand, she was trying to get across the floor on her belly, a visit to the emergency vet, she has a lot of weakness in her back legs due to the conditions she was kept in and her excess weight wasn't helping, 
He gave her an injection for pain relief and anti inflammatory and she was soon running around like a pup.
We think she is on the move to much and her legs cant cope with the amount of running around she is doing
more rest is needed, so the decision has been taken she will not go on the afternoon walks with Sol it will be her rest time.
 She follows us every where and spends a lot of time out in the fields, she needs to pace her exercise better, she is also on daily medication to help her legs although we know they wont improve and over time they will deteriorate

 She can now get up and down the ramp for the car, she loves going out and about, as does Sol.
We hope soon to take her to the beach her first every seaside trip.