Author Archives: ZH

Lambing 2016

First lamb of the year has arrived today, a single born to one of the ewes from last year. All healthy and ear tagged. Mum wormed so with the exception of Wesley, one of the older ewes and the other 2015 ewe all working is up to date for spring.

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Redcurrant Jelly

Really pleased with my redcurrant jelly this year. For the recipe follow the Crab Apple recipe I wrote a while back.

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Gooseberry sweet and sour sauce

The redcurrant and gooseberries are ready now, so I have devised a new recipe for storing the glut. Gooseberries are pretty difficult to use. I like stewed gooseberry, but not that much, so I am always looking for other ideas. This week I have made a sweet and sour sauce with our red gooseberries. It is lovely with lamb, and I am pretty sure it will be amazing with duck.

Gooseberries and a few redcurrants stewed with a couple of star anise
Add balsamic vinegar
Add sugar
Remove star anise
balance the favours until your like the taste.
Freeze.

I used this like a plum sauce with pancakes and pulled lamb and chopped spring onions and cucumber. it was amazing!


Early Summer Veg update

The Polytunel is working super hard at the moment. We have had a good salad crop in May and June, a few mange tout and lots of herbs. Strawberries are just starting to ripen and we have had a few bowls of them. I picked a big lunch box full yesterday. The poly is now in its high summer formation with aubergines, tomatoes and bush french beans. There also a few summer herbs and a few more little plug plants of salad.

In the main beds the potatoes are going great guns, and the broad beans are just about to start producing but they have very bad black fly which I am. trying to combat with high pressure water. The squash are now all in, and the Sweetcorn is as well. The surprise this year is that the cabbage is doing OK, plus we are hoping for great things from our cauliflower.

Pictures to follow soon.


Sheep shearing

Just a quick note to say that we sheared and wormed all the sheep yesterday except Rambo who needs to be grabbed next week. Also rotated them into the main paddock . Resting the camping area and the forest garden.

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Ducklings (good news).

So about two/three weeks ago two of our Muscovy girls hatched clutches of ducklings.

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Vita and one of the chocolates. Vita has hatched 12 and Choc has hatched 4. They are both delighted with themselves. Vita is being her usual lioness type mum, and hisses and jumps at me if I go anywhere near them. Choc is a bit more relaxed. All are doing well.

Due to our horrible mink attack, we have lost one of our breeding drakes Othello. He was very distinctive black drake, so we should be able to spot his offspring. If we have any black or magpie girls we should be able to keep them as the breeding line will now go back to Orlando.


Mink Attack

About a month ago we had a series of mink attacks which have left our poultry stocks pretty low. It has take us a while to write this up as it was really upsetting and stressful. The mink came back over a series of nights and took all of our Kahki Cambells, two Muscoveys, two chickens and our bunny Mac (very sad to lose Mac as he was a pet, still can’t talk about it much). It was devastating. Every morning we would go out and find more dead stock.

We bought and set a trap, but we obviously put it in the wrong place. Eventually I think the mink just moved on. ( Or maybe was caught by something else). We are now just left with Sheep, Muscovey ducks and our geese. We haven’t rushed out to buys lots of new stock because we wanted to be sure that the mink wasn’t coming back. Also, as you will see in the next post we have had some good news, two of our Muscovey girls have hatched large clutches of new ducklings.