Tuesday 27 February 2024

Week 8 - The depths of February and going strong.

We have decided to put the area where the pigs were a few years ago back to grass.  They did a great job of eating what was there, weeds and all.  We tried to turn it in to a veg area, unsuccessfully for multiple reasons and then covered it in membrane to suppress the weeds.  So now is the perfect time to buy grass seed to spread, ready for when it warms up.

You may remember that the Aga went off a weekend back.  Ste has tried to fix it a couple of times but it didn't play ball, nor did his back!  So I asked him to hang fire and rest a while before trying again.  In the meantime we realised the flue was sooted and needed cleaning - that leads me on to an email I have sent to the oil company as the oil has been burning poorly it seems.  More on that when they reply.

The reason I am telling you this is because the vacuum cleaner "blew up" when he was taking the soot out (it's a proper work one, not a domestic hoover!) and blew soot everywhere.  The kitchen went black for a few minutes and when we could see again, the black had settled on every work surface, nook and cranny it could find.  One wipe of the wall and I was just moving soot around.  Needless to say, it took a while to clean up but the saving grace is - the Aga is back on and happy!

One evening I snapped this photo, just something that makes me happy. 

I have a new work set up.  It's temporary as we have more plans!  It means I have the open fire to work by, which was lovely.  The temperatures are getting chillier again and we've had our fair share of rain this week.

The above photo isn't a pretty one, but it's practical as I always say.  The ducklings which are in the second brooder in the garage are getting big enough to be moved out so we will pop then in this greenhouse in the barn for a while before venturing outside when it's a little warmer.  These ducks will be for the freezer, we will be incubating more eggs soon.

The plan is to move them on Friday evening so they are quiet, then we will be here to supervise during the day Saturday whilst we work outside.  

A few days later.  The nights are noticeably lighter now.  When I feed the animals after work, it is still a lovely light.

On Saturday we woke up to a bright white frost.  Beautiful!


It was really chilly, just below freezing, but perfect working weather.  We had a lot to get on with after all.

The new beds were covered in a dusting of frost.  So pretty.


The weekend was taken up with more work in the plot.  We had a good tidy up, including removing the fencing that had previously been made in to a pen.  It looks a lot bigger and much tidier.  We also tried some home grown mushrooms, which were amazing.


Steven created some doors for the compost bins to keep everything neat and tidy.

He also laid a new pathway using the rubble stones we have lying around - a genius idea!  I'm thrilled with how it looks.

Whilst he did that, I had a couple of hours sowing seeds.

After finishing my tasks, I harvested a few veggies - come back next week to see what I did with them.  I was thrilled with the parsnips!

Sunday 11 February 2024

Week 7 - Log Stores and Veg Plots

Now it's lighter later, Steven has been able to get on with work outside.  He has continued working on the log pile roof which is looking great.  He said there's just some guttering to be added to it now.  A job for this coming weekend - I'm writing this on Friday.

Although lighter for longer, it's still very dark when we rise at 5am.  The days when I go straight in to the barn at that time is quite a shock for those who are still in their midnight slumber.

I have also released a tour of the kitchen garden as we call it on YouTube.  Here it is if you are interested:  Tour

Here's a few snaps from the night when I was getting a Thumbnail photo for it.

Logs, Agas, Mushrooms, Eggs & Birthdays! Week 6! 05th to 11th Feb

"Where's the guard for it?" I heard my Dad enquiring to Steven who was brandishing an electric grinder, minus the guard.  "In  my workshop, it gets in the way" was the response as I silently walked by them and in to the house, half smiling as I knew my Dad was now shaking his head at Steven.  A few minutes later I looked up from the kitchen sink to see Ste walking up from the workshop, smiling at me knowingly, whilst carrying said guard.  They got back to work on the roof for the log pile.  It required a few pieces of steel welding together, which is why Dad was helping, as that was his trade.  Ste is able to get the rest done on his own.  

The floor around the log pile, in fact all of the patio is green - a sign it is ready for its Spring clean.  It's on the list :)


I forgot to show this lovely design Steven burned in to a chopping board he made me for Christmas.  It matches my beautiful wall piece.  

Can you tell I love those "toadstool" mushrooms the fairies live underneath?
Also a gorgeous little rose from my Mam when she called in to see us all with my Dad.
Unfortunately, the aga went off at the weekend.  Thankfully it's still Winter which means I've within my rights to demand it goes back on (joking for those who don't know me, I would politely ask of course) whereas if it was around Easter time, there would be lots of discussion around leaving it off until the Winter.

The frustration was somewhat alleviated as we have started getting eggs of the Rhode Island reds and the Wellsummers - we should be back in the egg business very soon!


I added the first one (look how thick the shells are!) to the mince meat which we turned in to beef burgers. Delicious!

Finally, it was Grace's (left) 17th birthday this week, for which the celebrations started last week!  We had a delicious meal out to celebrate and she had a bunch of the girls round which I'm told (and heard!) was lots of fun.  Happy days!

Sunday 4 February 2024

Basically Ducklings (and a similarity to the Queen)! Week 5 29th Jan to 04th Feb

The duck eggs that went in to the incubator on New Year's Day came out as planned 28 days later.  Here they are on the 29th fluffed up and looking fantastic.  Our first hatch of the year.


We pretty much spent the week loving over the ducklings but we did have work to do at the weekend.  It started with a broken barrow but ended up with all the new vegs beds full of the rotted horse muck and homemade compost, so it did get better.  It's all on the vlog of the week which you can click here.

Steven got the gate on that he has made which is higher for the chickens to not jump over, time will tell how that works out! I'm very happy with it.

The end of the week saw Grace's birthday celebrations start - yes, like the Queen, it's going on for longer than one day.  She had a lovely time.

week 17 w/c 22 April Just photos :)

April 22, 2024 - Week 17