Last night, we could just hear chirping coming from the incubator, and sitting in the kitchen having a cup of tea with a neighbour, the chirping got a lot louder. Well, its been three weeks since we set the eggs, and they have started to hatch. There’s something to cheer a grey day. So far, four out, and two more pipping. Obviously, they still have a long way to go.
Archive for January, 2009
I dunno – just had an off day..well two days – I blame the rain. and the mud. The fields are getting badly poached, and I am going to look on the sheep frequently, as well as minding the chickens etc. Only two things seem to be cheering at the moment, firstly opening the hen house to find six prettily coloured eggs – blue, dark brown, pinky, light brown and pale.. I never tire of collecting eggs.
And I dyed some wool, in my ongoing quest for a jumper for me from our own fleece. Pretty lurid huh? I think the orange is too much, the brown tempting, but I am going to go with the purple and green. Just have to work out how to card and spin them together, in what quantities etc..
Actually a really nice day today; my son said ‘it feels like summer’. He’s wrong of course, because we were still wearing thick woolly socks, thick jumpers.. but not coats hats and gloves.. so I suppose that’s a start. But I know what he means, the light, the warmish breeze, the sun on our backs.. yes it was a reminder of summer at least. But today is, according to all the forecasts, just a sunny island in a week of bleak, tomorrow the rain is back, and next week colder weather.
Oh well. By good fortune (and an attempt to be present during any lambing.. although only looks like one ewe…) himself had today off, and worked hard shifting huge boulders and barrowloads of clinker from the one-day-will-be-a-pig-run area. Slow progress.
After home-education duties, we made a box into a brooder, not that I am counting my chickens before they are hatched etc.. but you have to plan ahead. We found an old wooden box, some sort of packing crate I think, and made a mesh lid for it. The latter is in case we leave the door open and the cat thinks we have left him a treat..
The lean-to greenhouse is nearly prepped.. just need to barrow in some compost. Then we can make a start on the other greenhouse… the poor flower garden has been badly neglected, and I feel guilty about it, but when it comes to drawing up a list of priorities.. it never makes it very high up the list.
As soon as the sun went down, it was definitely winter again, and I have dyed more fleece, (this time orange, to see if that goes well with the purple.. just cannot decide) and am now heading for the comfort of the woodburner.
Finished the growers coup at the weekend, and here it is being modelled by a hen and chick (with a hopeful sheep looking on, over the hedge). I admit it is roughly based on one we saw for sale at a pretty reasonable price, but making it ourselves meant we spent easily less than half. We have designed it so it sits on top of a mesh floor, that we can do without when the chicks are bigger.
the plan is to use this housing until chicks are big enough to join the main crowd. Also , as it sits inside the hen run, the existing flock can see and interact with the hen and any chicks, so to cut down on settling in problems later.
Hardly living in isolation eh?
Sold a dozen eggs to a neighbour today. I’m unreasonably excited about it! It’s a win win situation, they get free range happy chicken eggs, very very fresh, with lovely dark orange yolks and pretty coloured shells, at a knock down price, and we get a contribution towards their feed. By my calculations, a dozen a week is enough to cover the feed costs, and still too many eggs left for us.
First time I have sold some of our own produce and it feels good.
Laid the last of the middle hedge area we are working on – loads more to go but it’s important to leave some untouched for wildlife.. that and we are running out of time and making slow progress! – Still it is progress.
Tonight – haggis, tatties and neeps and a blackberry cranachan. Stuffed now.
Most of my cooking seems to be based around what ingredients we have, what needs using up, rather than thinking of something then buying to fit. It’s a way to save money and not waste food. In the summer this means meals are based around the vegetables as they come into season. At the moment, meals seem to be about eggs a lot!
I have been pondering what I could cook with eggs, plus some coriander I had forgot to put in the (egg) curry I made a couple of days ago, … and some salted roast peanuts left over from making peanut brittle as Christmas presents. And the thought arrived… pad thai noodles. We love pad thai noodles… and really easy to cook – like the Thai version of spagetti carbonara (we love that too!)
On a bit of a roll, I went on to make an unfeasibly easy lemon yoghurt cake - well with a name like that, and all the comments on what a good cake it was on the downsizer forum.. how could I resist. Besides.. I had some yogurt left over from the curry earlier in the week.. and plenty of eggs…and a lonely looking lemon in the fruit bowl….
Just getting the first hints of spring now, snowdrops are making an appearance, some plants are budding, and there seem to be more birds hanging around in the garden.
The main thing though is the increased light. Although it was pretty windy today, also sunny and I spent some of this afternoon carting and stacking logs, sawing and cutting a few, emptying the wheelbarrow etc. Not much, but it was good to have the sun on my face again.. a hint of the daylight filled times to come.