|The buzzards are easier to see on dead branches|
|The fields are going green with rape and winter wheat|
|Lots of flowers with insects|
|Dave came home with a buddlea after I was coveting on at the wedding, covered in butterflies. Roll on next year!|
|This leek doesn't look too bad...but to be hones the board is very small|
|Bunched herbs for drying...just in case|
|I thought the rhubarb has finished and planned on leaving the last half dozen leaves on each, but it's taken off again.|
|The beets and carrots are doing OK amongst the weeds...honest!|
|Land cress coming alive, a nice peppery addition to soups and salads|
|Sproutlets complete with aphids...job for tomorrow|
|Hearting up.....Naughty snail bottom left|
As soon as it's dry we will be putting in some perpetual spinach, onion sets and garlic to over winter, as well as a couple of types of lettuce, and iceberg and a butterhead. Maybe even some red... The perpetual spinach is a new try, a variety you can use in salads or cooking.
|Still managing plenty of nice salads with the ricotta, this time with radish leaves, pickled carrots, peas, figs, walnuts and tomatoes, and honey mustard dressing|
Yordan has at last taken the grapes. the three vines yielded four plastic crates of fruit so he is happy with that. Once it's dry enough new, stronger posts can be put in in case we have another decent crop another year. I used some of the ones I dried in a fruit cake the other day and several of us thought it was OK! Wish I'd done more now.
So, with the rain comes another problem....animals! Not really a major problem, but the dogs come in with the very sticky mud we have and spend their days sprawled out wherever you happen to be. I am forever tripping over them, they are rather large to be flat out in the kitchen. The cats have decided it's knee time and Spud is usually curled up on my knee (or spread out on my chair if I move) and Charlie on Dave's. If Dave is not available he claims Bonnie's chair...or more accurately the warmth of Bonnie's snoring body, but she will soon move off bless her. Bella switches between wanting to join in with cats playing to pretending to be terrified if she feels a claw. Charlie has discovered where we all go at night and has claimed a spot on the bed...which means Spud sleeps on a blanket on the floor...one day they might share. Once the fire is going they might stay downstairs, we can but hope.
|We thought we had cured Bella of this when we got the new chairs|
Out in the paddock the goats are very put out at the rain...they don't like getting wet! So they stay in while it's damp...but the rain might bring down walnuts and if they hear one fall they forget and charge out to get it. I didn't realise they ate the nuts whole, I just thought our's were later than everyone else's. So that is another job for Dave , before he lets the goats out he picks up walnuts.
|Fresh, juicy walnuts|
|Yum..walnut and Cheshire cheese (yes really!) bread|
|Walnuts in waiting|
There have been changes to the chickens. I'm afraid the three amigos, who all turned out to be boys, have had to go to freezer heaven. I was hoping to keep one as I like the sound of a cockerel, but they were all giving the poor hens a hard time. the ex-batts have had a hard enough life without having three strapping teenagers landing en masse to claim their rights as men. Two of them were really bad and the rumpless one, after a very rough duffing up of the hen, would stand on her and look around, not letting her get up till he felt like getting off. He was also attacking the ducks. A thoroughly unlikable chap. The white one was also rough and growing quite big, and the one I wanted to keep (stupidly naming him Sonny...Son of Sevi) was chivvying the hens too. We considered keeping him in the hope that he might calm down and be more like his gentleman father, but given that so many of his sons had doubtful temperaments and the fact that the girls weren't keen, well.... Now peace has descended, and we wait with bated breath to see if any of the three smaller chicks start crowing. They don't have 'proper' combs like the others so it's harder to tell, but one definitely looks as if it has rounded neck feathers so possibly a girl. You can't tell with the other two, one is fluffy and one is white speckly.
We went to the last of one of the car boot sales on Sunday. We had stopped going to this one as there is an entrance fee and diesel costs for a longer drive plus we never sell much there, but as it was the last one we thought we'd go along. We should have stayed at home (except it's nice to catch up with friends) as the weather was totally miserable, heavy with drizzle. One more to go, closer this time, and hopefully we will get rid of some of the chutney and free up some space in the store cupboard...and I have a couple of orders from people panicking that they might run out over winter, even though they are Facebook friends and can always ask.
Other than that all is quiet. We went out to a do one evening as it was the birthday of the friend who was best man at the wedding and he paid for food and drinks at the bar. He very kindly ordered a vegetarian plate for me as the pizza and plates of cold meats and cheese are not really suitable for veggies, and I was a bit embarrassed when I not only got veggie pizza but a plate of tomatoes, cucumber, cheese and cheesy potatoes. Luckily there were plenty of people to help me out!
|My embarassing plate of food.|
So it's back to mostly basic cooking now, which means when I get bored I start to make those comforting meals to warm us up....all the weight lost over summer will return and the cycle begins....
|Soup time, lots of variations on our garden veg|
|Tried the caramel popcorn...Oh yum|
|We had visitors one day, one of whom used to bake, and I managed to stink the house out scorching the bread...not once, but twice....|
|...and not one, but two pancake cakes (now names biscakes)|
And my seeds came today....wonder what I can sow now......
|Now, you wouldn't think I would need any more....but I still haven't got sweetcorn, squash, pea or flower seeds|
|Two varieties of tomato to try. The one on the left is great and I have saved some seed (Can't remember the name) but the Black Russian I will not be growing, it's OK but quite acidic and I already grow an acidic tomato|