Well, it’s about time

So here we are again, snow scattered on the ground this morning, the nights well and truly drawing in and my duties on the farm reduced to the milking of the goats now that the pigs have enjoyed their final meal. In theory I now have time to blog, although in truth it’s more about making time than having time and I’m the master of procrastination.

First things first I would like the thank Fragglerocking for her fantastic series of pictures of our little bit of Poland back in April. If you didn’t see them at the time then please take a look at them along with Frags other posts, she has a way with the camera, a camera whisperer if you like. Part1 part2 (I think the trip to Poland runs to 7 parts) and as I said Frags blog if worth a visit for her insights in to many places around the UK and beyond and always featuring top notch photographs, including the one of the roast lamb dinner we enjoyed  together (set as the image for this post) and many that are featured on our newly created Instagram account

I will admit that I have a twinge of guilt about the whole thing, as I originally asked for help with some pictures so that we could promote our house on Airbnb, one of our many plans to make enough to get by on. As it happened this never happened, more on that later, so I hope I am forgiven for my false representation Smile

So where do I start, oh I know, with another thank you, to all the blogging friends who continue to buy Gosia soaps, your continued support is very much appreciated and always generates a smile when your emails appear, you know who you are, so thank you.

Ok, ok, an update, that seems like the best approach, an update of the last 7-8 months, but be warned this post could be long. Or broken down into two parts, the second one only appearing if the first is well received. I will pick up the format I started in April!

Animals

I have just read Aprils report about the wild dogs attack on our rabbits, well it happened again, and this time we lost everything. All that remain are 5 cages with reinforced wire fronts ripped off. I wont dwell on this as ultimately it was my fault for believing that my reinforced wire would stop the wild pack that had rabbit for evening meal. The cages will remain empty until the spring when I will start again with new all welded wire cages. On the upside, after defrosting our big chest freezer, it seems we still have a good amount of rabbit to go at.

The goats of course are our permanent residents and the five that we have left (one was swapped for a lamb) are all doing well, in fact four of them are waiting to visit Bernie as their time becomes apparent. A wag of the tail, an insistent bleat and a few other signs that I wont go into and they will be in the back of the van in two shakes of a goats tail., off to stables new for an afternoon of passion. Bernie is a good looking billy, say no more.

Milk production remains reasonable, certainly more than we can drink, and we have maintained a good customer base through the year for milk and cheese. A quick mention for the guests that we have had throughout the year, the milk you were drinking was goats milk, sorry if I didn’t mention it, but you never noticed Smile

Pigs, bacon, what more can I say, other than they did a fantastic job of ploughing a new veg patch for next year as well as clearing an acre of fallow land for fodder crops. They became quite an attraction as they lived in our top field at the side of the track that leads to the house, people could not believe the work they have done in the field, don’t under estimate the power of the snout. I do have some pictures, but I’ll leave them for another post ‘Pigs in Space’

We took delivery of out first bee hives in the autumn and hopefully they will make it through the winter to help pollinate the crops and of course increase their number for the future. Now that the pigs have cleared an acre of land we have an area for bee friendly flowers in the  spring. Suggestions always welcome.

Wood

Odd I know, I wrote about our wood situation back in April, I suppose on reflection it was relevant at the time as we had run out. Hopefully, with the mild start to the winter, we have enough to get us through the winter. At the last inspection I had cut and stacked around 15 cubic meters and the crop from the branch chopper upper thingy has keep the water hot during the year on less than sunny days, a good investment by all accounts.

And now the weather is turning cold I’m just waiting for the last leaf to fall and I will be out there on the first dry crisp frosty days to start harvesting for next year. I have a bit more of a plan this winter in that I have designated an area for felling to make some space for my next little venture, hazel. Nuts, well maybe, but even if that fails then they are a great tree for coppicing, crafting and ultimately when I realise that I can’t weave a hurdle, burning. For a relatively small investment I have a couple of hundred nuts sitting in a box of sand hoping that they will germinate over winter, I will know the results in February\March when I’m due to move them onto pots or a bigger raised bed or the like, we will see.

Airbnb or not to be

As you may have guessed we never got as far as setting ourselves up on Airbnb, not that we have given up on the idea of taking in guests, its just that we had a bit of news that made us think twice about opening our doors to strangers and making more work for ourselves when we are due to have another mouth to feed! In fact in a months time we will have one less room to rent, not technically true unless you count me sleeping in a spare room to get a full nights sleep, but we didn’t think the idea of having guests whilst we have a new born in the house wasn’t such a good idea. That is not to say that the offer to stay doesn’t remain on the table, after all you all (friends) know about the situation now, but as I said we just didn’t fancy opening the doors to all and sundry.  Mind you we had a steady stream again this year over the summer, friends, family and guests, all of which made for a great diversion for Malina and us alike, it gives us a break from ourselves, if that makes sense?

