Friday 3 July 2020

News, news and more news!

I am finally starting to catch back up with myself after a crazy few weeks, hence radio silence on here.  Firstly, Monday nights HAVE been a little different as I said in my last post and at the end of this post are a few of the videos we've done showing some of Grandma's war time recipe.  Tonight (Friday) we will have a look through the books to pick one for this coming Monday, which I think will be savoury this time.  I'm trying to plan it in ahead of time as last week's was rushed.  We would love for you to join our YouTube subscriber list as we are hoping to build a decent channel in the coming months and years too allow people can share in our experiences, learn from and hopefully enjoy.  
Anyway, enough of that.  There's so many other things going on right now!  Firstly the gardens are growing GREAT guns - it's been fantastic.  We've enough lettuce to feed an army!  The tomatoes are starting to grow but not yet ripen.
Beetroot is doing very well.  I'm sowing more for Autumn harvests.
 
The kale is growing really well and I've a couple of different varieties I am trying this year.  We are dehydrating most of it, then grinding it in to a powder to add to stews, smoothies, soups and so on.  Apparently kale is one of the healthiest greens you can have.  I intend to sow more to see us through winter and the hunger gap.  I'll pop a couple in pots too, for reasons I shall share with you in just a moment.
Above are outdoor tomatoes, one of the lettuce rows, leeks and further away brassicas. 
 The space in the bed below are where the garlic were that are in the photo below that, freshly harvested and left to dry in the polytunnel.

 We have SO many cherries this year, it's amazing.  This was a 15 minute picking session this morning, the colour on them is so vibrant.
Strawberries are pants this year.  They are throwing off runners which I have on my to do list to peg down and get some to use as replacement plants next year.  again I'd like a few in pots.  My Elderberry cuttings have taken, so I have 2 elderberry babies growing!!  I noticed a blackcurrant (had my first harvest!) is rooting one of it's branches in to the ground so I shall snip that off and pop the roots in to a pot, again.  I'm also wanting to take cuttings from a willow tree we have and some roses, neither of which I've done before.  Saying that - I'd not done any of the previous before either so all will be well. 
The greenhouse and polytunnel are both tidy and maintained right now, as is the bottom veg plot (paddock plot).  The potatoes in the paddock plot look fab and I can't wait to harvest some.  The top plots are suffering though, weeds are coming through this and fast and it feels like the asparagus is growing quicker than I can harvest it!  We've weeds galore on the car park which isn't good when you have people coming to judge your house? 
Now why would we want people to come and judge your house?  Because we are FOR SALE!!!  What? Why? You are SO happy there I hear you say?  We are truly happy here and in love with the place.  Always will be!
However the opportunity has arisen to sell and buy a farm 10 minutes drive from us with 16.5 acres and plenty of outbuildings.  It comes with the opportunity to make income from it and combined with other things, means we could reduce our mortgage significantly, to the point where we could pay it off in 5 years or less.  As we stand here today, that wouldn't happen and to pay it off early living here means very tight, thrifty living combined with extra harsh savings for at least 10 years.  We can totally do that, but if we can get this other place, we won't need to. 
It is a very practical move if we do it.  We'd be moving from a big farmhouse to a bungalow, losing character and space.  Some may ask why would you consider that and to be honest, we're going through all of these feelings ourselves.  Do we need the space inside?  Does financial freedom mean more than character and a homely home?  You can make any house a home, right?  We shall see, ours is for sale.  It may not even get a viewing (we haven't after 1 week!) so it might not even be an option.  
For those who are interested, our house now and gates.  we've just under 4 acres in total.

The bungalow and its entrance we are considering. 


Another thing we have had going on is my health!  So I have finally had a diagnosis from the NHS and I cannot complain one bit, they have been fantastic!!  The good news is the illness I've experienced this year hasn't been anything sinister such as cancer, I had the official all clear earlier this week.  I do however have a disease called sarcoidosis which I can totally deal with and manage, especially with the help and support of my nearest and dearest (friends as well as family there, thank you Lou xx).  Although it's spoken of as a rare disease, it's interesting to see how many people have it when you open up a conversation about it!
So it is Friday early evening now, I've worked all day and had a very productive day.  For the first time in ages I had no meetings (purposefully) and got through everything I need to in order to know where I stand on Monday.  Before work, the washing machine has been cleaned out with bicarb of soda and white vinegar on a hot wash as the clothes started to smell musty for some reason?  Over tonight and the weekend, I hope to make a rhubarb relish or something with the cherries and gooseberries I have just picked.  I'll get more kale dehydrated and a few beetroot cooked.  Pork chops for our evening meal, with home grown veg.  Steven is making tea tomorrow, so if I get a soup made tonight for lunch tomorrow, I won't have to do any cooking at all, meaning I can spend more time in the veg plot and working through the usual jobs list.  I'm going to do a youtube video on the plots too all being well.  Including the weeds!  No fake idealism here!  Speaking of which, here's the links to some of the war time recipes ones I've done with the kids.  Take care.






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