Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New 2013

Hope everyone's had a good start to the New Year!

We've had a mixed bag in the last weeks of the year and were happy to start the new year with a clean slate. Once Kara had her birthday I managed to get in the mood for some serious maintenance work in the raised beds and pots. The weather is cooperating at the moment and so I'm experiencing the painful pleasure of sore backs and legs after a good day's work outside. 
Tomatoes are staked and ready to ripen, herbs have been transplanted into bigger pots and the little garden has had the grass removed, revealing a dainty fruit garden. The raspberries planted last autumn are fruiting, ripening and getting eaten. Even though the quantity is nowhere near our requirements, you've got to start little.

The bunny venture has been busy as well: the latest boy batch has been dispatched, the girls are next. And Wanda and Lavender have been mated with Silver. Not sure if this mating will be a success: he is decidedly smaller than the girls, but he gave it his best shot! And down in the dell one of the girls is getting a nest ready! Unexpected, as she hadn't been mated, but the wild ones theoretically have access, via the chicken mesh. Can't quite imagine how, but supposedly the wild ones can be quite acrobatic. Waiting now whether it's just a phantom pregnancy or not. Maybe it's her ploy for not getting the chop?!

The goats are doing ok too, they might need a drench, they're not as plumb looking as I'd like, but maybe I'm just remembering this time of the year differently from last year? The boys are SO loud at the moment, it's quite embarrassing: every time it rains a little they scream as if they're getting tortured! And Moritz is turning into a big bully: he's now taller than his mum and an absolute greedy guts. As he's now challenging the girls, he will have to go too in the winter. It's not safe having an assertive billy goat around; especially once the girls are pregnant again.

And my ducklings are multiplying and growing fast. I've got seven that will be ready to move into the big pen in a couple of weeks: I've got to make sure their wings are big and strong enough to get them out of their little shub bath or they might drown! Yes, ducklings can drown! The first next batch has started pipping this morning and next week the next lot is due. And as I've got another two hens broody I'm debating whether to go through the trouble of de-brooding them or sitting them on another batch of duck eggs. The problem is: we can only eat so much duck breast. On the other hand, I've got a lot of friends who would be keen on some fresh homegrown duck. I will have to sit down and see what the costs are, as I can only charge so much for a duck.

And my home cured ham was a success, well sort of, but more of that in the food blog!

Wishing you all a healthy,successful and happy new year,