Monday, 28 April 2008

Mae oena wedi gorffen

Lambing has now officially finished, and we have four lambs. Here's a photo (taken by Greg's dad) of Rhodri, the proud father...

Friday, 25 April 2008

Dim pumed oen...

Caught the sheep this morning and the last ewe is showing no signs of pregnancy at all, so I think that's it -- only four lambs this year...

All five chicks and mummy are doing well.

Camera is still in the shop, but Greg's parents are coming up for the weekend, so if Greg's dad brings his camera, you can see what he finds interesting.

Monday, 21 April 2008


I know it's a bit difficult to see in this photo (my camera is in the shop again, so this was taken with Greg's phone), but we have FIVE CHICKS!!! (And one egg still, so perhaps we will have a sixth chick?) We have never had more than three chicks from one sitting before, so we are both rather excited as I'm sure you can tell...! :)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Wŷ Ffesant

From time to time, we have reason to suspect that somebody is not laying in the nest box like they should, and we do a search of the hedges and usually turn up some eggs. Yesterday, Greg did this -- and he found five hen eggs -- and this adorable little pheasant egg! Apparently they are quite trendy. I ate mine poached and it was lovely and creamy!

Things are coming along well in the greenhouse...

And we have finished building the doors for the shed and I am now treating them with preservative prior to staining and waterproofing.

Sunday, 13 April 2008


Had our first "harvest" yesterday -- if you can call it that -- rhubarb and nettles! I'd been meaning to do something with nettles for ages (well, like, since last year) but just never got around to it and I suppose I was vaguely afraid. (And my fingers are still stinging this morning which is making typing this post slightly uncomfortable!)

First I picked a bunch (about half a carrier bag full) and just washed them and then tossed them in a pan with some butter until they wilted -- like spinach. They require more butter than spinach or kale, but I can tell you that when they are cooked they don't sting any more and they are quite tasty!

Then I got a bit more ambitious and I made a quiche -- and I am particularly proud of this quiche as I know where almost all of the ingredients in it come from...

Butter -- from an organic dairy cooperative about 35 miles from here
Rapeseed Oil -- from a farm in the Cotswolds, about 150 miles from here -- if anybody knows of anybody in Wales making oil, please let me know!
Onions -- from the Coop supermarket in town, but they are organic and according to the label, were grown in Cambridgeshire, about 230 miles from here -- we have got onions starting in the greenhouse now, so I should have my own next year! :)
Garlic -- grown here last year
Nettles -- picked from the patch growing on the edge of the driveway
Cheddar -- Welsh cheese, made about 100 miles from here yn y Gogledd
Teifi with Nettles -- Welsh cheese, made about 25 miles from here
Wholemeal Flour -- stone ground at a mill in Powys, about 70 miles away
Eggs -- from the hens
Milk -- from the farm next door
Mustard Powder -- but it did occur to me the other day when buying some prepared mustard that really I should just grow mustard and harvest the seeds and make my own -- so it's on my list of things to plant this week
Worcestershire Sauce
Tabasco Sauce -- I have been using this same bottle of Tabasco sauce for so long now -- I think I brought it with me from America -- which would make it the item in the quiche with the most food miles!
Paprika -- purchased (locally) by Greg's parents when they were on holiday in Hungary...

I also picked some rhubarb which I soaked in water with a couple spoonfuls of bicarbonate of soda before cooking -- this takes away a lot of the acidity and I only needed to use one spoonful of honey to sweeten this whole batch!

We also opened a bottle of the rhubarb wine I made ages ago -- and it is quite drinkable!

In other wine news, this is a bottle of pear wine that I started back in the summer. I racked it about a month ago and it was quite tasty at that point, so I think I am just waiting for it to clear. But how clear is clear? Can I bottle this yet?

We put the little lamb back up the field with the rest of the flock yesterday morning and are now (with a bit of difficulty) bottle feeding him up there -- it's nice to see them all back together again...

Left to right: 2nd ewe lamb, bottle fed lamb, 1st ewe lamb, pink nosed lamb. There is one more ewe who hasn't lambed yet -- she's got until 28th April, but she's not showing any signs yet.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Dal lan...

In the end, the ewe just wouldn't let the other lamb suck, so the ewe and the pink nosed lamb are now up the field, and the other poor little thing is in the barn being bottle fed... In this photo I am teaching him how to do it -- but he has got the hang of it now and is coming along well. We were going to put him back up the field this morning and then feed him up there but it is raining today and I didn't want him to have a miserable first day out...

Things are coming along in the greenhouse -- we have got kale, Brussels sprouts, two types of cabbage, various lettuces, early strawberries, and onions, and have just started melons, pumpkins, cucumbers, courgettes, basil, parsley, coriander, and dwarf French beans. Now we just need outdoors to cooperate a bit so we can start things outside! The rhubarb is nearly ready though...

Yes, that's right, you do see snow... Both Sunday and Monday mornings, we woke to a light coating of snow, but of course it was gone by midday...

Thursday, 3 April 2008


Bart showed up this afternoon with these three drakes who promptly started trying to kill each other... Bridget is going to come round tomorrow and help me dispatch them -- roast duck anybody? :)

And in case anybody else out there was experiencing confusion, the lambs that we slaughtered last week are LAST YEAR's lambs... All four lambs born so far this year are alive and well...

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Pedwerydd Oen!

The fourth lamb was born Monday morning, and I've just spent over an hour chasing it around the field in a fruitless attempt to catch it and tell you what its gender is... If you fancy giving me a hand chasing the little one, come on up...

Interestingly, the ewes have now all lambed six days apart, in the reverse order that they lambed last year. Does this mean anything? Probably not. Will the last ewe lamb on Sunday and continue the six day pattern? Watch this space and see...

In other news, the other lambs are now all in the freezer, so we won't be starving to death here...!