This blog is mainly a rambling kind of diary of the transition from smallholderwannabe to smallholder.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Yesterday we had a half day at school because we were back in the evening for prizegiving. That actually means that by the time we were ready to leave, we had the best part of three hours at home before we were out the door again. And we came home at 10.30pm in a blizzard. Thankfully it turned to rain overnight and a lot of the snow is washed away.

It is great to see the boys going up proudly to collect their prizes. Last year's upper-sixth formers look so grown up now they are out of uniform. It is nice to chat with them and hear how they are getting on now that they are at uni or out in the big, wide world.

The hens are pleased that the weather is a tad warmer and laid us 7 eggs today. We have had 4 and 5 eggs each day this week and lots of my regular customers have not had eggs. However do egg farmers manage to meet the demand of their customers? We have either feast or famine and I don't suppose it is any different for egg farmers.

I've been out carolsinging today. There is a farmers' market not far from us on the first Saturday of every month and they had asked our church to provide some carol singers today. My husband and I get to arrange all the carol/Christmas/music related things this year. It was raining and there was no electricity supply available for us so we could bring neither guitar nor keyboard so it was just voice. It went fine and lots of people stopped to listen for a bit despite the wet. I was thrilled when the person in charge of the market came up to us at the end and gave us all a £5 voucher each to spend at the market. That was totally unexpected but what a bonus! As we had one voucher each, that meant £10 for us and I was able to get a couple of "half" presents - to be made up with homemade goodies to a "full" present.

Tomorrow, I really hope we have a dry spell because with the meal preparations last week, the hens did not get cleaned out and today it was getting dark by the time we had lunch - so that job really has to get done tomorrow afternoon come what may. Even in the rain because it will be next Saturday before we see them in daylight again. Hens are quite fastidious and they always lay fewer eggs if their house is dirty and with fewer hours of daylight and cold, wet weather as well, my customers won't be getting many eggs again.

I've made marmalade this week. Just Mamade but I added 3/4 of a pint of apple juice made from apple cores and peel and 3/4 lb of sugar extra. I got an extra jar of marmalade by doing this for the cost of the sugar. The marmalade is not cloudy at all and the flavour is lovely. I got sugar on offer at an Asian supermarket not far from our church so the cost of the marmalade should have been 44.5p per lb plus gas to make it. The extra jar cost 20p plus the cost of the gas to boil up the apple cores/peel. Just pennies saved, but every little helps.


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