Saturday, 3 March 2018

Not to state the obvious but snow, in March? 

I have taken a bit of a blogging break without meaning to. We’re not taking a break from the smallholding life though, I’ve just not been reporting as much.

We’re so over this snow now! I hope everyone is safe and warm? Our living room fire has been on every night, earning its keep. Winter is when we work through the stores we’ve made at other times in the year.  The logs are doing us proud and although we’re getting low on coal, there’s enough. We have however, gone through the oil a lot quicker than expected.  The order for the next lot has been postponed by the oil company due to the snow, so we’ve knocked heating the water off and are using the emersion (electric) for now. The heating is off too but we have the AGA and wood burners that are toasty in their respective rooms and getting plenty of appreciation!  Also the emergency oil filled radiators are helping keeping the kids room's warm whilst we wait for the delivery.


  
Due to the weather and the fact it’s winter, we’ve been working our way through the food stores we have. There’s still a bunch of meat to get through in the freezer but the pantry is starting to look a little sparse. I’m going to do a big shop of items we’ll need to see us through to the growing season’s harvest and will get that delivered this coming week. The egg production is on the increase but we’ve lost a total of 15 chickens recently, mostly to the fox, so we won’t see the increase we expected to.

I started some tomato and pepper seeds off a few weeks ago, but as expected they haven’t all made it through this cold spell. As soon as it starts to warm up, I’ll get more sown and just hope it’s not too late to get a long crop.

The peas, cauliflowers, winter hardy lettuce and leeks are coming on well as are the broad beans and sweet peas.

The preserving jam sugar from last year was starting to go hard and I knew I had 1.5kg of blackcurrants in the freezer so I started some jam off this morn using PattyPans recipes for seedless jam.
I did 10 small jars, 2 500ml jars and some left over to use now.  The small ones are for the Christmas hampers to go with the Seville orange marmalade.


Our internet connection is dreadful here lately, so I can't post the final picture but trust me, they look fab!  I hope it doesn't set too hard as I was concerned there's too much preserving sugar as the fruit didn't yield loads of liquid.  We'll see.  If not - I can figure out another use for it.

6 comments:

  1. It is always a challenging time of year, and food stocks will decline, but sounds as if your goal of self sufficiency is going well. I have seedlings doing well, all flowers, I have given up trying to find space for veg. In a couple of weeks we will be fully into sowing seeds for the summer.

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  2. You’re not at all late for sowing tomatoes, peppers and other tender crops. I’m much further south and never sow these before mid March. I don’t find any advantage in sowing too early unless you have a heated greenhouse. The key is to produce healthy plants who’s growth has not become etoliated through insufficient light or checked by cold (even if kept frost free). Later sowings always catch up. Sowing in mid March, I was picking tomatoes in June.

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  3. I love the doggie photo, too. We are over the snow too but today is a much better day so fingers crossed.

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  4. Blackcurrant is my absolute favourite.

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