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

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Holiday time

We've been away on holiday. Yay! We've been to the same farm in Wales that we've been to before and this year, as last year, our oldest granddaughter came too. It was a lovely time and I really appreciated time out from all the responsibilities and jobs at home : )

The farm is a lovely place and there are ponies, horses, Welsh cobs, donkeys, goats, llamas, sheep of lots of different breeds, geese, ducks, hens, 5 dogs and a cat. Just lovely and I'm more than a bit envious.

We've come back to an enormous amount of weed on the allotment and loads of fruit that need processed now. So you can guess what I'll be doing all week : )

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Friday, July 15, 2016

The Preserving Year

Or, to be more precise, my preserving year. I find it helpful to have a list of what I've made. Jams etc keep for longer than a year so if I make a slightly different list of preserves, then it gives us lots of variety during the year. Most of my preserving happens over the summer so a post in July seems appropriate and I can go back and edit in whatever new thing I've made. It also reminds me what I've made when it comes to making up hampers of goodies for Christmas.


Elderflower Champagne
Elderflower cordial


Blackberry and apple (2 batches)
Blackcurrant and rhubarb
Gooseberry and elderflower (2 batches)
Hedgerow jelly
Lemon, ruby grapefruit and orange marmalade
Orange, lemon and ginger marmalade
Plum and vanilla
Rhubarb with a hint of ginger
Rhubarb and vanilla
Sloe, blackberry and apple
Strawberry and Rhubarb


Apple and onion relish
Mrs Beeton's excellent pickle
Pickled eggs

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Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Catch up

I haven't posted in a while.  This time, however, I have an excuse - I picked up an infection and have been rather poorly.  Health is one of those things which you don't always stop to appreciate until some bit of you stops functioning properly. I am so pleased to be back to normal now : ) 

I am so behind with everything.  I am thankful for a couple of dry days so that I can catch up with the washing.  I am pottering through lots of cleaning.  The kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it when I first ventured downstairs again and is slowly coming back to something resembling normality.  My new vacuum cleaner has been earning its keep. And while I was marooned upstairs, the new tv was in use too.

Being poorly also meant that the elderflower champagne did not all get drunk.  It is absolutely fabulous now and we really enjoyed a glass with dinner tonight. I've finished my lemon cordial and am now on the lookout for some bargain lemons. If you haven't tried making or drinking real elderflower champagne, I can recommend it. So easy to make and just fabulous to drink.

I have some new little hens now so my chickenopolis population has gone to 11 from 6. The new girls are young - too young to lay yet. Maybe there will be more eggs next month. The old girls are taking it in turn to lay so I'm looking forward to having lots of eggs. My farmer friend wanted some new girls too so we ordered them and shared the delivery costs. Doing it like that meant that we saved lots in diesel costs, which is A Good Thing.

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