Friday, 30 December 2005

We finally had some snow yesterday -- only a dusting really -- and then it turned to rain in the middle of the night, so by this morning everything was melted -- but this is what it looked like here around 4 pm yesterday...

Thursday, 29 December 2005

The day before Christmas, Bart from across the road came by and handed me ANOTHER pheasant!

It is SO cold that the water in the toilet in the porch has frozen...

Oh no -- there's another cat! :)

Wednesday, 21 December 2005

The pepper harvest in its final form: Spicy Roasted Pepper Pesto!

This is K having a go at the bones from the pheasant after I pulled all the meat off them -- a treat for the whole family! :)

Monday, 19 December 2005

Sunday, 18 December 2005

And ready for cooking... Just like you get in the supermarket -- NOT!

We opted for peeling the skin off rather than plucking out all the feathers as I am going to casserole it rather than roast it.

Removing the feet.

Removing the wings.

Time to prepare the pheasant for cooking...

The final pepper harvest. Sometime this week these will all be made into roasted pepper pesto...

Stripey pepper!

Friday, 16 December 2005

Never mind fairy lights and flashing Santas -- look what I have growing in my yard -- for free!

Wednesday, 14 December 2005

More free food -- some guys showed up in a Land Rover and gave me this pheasant! It's currently hanging in the porch and I'm looking forward to eating it this weekend...

Wednesday, 7 December 2005

Latest knitting work-in-progress...

Monday, 5 December 2005

At long last, have FINALLY finished the cardigan I have been knitting since February! Now I have something to keep me warm on the chilly winter nights... :)

Saturday, 3 December 2005

This is Gareth who is teaching us hedging...

So in the foreground is part of the hedge we laid today -- before we started, it looked roughly like the trees you see behind it on the right...

The egg on the left is from our hens, and the one on the right is from free-range organic supermarket eggs -- can you see the difference?

Cockerel Crowing

Sorry there's no photo of this, but it's an auditory experience -- this morning, as I was putting on my boots to go outside, I heard an odd crowing sound -- not our big cockerel...but our baby cockerel -- he's all grown up now! :)

Thursday, 1 December 2005

Our House

So we have finally submitted our planning application for the work we want to do on the house. Barring any unforeseen complications, it should all begin in the spring...

Wednesday, 16 November 2005

So the baby chicks were nine weeks old yesterday and I think I have finally decided what sex they are -- we have one of each!


...hen... If anybody out there knows any better, please let me know!

So the outside tap is now wrapped up snug as a bug -- hopefully this will prevent it freezing tonight as it is supposed to get COLD!

Monday, 14 November 2005

Finally harvested most of the sweet peppers from the porch. This photo is the "before"... ar ol...and after...

Roedd hi'n oer iawn y bore ma.
It was very cold this morning. We had our first frost! I went out to feed the chickens and not only was the top of their water frozen, but the tap in the field was frozen as well! :( Need to find my gloves...

Friday, 11 November 2005

Gwnes i frecwast fawr y bore ma. Mae wyau yn prin nawr!
I had a big breakfast this morning. Eggs are rare now!

Tuesday, 8 November 2005

More leaks -- this is water coming down the wall in the porch...

Was supposed to have gone to the WI meeting this evening to hear Derek Moore on Wildlife and Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan but have just had a call saying that the meeting has been cancelled due to flooding. This is the water coming under the gate at the bottom of the field -- and as you can see, the water is coming over the bottom bar... Apparently there is flooding at the bottom of the Talley road and the police are only letting people with essential business through...

We have an interesting leak above one of the windows in the lounge...

...which is conveniently dripping into the baby spider plants directly underneath it -- automatic watering system! :)

Egg production has dropped off dramatically, and the ones we are getting (we are averaging about five eggs a week or so) are decidedly odd looking...

Tuesday, 1 November 2005

And yet more seeds that I have to roast tomorrow, but it is late so am off to bed now...

This is what happens when you try to roast the seeds from the insides of 18 pumpkins!

Saturday night we went to a Halloween party -- Calan Gaeaf in Welsh -- and I was a black cat -- cath ddu.

Eggs, or lack thereof...

No eggs today! I think this is the first day, since mid-June when we got the chickens, that there haven't been any eggs... :( What am I going to eat???

Friday, 28 October 2005

Roasted pumpkin seeds -- yum!

Pumpkin pies.

Have spent most of today in the kitchen. Bread.

Thursday, 27 October 2005

Have FINALLY finished a sleeve for my cardigan. Now I just need to knit ANOTHER sleeve, and then I can sew the whole thing up...

Chicken Feed

So I was talking to Rachel on the phone the other night and she said that I should post things here more regularly and I said that I try to do something every day but some days there just isn't anything worth posting. For example, that day the main highlight of my day was that I had gone to the local agricultural merchant to buy some growers' pellets for the chicks and I didn't think that was noteworthy enough to write about here. Rachel however disagreed on the grounds that it is sufficiently different from most people's shopping expeditions. So I now bring you a primer on chicken feed (with some VERY exciting photos...)

These are layers pellets. This is what you feed to laying hens (and I suppose the cockerel eats them as well.) They are supposed to help the hens to lay more.

These are chick crumbs. This is what you feed to baby chicks, and the broody hen eats them as well.

And these are the growers pellets I bought on Monday -- they look exactly like the layers pellets except they come in a bag marked "growers pellets". They are for the chicks from about six weeks onwards. If they turn out to be cockerels, they will eat these until we eat them. If they are pullets (baby hens), they will eat growers pellets until about 18 weeks and then they will begin to eat layers pellets in preparation for laying.

Any questions?

I know the two on the right are purple sage and thyme, but I can't remember what the other two are and it's dark outside now so am not going out to check.

Mint and something that the slugs have been eating -- tarragon? I haven't got to eat any of it, so can't remember what it is!

Top row: bay, blueberry, fennel. Second row: rosemary, sage, chive, sage, rosemary. Third row: lavender, blueberry, sage, blueberry, lavender. Bottom row: 2x lavender, parsley, lavender.

Took advantage of the nice weather today to weed the pot plants -- you wouldn't think you would get weeds in pots but you do! Left to right: 4x chive, rosemary, chive, rosemary, chive.

Cat-napping (or should I say hen-napping) in the sunshine.

Yet another gratuitous chick photo...