Soaps.compost and more…..

Well I said it may be in two parts and so it shall be, but I will mention before I go that I have updated the website Winkos.co.uk to include new products and pricing for winter 2017, I will update the blog as well soon, but you know me, I don’t do anything fast.

Until next time..

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Author: Eddy Winko

Trying to leave the rat race and live a less hectic and harmful life. From the building of a straw bale house to the composting toilet diaries; read my blog https://winkos.wordpress.com/

23 thoughts on “Well, it’s about time”

  1. Your taking delivery of bee hives struck a chord in my RAM. A long time ago in a land far away I kept a bee hive. The second winter, saw a bodacious plenty of snow (over a meter); and, the hive was completely covered at a time when I was away for two weeks. When I got back and checked the hive, they had suffocated. Their warmth created a solid igloo of ice that did not admit a fresh supply of air.
    Warmest regards, Ed

  2. Lovely, Eddy and Gosia — great news, and I want the whole menu, beetroot salad recipe and all —
    I’m thinking hazelnuts for hedges, I’ll be interested to see how it goes starting them from seed.
    pax from Ohio and cheers to Gosia from an eight-times dunnit.

    1. Thank you, I’ll pass onto Gosia 🙂
      Its a very traditional UK roast dinner with a Polish twist, Leg of lamb with a sea salt, garlic and oil rub (mixed to a paste with a pestle and mortar) Roast potatoes, spring cabbage with cream and beetroot salad. I’ll send you the recipe 🙂 xx

  3. I’ll look forward to it! We love beets! Please include a photo of baby to be… 🙂 You didn’t tell us if it’s a boy or a girl or is that going to be a surprise? I’m always so excited to hear about news of a new child in the world! What does big sissy think? Is she excited too?

  4. PS. What is the pretty red dish on the table? Beets, red cabbage? If either one, how do you prepare it? The whole meal looks scrumptious! 🙂

    1. That would be buraczki, or beetroot salad to you and me. We can a whole batch for the winter; grated beetroot, thinly sliced \chopped peppers, sugar and vinegar. I will send you an email with the recipe when I find the recipe book 🙂

  5. Great to have the update. Missed you. Not sure whether I say ‘congratulations’ re forthcoming event or wait till it’s happened. What the hell, why not both. Stupid weather in this corner of God’s own country; 16degC! Wet and windy – that’s not new. Probably flooding in the village but totally p…d off with FB so am not up eith the news. As you’ll have seen driving to Keighley every day so weather welcome. As you say, the photos were wonderful. Good wishes to Gosia.

    1. Thank you Tyke, I was talking to my sister last night and she mentioned the odd weather, I guess we have to get used to it. 10c here this morning, after a cold spell, so the snow has melted and I can get out to catch up of a few tasks. Enjoying your posts around Keighley and your walks. All the best.

  6. I was sad because I thought you had given up the blog for good but YAY…you’re back and with WONDERFUL news! How could you keep that a secret for so long? Where are the photos of your lovely Gosia in the waiting for baby poses? Do you know what your having or is that a secret too? Congratulations to all three of you! You must be so excited! I don’t even know you (personally) and I’m excited! 🙂
    Pictures please!!

    1. Thank you Chris 🙂 I could say I hadn’t noticed the bump, but I don’t think you would believe me, in fact I wouldn’t believe me 🙂 I’ll have to see if I can sneak up on Gosia, she hates having her picture taken 🙂

  7. I was going to say lavender, but I see FR beat me to it.
    Well, it was a long wait, but worth waiting for. A full roundup, worthy of its own episode of ‘Countryfile’.
    (John Craven, look to your laurels!)
    I think you might need more that welding for the rabbit hutches, by the sound of those wild dogs.
    Knew about the new addition of course, but now it’s public, formal congratulations.
    Best wishes to all of you as always, Pete.

  8. Very nice recounting, congratulations, and glad to hear all is as well as it can be (except for the rabbits). I’m looking forward to Pigs in Space (although I think it’ll be something different than my first thought).

  9. Thanks for the kind words and links to my blog Eddy, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat! So sorry the bunnies got nobbled :/ . Bees love Buddleas, (as do butterflies) geraniums, hollyhocks,Iris, and they especially love lavender. Have a look here too
    https://www.wildflowerlawnsandmeadows.com/blog/wild-flowers-for-bees-and-butterflies/

    So good to see you blogging again, and though Gosia’s squatter-in-the-girly-parts is not a surprise I can’t believe it’s only a month to go! Get practicing with your camera! Good luck with your nuts too! :D. Love to Gosia and big hug to Malina xxx

    Fraggs

    1. Cheers Fraggs. I’ll be starting a garden plan soon, hopefully some of the flowers can be used in the soaps as well so everyone’s a winner. Loves passed on as Malina scurries around the place trying to avoid the brushing of teeth, Gosia in not so hot pursuit. XX

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