Thursday 21 November 2019

(nearly) Ready for Winter

Hello Hello Hello Remember me?!!
  Winter draws on (yes Sue!) and I am still processing stuff for the winter months. As usual I'm laying in for a siege and any disasters that might befall deepest Derbyshire and the world beyond.

Here is a short run down on where I am right now, produce-wise........
  The last of the potatoes, dug up a little early because with the persistent rain they were in danger of rotting in the ground, are now dried and in brown paper bags. These bags will go into the old empty rabbit hutches alongside the apples, winter squash, and onions. It's been a good year for onions and squash, a rubbish year for apples and a so-so year for potatoes These hutches are in the barn, where it is cold but not too icy and are rat proof. Each day I gloat over this booty like a miser, I'm such a sad old prepper! Almost daily either David or I will say. "If you've got a potato you've got a meal"  which, you can't really argue with (yes I know you could die of boredom before the hunger got you!)
  I have been cracking hazelnuts and putting them into jars ready for cooking or snacking. While the nuts looked a good size the kernals are really quite small, so the yield has been rather disappointing from two large feed bags of nuts. However, they are a good source of protein throughout the winter., so worth doing, a job for while watching the TV. The jars of nuts are now "under the stairs" with the jars of dried beans, jams, pickles and honey. I have chopped some up and preserved them in honey again this year. I chopped the nuts for this rather than keep them whole and they are rather good in biscuits or poured over yoghurt.

  I think I have saved enough vegetable seed for next year and should need to buy very little, which is a bonus as seeds are not cheap. I'm going to try quinoa and luffa again next year as they were a dismal failure this year. I will have to buy the seed for this.
  There is little in the garden now, just perpetual spinach, black and curly kale, red cabbage, Brussels and beetroot. I managed to get some spring cabbage plants in a couple of weeks ago, but haven't managed to get the garlic in which I normally plant on bonfire night.

The bees haven't had the best year. We have lost three of the smaller hives to wasps, of the remaining hives we only took honey from three, as the others just had enough for themselves. in total we took 110 pounds of honey. I salvaged quite a bit of wax from cappings and broken frames and have made a passable lip balm to give as presents and also some beeswax wraps with fabric from my stash.

The chickens have now given up laying, probably until new year, which means no eggs to sell, the bees are funding the chicken food at the moment from honey sales.

 As the nights draw in I can spend more time indoors and as I have nearly finished  processing I have got the sewing machine out. Last weekend I managed to finish the huge mending pile so I can start on the Christmas presents I have planned. I am including as much plastic-free and sustainable stuff as possible. This has been a mantra of mine for many years (along with climate change) and it is great not to be seen as a weirdo any longer!
Enough for now methinks.
I will be back
Thanks for hanging around
love Gillx