Monday, 31 August 2020
Eggs, eggs...ohhhh and cabbages
Happy Monday evening blogging peeps.
I've been mulling over....I think those of us that grow our own (and in many walks in life really) can sometimes be a little hard on ourselves, always looking for improvement or thinking about our "failures". One thing I've learnt is that every year there will be something that doesn't go right, which is why it is all the more important to concentrate on those things that go right.
For example I am loving that I have a years worth of cabbages right now! I just wasn't prepared for them haha.
We have some exciting news here on the smallholding, my Mother's day hens have started laying! We think we have 6 females and 1 male which is great luck. My lovely little family bought them for me bac in March as they lay blue/green eggs and I have always wanted hens that lay those colour eggs. Soon enough, breakfast will be 2 dippy (soft boiled) eggs with soldiers a few times a week, if not daily ;) Right now the eggs are still small until they are used to laying. The hens are probably still wondering what's happened to them at the moment.
I have to tell you, we have a huge influx of eggs right now as it seems many of those who bought from us during the lockdown period have stopped buying. That's ok though as we have decided to reduce our brown laying hens for over wintering, so are selling those on. We will still be able to supply our regulars who were pre lockdown and still have plenty for ourselves which I must admit, is a bit of a novelty for me as we never had any eggs for the house at one point. Make hay whilst the sun shines.
We have duck, quail (above) and chicken eggs coming in thick and fast. I actually have more than I expected or knew what to do with (given they were supposed to be sold). So this week is egg and cabbage week as I have both in abundance. The lovely Tricia from Tarragon and Thyme has sent me some preserving information on cabbages which I am looking forward to reading either tonight or tomorrow night.
Grace found this nest of eggs when we were doing tea time chores earlier, I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry! You can see one or 2 have been eaten or stood on.
Did you know you can freeze eggs? I am going to get that done tonight which will see a dozen processed. I've also made up a few freezer bags of a quiche custard base (4 large eggs, 1 cup whole milk or half and half cream and milk and 1 cup of grated cheese) which I can then just defrost and pop in to a pastry lined quiche dish with some left over ham and tomatoes etc. Nice and easy, so I hope it works.
Now I have to put this photo in to show you the mammoth task I have with these cabbages! I have 30 or so of these which is fantastic but also a task in itself. I'm undecided as to whether having them all come at once is a good thing to get it out of the way or a bad thing in that it'll take half a day to get them done.
I've a couple of different varieties, all of which we managed to mature before the cabbage white butterfly struck. Very grateful for that as I've seen people losing whole crops to them. If you grow a lot it can be too costly to buy netting to cover everything properly, which should help prevent attacks.
My kale have been amazing and I hope they don't die off too quickly, these have just been struck by the cabbage white and subsequent caterpillars which is inevitable. Every year I am amazed at how many caterpillars there are on any given plant.
Again, celebrating the successes here's a basket of veg that I am getting on a weekend right now. I am so thrilled and once I get my head in to gear we should be "shopping" from our own garden all year round. Maybe next year is the year we rely solely on ourselves for veg? Who knows.
It's going to be a strange week here, Jack (age 10) is back to school and I am back on to work, but still working from home. Grace goes back next week and they both have set times for drop off and collection, which of course are right over working hours so I sense a bit of a juggling act for a few days until we settle in to things. I hope you are all well and enjoying life to whatever degree you can. I'll be back in a few days with another update. Take care, Tracy.