Thursday, 6 April 2017

My little family and our new ways



Since we moved to the smallholding, life has changed.  We had a vision of the lifestyle we thought it would be.  A lot of that has come true which is simply amazing.  What we didn't realise, is how we would change as people, nurturing our new way or life, our values, what's truly important and what really just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.  We've been through some ups and downs as we figure this out, but it's always worked out.  We have a strong family bond and the smallholding is developing that even further. 
So I thought I would share a couple of things that made me smile recently.
Ste made crispy cakes with rolo chocolates to finish them off.  I'm told the kids helped too ;)  They've been taken each day as packed lunch treats.
He's also started making Sunday lunch for us.  I'm seriously jealous of how well these Yorkshire puddings turned out!!  He's got a job for life there.

Ste and I collected nettles from the paddock recently and I made nettle soup!  This too is a first and despite my brain thinking otherwise, it was actually ok.  True, I wouldn't choose it over butternut squash soup, but given its health benefits, I'll happily eat it seasonally. 

It had a slight tinge of leek and potato - the recipe was from River Cottage website.

I moved on to nettle tea as I've read some excellent things about it's medicinal values.  Only a small batch to start with.  I washed the nettles, boiled then simmered them for a few minutes and strained through a muslin cloth to get rid of the residue.

 It was very palatable!  I was shocked actually.  This is something I will turn back to, maybe drying nettles to allow for all year round availability.  Or can you use nettles any time of the year for tea? 
Grace is also finding her green fingers.  She has a natural curiosity with seeds and plants and enjoys sorting through the seed tray.  She asked me only just this morning if the rhubarb was ok as there's a 'big green thing' growing in it.  I smiled and told her "hopefully"...after all, we're all learning, so only time will tell! She's sown some seeds for me too.
Jack likes to take his bike everywhere he goes on the smallholding.  Here he is, a dab hand at carrying a chicken feeder on his handle bars and taking it to get refilled at the feed station.
 Once the animals are fed, he collects the eggs, using any bucket he can lay his hands on to do so.  This one being an empty horse supplement bucket that Jill uses who keeps her horse with us.  It's a job he can do himself and I like the sense of achievement he gets from it.  Looks like he does too?

So even though some days are hard, most days bring a huge happiness to us all.  Steven and I both work full time as well as run the smallholding, so we like to make sure we step back and smell the roses every now and then, and enjoy what we've built up and how our lives are changing.  It's truly amazing and I welcome every minute of it.

18 comments:

  1. Ooh your post has given me the warm and fuzzies. You achieve so much when you both work!! Love how involved Grace and Jack are. We love to wander around the garden and look at the projects we have finished and the ongoing ones, plus to see what is sowing and growing. Jon loves to stand or sit up at the top kitchen and look at all we have achieved so I completely understand where you are coming from, as you know.

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    1. I think Spring gets us feeling like this, shaking off the winter and preparing for what's to come. Who wouldn't be happy? I love standing and watching too - even the sheep know spring is here x

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  2. I really must try drying some nettles for tea if it's good. x

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  3. What a sweet post, thanks for sharing! I used to use nettle tea as a rinse for my hair, from what I remember it smells fantastic.
    That little bucket looks like it was just made for eggs!

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    1. Ah thank you. Interesting - I'm going to make a note of that one, thank you.

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  4. I've always wanted to live like we do now but with the kids enjoying it as well it's just the icing on the cake, I'm glad yours love it as much as mine! If you're ever down this way make sure you call in, I'm sure our children would get on!

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    1. I am sure they would too - we 100% would drop in - that's really kind :)

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  7. You have the making for a beautiful life for you all

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    1. Thank you Marlene, it's good to remember that :)

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  8. Isn't it good that life is so good! Hope that it continues for you for a long time!! If the big thing on the rhubarb turns out to be a flower, you need to remove it, but I am sure that you know that already, but I thought I would mention it for anyone else wondering.

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    1. Oooh now I hadn't even thought about that Amy, so thanks for the reminder. I'll keep a close eye on it. Never assume I know anything lol, always wanting to learn :)

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  9. This is such a lovely post. You really are living the good life. It must be hard work, especially working full time as well, but such a wonderful environment for the children and great how they are so involved. X

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    1. It is very hard work but I love every minute of it (almost!). Thank you, that's lovely to hear x

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  10. Yes, it is a rhubarb flower which needs to be removed asap or it diverts energy into seeds rather than stalks.

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