Friday, 9 December 2016

Dinner Preps

I have been getting some dinner preps done.
As the oven on the Rayburn is always on, its easy to knock something up quickly and get it in the oven.
Yorkshire Puddings, these will all go in the freezer.
To be added to future dinners.
Often at the week end when Martin is home I pop a joint in the oven to slow cook through the day when we are busy, having these to hand just to warm through will be a great addition.
This evening when peeling some potatoes I did some extra par boiled and now in the oven roasting in duck fat that is left over from a roast duck we had on Monday, when these are done and cooled they will be open frozen on a tray then bagged up ready to grab when needed.
I want to do the same with the parsnips, I was going to take them up today, but the rain put me off. Perhaps I will get them up this week end.
Last week I had a request from one of my grandsons for some biscuits, I made him up some gingerbread men
 They were sent off with an icing writing set for him to decorate,
In return he sent me some mince pies.
There was some dough left over from the gingerbread men
 and yesterday I turned the into some biscuits, 
I got this cookie stamp ages ago, before we moved, in a sale I think, 
 I tried it out on the biscuits and it made a good impression.
Just waiting for Martin to get home now, at least the fog has cleared.
 
Diary
Thursday 9th December 1982
Gave Fern and Magic dose of powders, gave Magic 2 pints of milk and 1/4pt Iron Aid. Let Celadine out to grass from her calf.
John fitted more glass, finished pressure washing out the calf house. John finished off paperwork for solicitor.
Had a letter from Madge about previous cheques sent.
John wrote to Madge in reply to letter. John phoned Douglas about photocopies of letters.
John phoned forestry about trees on fence, meeting man from forestry at picnic area on 13th Dec.
Went down to Brechfa post office to post mail and xmas cards.

 

 

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Straight From The Horses Mouth

There seems to be a lot of confusion over Bird Flu 
Firstly there is no need to panic there has not been any reported cases in the UK, its all kicking off in Europe, but because we are in bird migratory season there is a risk it could be brought to the UK.
Defra have publicised guidelines for anyone who keeps poultry or captive birds to follow.
Here is a link Defra Guidelines 

Keeping it simple, either shut your poultry into a building, shed hen house what ever and secure it so wild birds cannot get in.
If you cannot shut them in you can net an enclosed run, 
 This is the run I netted yesterday with fruit cage netting
 the whole run is now bird proofed, but its not finished, wild birds poop and will perch on top of runs and the poop falls into the run, so the top of the run has to be covered with tarpaulin or something similar, this will be done at the week end when Martin is home.
Next is what Defra refer to as Bio Hazard  prevention
Simple
 A container with disinfectant to dip your feet in when entering the poultry area or house and again when leaving.
 This is the one I am using, we had it from when we had Alpacas issues earlier this year.
If your property is accessed by vehicles you should also put down Bio mats for them to drive over, I have put one up by our entrance.
The Doves do not have to be restricted as Bird Flu doesn't effect pigeons or doves, so they say but I might just net them back in this week end. As mummy dove is sitting tight on eggs now.
 While 3 expectant dads look on.
 I am not topping up bird feeders now, I don't want to encourage wild birds into the area any more than I have to.
Oh and if you read the Defra notice you will see this 
Breach of controls is an offence, with a penalty of up to £5,000 on summary conviction and up to 3 months’ imprisonment per offence.
I hope everyone is sensible and takes measures to reduce risks of infection, its the only way to keep it from the UK. 
Everyone who keeps poultry is responsible for doing there bit.

Diary
8th December 1982
Telecom phoned to asses work done on phone, 
Baked 3 batches of bread, 3 quiches, 24 mince pies, 18 sausage rolls.
John cut panes of glass and fitted.
Set up pressure washer for cleaning out the calf house.
Finished off paperwork for solicitor.
Had letter and xmas card from mother and a card from Grace.
finished off my cards, wrapped some presents.
I also wrote to solicitor to hold everything until New Year.
Heavy hail storm during the day.
  

