Jam and rusty pots and pans

Been trying to get these two jobs done all year…

Picked some BC’s last summer and froze them – Mother has been saving jars – and when I went in to the container to get the jars I saw the state of my cast iron pots and pans I used to use on the Rayburn – the Swallow poo did nothing for them – or me…

These are the better ones – I couldn’t shown you the Swallow poo ones ๐Ÿ™‚ Could I?! An afternoon in the dumpy bag of sand scrubbing – or I could have used white vinegar ( I just didn’t have any)

Note to self – don’t freeze too many BC’s in a bag – as when you put the sugar in it gets dangerously near the top of the biggest pots ๐Ÿ™

They look better after a coating of nut oil and a long hot bake- now I have to find somewhere to put them indoors or use them for door stops ๐Ÿ™‚


November Now…

The Holding.

Is empty again – no calves came this year – except by accident over the fence. Lots more grass than usual and the middle field has a mass of gone to seed docks which will need spraying in the spring as no plans to get a flock of sheep in to graze them out. The horses are dealing with the one field that didn’t get a second cut.

It’s been fairly ‘no business – as usual’ here again – we still have work to do on the house so erecting the new garden fence and rabbit netting has been put off till after that – so no veg – we did have a big crop of soft fruit and a massive crop of apples, pears, plums and damsons and with the geese still stuck in the horse barn and pig pen area for grazing – most of the fruit rotted where it fell – the one remaining hen has ‘gone off fruit’.

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Victoria Plums 2017

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Like Busses…


Sometimes nothing seems to happen and then it all does…

One of my neighbours has restocked with new Mule ewes and they are grazing off the ‘turned to jungle’ fields that my sheep were keeping tidy for another absent neighbour – and the rams are in so we may be hearing the patter of tiny feet in the spring again ๐Ÿ™‚

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The other thing that has happened is that the nice bunch of calves have returned home and so I have been able to move the horses down to the winter fields and it was dry enough to avoid the wheel barrow having to be used to take the fence posts – and Tash who supervised ๐Ÿ™‚

On The Garden Front…

I sprayed the last time with Roundup – I had hoped the fence would be up and that I could have Rotivated – but it hasn’t been the case – so Roundup it was today and SBK on the nettle patches in the middle of the top field.

Plenty of apples still on the trees in the orchard – no chance of making cider or wine as the utensils are still in the shipping container but we did make some Cassis like liqueur – just to warm the cockles of our hearts in the bleak mid winter – Ya De Ya ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚2016-11-14 16.31.00.jpg




Damson Delight…


Merryweather damsons – wonderful wonderful fruit ย – when ripe ๐Ÿ™‚

First farm I worked on when I left school had a Damson orchard -I had to walk through everyday to get the cows home, well I started there in August, and kept on trying to eat one every day – till I eventually got to late September and then I couldn’t eat enough ๐Ÿ™‚


Woman out standing in her field – literally :)


‘Between’ phase kicks in for farm…

2nd cut is wrapped and hauled away and in a few weeks the neighbours dairy and dairy bread young stock will arrive as a leggy, nosy and playful bunch. Dogs and I will have to ย be more inventive to avoid company on our walks but at least the other neighbours ย land is now topped or bagged and tagged so I can enjoy the bridle path with out getting stung though being run over by mountain bikers or eaten by horse flies is possible.

There is little now I can do in the garden until the new rabbit fence is erected – with gates hung etc – unless I want to start putting rabbit pie on the menu – which I don’t. Even the re grown lawn has slowed down and not needed our ‘Trigger’s broom’ mower to be ‘got going’.

The orchard looks heavy with plums and damsons but the apples are not uniformly good – and no cider ones at all though the neighbour’s Dabbinetts and a few others look OK, the pears have dropped a lot which is a shame.

All that being said I have gone on a ‘get fitter’ phase and a ‘get horses going’ phase – so far resulting in blood sweat and tears – one Vet visit and one day with me flat on my back – all Jolly Good Fun. ๐Ÿ™2016-08-02 16.58.45 HDR.jpg

Cycling contraption with additional ‘diving’ weights and ‘encouraging VDO (!) and target in sight out of window.

Recruited friends to assist in getting me over my acute loss of confidence with my horse riding that has occurred – and am doing my best to make sure I am a bit stronger legged – writing all day, every day, has reduced my over all fitness dramatically this year – and with out the sheep flock to chase and tend my running and weight lifting has been reduced – to my noticeable detriment. Enter The Contraption. When attached to my husband’s JCB work bench I can also out line fiction etc ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL Multi Tasking. ๐Ÿ™‚2016-08-02 09.38.20.jpg

I think it would be easier to get off back side and go for a ride TBH and do one thing at a time properly!


Leap Of Faith…

2016-07-01 13.23.41.jpgBefore

The weekend arrived of the Digger And Dumper and G and I worked hard to clear up both in the garden and the yard – we even got the second skip emptied and replaced with a nice empty one.

G didn’t get entirely away from mechanics but luckily this was minor.

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Long flight of steps or ‘build a mountain’?2016-07-06 05.47.16

ย Built The Mountain!

It is not what either of us envisaged when we started but given we had no plan and were winging it I think we did well including sawing off the neck of the new septic tank and filling in the trench etc that had appeared around it.

The ‘side garden’ took a hammering as a source of top soil – I guess my snowdrops, violets and primroses will have been hit through and when we ran out of soil there we trundled to the bottom of the farm and raided the heap we made 30 years ago when we cleared, levelled and dug foundation holes for a barn we never raised.

Take Away Is?

You can never have enough black top/road scalpings!

We are trying to make the place easy to get around for the less bendy or those on wheels or flying a zimmer ย now and in the future – anyway this now needs to settle down and wait for next stage – some kind of tiles I suppose…:)

Veg garden fence was discussed – everyone is busy with silage still right now so I think if it is done by Autumn for next year… still there are enough black currents out there to make a jar or two of Cassis – I could have made gooseberry wine but there isn’t anywhere to wash out the equipment right now… I can freeze the fruit though for later ย – after the severe prune there isn’t a huge crop – but there is lots of new growth for next year… ๐Ÿ™‚

The orchard is a mixed bag right now – the cider apples didn’t set a good crop – I haven’t looked at the field orchard – the other apples are much the same with the exception of Lord Lamburne and Bramlies, Winston and the Allington Pippins- the pears did set a heavy crop but the June drop was heavy ย – plums both Victoria and Opal + Damson Merry weather are loaded and groaning.

Much like the wine making my cider stuff is buried under the household gear in the shipping container so a poor year may not be missed come Autumn – have to make up for it in 2017 as the Vintage Apple Wine stock is running down…:)