Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Another month gone by...

...and I haven't got a clue where it went!

Not sure when I did what, but by now I've got a few less bunnies and a few more containers of Rillettes de Lapin, or potted rabbit for us native speakers, jars and jars of apple sauce in the pantry (which by the way needs serious extending) and zillions of containers of Leek&Potato and Cauliflower soup in the freezer!
And finally the hens have decided that spring has sprung and have started laying: at the moment we're getting between 6-9 eggs a day and I am finally getting to do some back log baking done! Much to my family's delight and my hips' despair.

We've been having the pork and it's just stunning! We've had a shoulder roast, chops and spare ribs so far and everyone's loving it. The fat has been rendered and used sparingly for the potted rabbit.
Once new season's piglets are available we will get another one.

Ah, just realized why a whole month had gone and I didn't have much to show for it: two weeks of school holidays.

I finally started on building up the concrete and tile wall for my raised beds. I had been dreading it and it proofed to be as hard as feared: not physically but mentally. Anyway, I used up all our available concrete mix and we have to go and get some before I can continue. I only managed to get three of the four sides started, so it will be interesting to see if they join up properly!!! So far it looks alright, and once I know all the ins and outs, do's and don'ts the next lot should be a bit easier and faster. Famous last words, I know, but you got to hope for the best, as the worst will come anyway, one way or another.

The goats are putting on weight now, Poppy's first possible due date is the 18th of September, so I'm getting myself organized and getting the vet down to give them a general check-up.

The ducks, or rather the girl is still not laying, and escaping every day. But obviously not finding enough food, as she stays close to the pen for feeding time in the morning. Her partner, I assume/hope he's her partner, is very distraught but hasn't managed to follow her. Fortunately!

And since we've got space in the rabbit runs again, I have mated Wanda and Werner. As the boy is getting bigger and bigger he has to prove himself as a stud muffin or else. I'm keeping him in a smallish run at the moment, which is not ideal, but will have to do. And once I know what his virility is like, I'll start expanding and modifying the rabbit enclosures down in the garden. As much as the kids and I enjoy having them near the house, the smell and effluent is not something I want to have there on a permanent basis.

And speaking of effluent, I'm so happy that we are now part of a rubbish and recycling collective!! Instead of collecting it in our courtyard, in all manner of bins and boxes, and to take it into town every fortnight, once a car load is full, we can now deposit it properly, whenever needs be. Bliss.Big thumbs up and Thanks!

And we're now the proud owner of an electric mincer and sausage maker!  //insert cheeky grin emoticon //
The last mincing session was a  two person act involving a mains powered drill attached to the manual mincer! And hubby was adamant this kind of use is not covered under the warranty, so we got one. But we haven't got any meat to grind yet, the cockerels are taking their sweet time fattening up. Do they know??!!
And since the hens have started laying, I don't want to go and willy nilly despatch some.

Yesterday I went through the freezer to check for space and found 8 liters of milk and decided to use it for my first try of making a Romano cheese. A cheese for grating, like Parmesan, but lightly different flavour. And I finally got to use my dumbbell weights to press the cheese over night. Salting it today, then drying for 2 days and then maturing for at least two months. It's going to be a while before I know what this one will taste like.

And last Friday we went out for a special dinner at The White Swan.
Finn had had a whole day's singing and entertainment organized by school and we thought we'd do something different with Kara. As this was her first time at a fancy restaurant, she didn't quite get it, but certainly approved of the Fish and Chips.
For my dinner I had ordered a goats cheese entree and scallop starter. The goats cheese entree was beautiful! For quite some time I haven't bothered going out to eat, as I find most foods not up to my standards, taste or preparation wise. But this was just stunning. Only two starters, but I felt beautifully sated and content. Not cheap, mind you, but this time I thought well worth the expense.
Ross had a wild platter, which was very interesting and tasty too, the only downside the mini drink served with the meal. As part of the package they served a certain drink with it, but only half a serving! And has he had asked for it to be brought out before the meal, he had finished it of course by the time the food arrived. And that was that. Fortunately I wasn't drinking mine as fast and we shared my drink.
And then we went to Masterton to hear a children's songs concert. Organized by REAP, senior students from several local schools had been tutored by Julian Raphael, a music educator, and presented the songs they had rehearsed all day! Lovely.
Not exactly farming, but a very memorable experience after all.

Right, so quite a bit has happened after all, and that's me again for today,