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Catch Up News

I have a few things to catch up,
I have blog posts to do
This is suppose to be the quiet time of the year,
But my list is growing longer.
Back in November Martin started his Sloe Gin, I picked the sloes for him off the hedgerows around our place

It is almost ready for tippling and is a fantastic colour.
Some time ago I started an Orange Liqueur Gin Post Is Here 
The other day I got it strained 
 It smelled delicious and very orangey (is that a word)
The colour is fantastic, we had a little tipple of it the other evening, very warming, I am not a drinker must be the first drink I have had for a few years, it had a very pleasant taste.


 The stir fry from the other evening,
all the veg was grown by us, courgettes beans and peppers from the freezer, pak choi, Chinese cabbage and oka from the poly tunnel, onions and garlic from the stores, we had it with venison which was  a road kill that Martin butchered.
Last night we had one of our ducks that were in the freezer.
This morning at 7-45am we had a big delivery

The new field shelter for the Alpacas, a nice big 24ft one, 
It wont get erected until Martin is back at the week end, weather permitting.
It will be going in there new field area.
This has been on order for a couple of a months, they are made to order from a company in Somerset, called South West Stables.
The delivery man let at 4-30 this morning to get it to us before Martin left to go back to work, as it all had to be unloaded from the lorry. Its a heavy bit of kit.
Tomorrow I will try and get an updated post on the poly tunnel done.
Must dash things to do.
Not forgotten the Diary  as its coming up the last few weeks of it, I want to try and run it conjunction to the blog. We will have caught up date wise on Thursday.
 

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Goodbye Merlin

Today we took Merlin the Billy back to his owner,
 we think he has done his job with the girls, time will tell.
 He left without a murmur, we had the chance to buy him but declined, his owner is selling up and moving on to pastures new after the loss of his wife, its were my original girls came from, Merlin and the remainder of the herd are off to new owners next week. His ladies were pleased to see him again. Next year we will be looking for a new stud to service the girls.
As Mr B is selling up he is also selling off lots of equipment.
 We bought an electric goat milker from him.
 and Mr B gave us his goat milking stand, along with three big unopened boxes of bottles, this will all be very useful and make work of milking the goats a little easier as our herd grows.
 Sol tried out the stand for size.
we also bought this from Mr B
 A paddock cleaner, Mr B did have Alpacas as well a fairly big herd, all sold off now, the paddock cleaner was what he used to keep the Alpacas fields clean and the goat paddocks, it can be hooked on the back of the quad or tractor and it has its own independent motor, it is just a big hoover, it is also great for picking up leaves, so pasture maintenance will now be easier.

Yesterday I did my last craft market of the year, All my orders have been done delivered and posted off, the year has ended on a high 
approx £3,000 earned from crafting this year.

I have yet to total up other earnings from the smallholding this year as well as other totals.

I am off to cook dinner venison stir fry tonight, venison was in the freezer, veg from the freezer and poly tunnel.
 
 

Friday, 2 December 2016

Dry and Crispy

These frozen mornings are brilliant, I love them 
The ground is firm, the sky is bright,  
the grass is crisp and I love the way it crunches as you walk across it, the Animals dont seem to mind it either
 The mud is frozen so no sloshing around in the pig enclosure
 Good morning piggy
Connie likes her breakfast alone
 The others are happy to share

 Good morning Thelma
 The chooks are not to impressed not being able to scratch up the ground.
 They settle for apples instead
 Alpacas are waiting at the fence for breakfast
 Good morning Kara

 A face to make you smile
 with the ground frozen they need hay

 Odd job has bagged his hay
 Sol waiting outside the chicken run to go back in to the house to warm his toes.
 Its just stunning.
 Bird feeders are filled for our feathered friends
 The Doves have been out and about since the Buzzard attacks

 And a pair have been nest building, the female is tucked into the back of the middle pop hole
 And the male brings lots of offering for the nest, here he is with a crispy leaf.
I really dont know if they will have success this time of year if they do it will be Christmas babies.