Wednesday, 21 September 2016
I’ve had to change my morning routine round to suit the change in season. It’s too dark when I go out at 5:50am to let the poultry out, or even to feed the horses in the field. So I complete my morning jobs that are to be done in the big barn and then head back in the house for breakfast and to wake the kids. Before we leave for school and work, we go back out in our muckers and farm coats and feed the horses in the field and let the poultry out then take the dogs up the lane to stretch their legs. It’s working well though I do notice the later in to the week we get, the harder it is for us all to get up, even though we ensure to go to bed in good time. Slowly, things come together. They do fall apart again, when I forget to get the meat out for tea, or haven’t prepared the lunches due to being busy elsewhere and it slipping from my mind, but for the most part it’s going in the right direction.
I spent part of last night on the phone to a friend in need instead of doing what I had intended to do, which was clean out and organise the kitchen cupboards. So tonight I plan on getting on with that for an hour or so. The cupboards have turned in to a bit of a dumping ground for any papers and odds and ends that inevitably end up on the kitchen table and need to be put somewhere in a hurry before a meal is served out. They fill up surprisingly quickly!
Not only that, but a major learning curve of living where we do is flies! I’ve never seen so many. They duplicate within the hour, I’m sure! So ensuring food is cooked and covered or cooked, cooled and put in an air tight container and stored in the fridge or pantry is high up on the list of priorities in the kitchen. I know this is good practice anyway but it was never an issue previously if I left the cakes or bread on the top to cool without a tea towel or such over them. I don’t have many more air tight containers or storage boxes so I am going to have a look on Lakeland etc and see what they have on a budget.
I’m excited to report - earlier in the year, I tried one of my first experiments and planted a bag of old potatoes that were too old to eat, directly into one of my muck heaps (without the bag!). The muck heap was a pain as the previous owner had left all sorts of junk in it that shouldn’t have been in a compost bin. At the time we didn’t know this until I started putting new manure (from our horses) on top of it. By then it was too late, I wasn’t digging through it all again so I decided to try the potatoes and if it failed I’d just leave it all to rot. I’m pleased to say it didn’t fail! We harvested this little lot which I’m really pleased with, given that I’d prepared for lots of foliage from the manure and no potato production. We had some of them with a slow cooked pork joint and veg from our veg box delivery and they were delicious. I’m going to try pumpkins too next year
I also harvested a good amount of potatoes that were put in later than suggested and they turned out ok too. So we have plenty of these for the next month maybe.