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
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!
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
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.
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..