Thursday, 8 May 2014

Downs and Ups

Hello fellow Frugellers!
A special Hello to Kita, Sandra Nix and Val Derbyshire on Blog Lovin and Jeanette on my follower sidebar.

Right, let's get the rubbish news over with first.
On Friday morning, before we set off for our Cornish Fishing weekend. I went out to feed the animals. I let the three lambs out into the paddock and gave them their bottles. Back to the barn to feed the rabbits and the nursery crew and found two chicks all on their own in the barn, with no sign of an adult..The mother hens with their single chicks were snug in their little runs within the barn and the four broody mums sat firmly on their eggs. So where was mummy hen and her side-kick (good friend)? I walked around the holding looking for them and found the feathers in the fruit garden...Mr Fox had called. We had left the top of the barn door open for the swallows and Rufus had taken his chance.
 The list I leave for my daughter when she takes over from us, had to be amended to include increased fox-security. I also set up a heat lamp for the chicks as a frost was expected.
Next into the house to make up and refrigerate bottles for the lambs for a couple of days. Archie still not looking too strong, but drinking his bottle with gusto.

The journey to Cornwall was horrendous with some serious accidents, roadworks and shear weight of traffic but we got there safe and sound and to bed early as we have an early start to Looe on Saturday morning. I drove D. to the boat and returned back to my friend's ready for a good old gossip and my mobile rang. It was YD to say that she had gone out to feed the lambs this morning to find that Archie had died in the night!
I had to explain what she had to do with poor little Archie re. fallen stock disposal, ear tags, movement books etc. Poor  YD what an awful thing for her to have to do.
 What she didn't tell me was that most of my bean plants had been taken by the frost, even though they were under glass. There wasn't anything either of us could do about that.

 I think that that is all the rubbish news. So onto the Good News...I feel as though I ought to end this post like Pam from  A Good Life in Tydd with ..."Reasons to be Grateful"....

The four new hens have settled in so well that I am struggling to identify which ones they are.

I have plenty of spare beans saved and have pre-soaked and re-planted some to replace the frosted ones.

The tomatoes are doing so well in the greenhouse that I have been pricking out the plants, some of which have flowers.

Another chick has been born.

We have had another swarm, which me were able to collect and box. Now numbered Hive No 8.

My daughter, granddaughter and a couple of friends turned out on Sunday to do a spot of digging for me, which meant that I was able to plant, Purpel Sprouting Brocolli, Calabrase and Greyhound Cabbages on Monday.

Over the weekend a neighbour sent us a large bunch of asparagus from her allotment.

Today I received a beautiful 11 month old Buff Orpington cockerel to "play" with Hugh's (our old BO Cockerel) close female relatives. His name is Flump.

D. has now sieved enough compost to fill both the greenhouses and many seed trays and plant pots.

ED bought another trailor of wood from her friend's

As you see much to be thankful for.

All for now. Off to read some of my favourite blogs.

ooh nearly forgot..D.caught some fish! I processed 10 pollack for the freezer, which yealded 11 pound of fillets.
Gill
































19 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever eaten Pollack; I believe it's becoming quite popular these days. Sorry to hear about the beans; always annoying to loose stuff to frost.

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    Replies
    1. Pollock is very similar to cod and is usually line-caught. The beans I lost were touching the glass. They were my first planting as I try to stagger them for a longer season. Our vine was also frosted at the tips.

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  2. Oh dear, sorry to hear all the trials and tribulations of being a smallholder, even though it goes with the territory its still upsetting when unexpected things happen. At least your fishing trip gave you a good yield, we have eaten pollack many times and its quite an acceptable fish and so much cheaper in the supermarkets ( when you have to buy it). I hope the weather is being kind to you today....its chucking it down here! xx

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    Replies
    1. More ups that downs I'm pleased to say. It is difficult to tell the difference between pollack and cod when the fillet is thick. The weather has been very variable - warm but wet. If it is rainy again today I might even do some housework!

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    2. Are you asking what a smallholder is Cro or questioning if we are smallholders?!
      I understand the term to mean someone who owns or rents land that varies in size from a large garden to a farm of less than 50 acres(?) on which they grow food. The Americans call it homesteading or hobby farming. Most of us embrace the philosophy of John Seymour.
      Sorry if this doesn't answer your question or sounds patronising
      Gill

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  3. We have seen two foxes around the hill behind our place but the nieghbours hens seem ok.my potatoes were caught by the frost but not to badly and are growing on.sorry to hear about the lamb.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Phyllis. There are quite a few foxes here in the Amber Valley, waiting for us to make a mistake, which indeed we did!
      The frost missed our potatoes, but got the vine as well as the beans.
      The two remaining lambs are going to have their work cut out keeping our grass down!

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  4. More good than bad then, on the whole. Hope the Buff Orpington minds his Ps and Qs - mine has jumped on my young pullets a bit too vigorously and made one of them lame.

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    Replies
    1. Yes indeed!
      I shall introduce Flump to our older girls as he is a big boy and as you say could do some damage, especially as he is only young and inexperienced, which makes cockerels clumsy.

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  5. Sorry for your losses and well-pleased for your gains!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Sandie. We have to move on don't we?
      Still waiting for your email
      Gill

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  6. What a mess the frost made of your beans and sad news about Archie. We rushed round on Friday and Saturday trying to cover things, the lowest temp. was 2 degreesC here. Touch wood everything looks OK.
    Good news that the fish were biting this time and as you say, still plenty of time for more bean sowing.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they are a total write off. The leaves of those plants were touching the glass of the cold frame (der! I should know better!) As you say, I still have time to start again.

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  7. Loosing chickens is always annoying! And the beanz as well. You won't loose much by planting them again now , I haven't planted my runner or French yet Nd and was planning to this weekend. Fish sounds good, nice battered or in a curry.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I shall re-plant today after soaking some beans since monday.
      We tried fish with a curry and yoghurt paste and wrapped in filo parcels a while back and that was surprisingly good. When you have quite a bit of fish put by (which we do) you can afford to risk trying new recipes. I think I shall ask people for ideas for recipes.

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  8. These things always happen when you're away don't they? We've not had any frost so seedlings are all OK here, lots and lots of rain though! Sad to hear about Archie x It's all good when nature works with us and not against us.
    Good news on the fish though x

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