Thursday, September 19, 2013

Been busy collecting more fruit. Loads of plums and a lovely wasp sting!

The turkeys have been naughty i found one on top of the pig stie roof.

Bee meeting and smallholders meeting this week has made a busy week.

Spinning guild tomorrow cant wait.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Im officially shattered and ready for bed!
We checked the bees early as rain was forecast. They are doing well, we saw both the queens! They are finding something to feed on as they aren't touching the sugar syrup we are giving them.

We managed to fit in a quick cuppa and scrambled eggs on toast before our friends arrived and we set to work!

Dad and Marisa made sausages, a South African delight and The Furzedown Fiery Dragon.

Me, Mum, Iain and the boys crushed and pressed 18 litres of juice. Some is fermenting as perry, some was pasturised into bottles so it will keep as juice and lots was drunk!

After a lovely venison stew i put some plums onto extract and now have a lovely demi john of plum wine fermenting.

Gareth has also finally started the beer kit i brought him last Christmas.

Not to mention we aren't alcoholics! But we also started a litre of damson vodka and damson gin.

Night night off to bed before work starts all over again!

I nearly forgot, we gave a new machine. Maurice has a dumper!

Friday, September 13, 2013

I've been trying to write a post all week! Where does time go, the days are flying past and I feel busier than ever!

Well where to start:

Last weekend was our anniversary weekend, again i can't believe we have been married a whole year!

We had booked a long weekend off work to spend quality time together! But no sitting around!

We did have an easy day on Friday, Gareths Mum gave me a lovely preserving pan, and goodness me hasn't it had some use in the last week. I made a lovely partridge curry for the weekend. We took a trip to Farmers Ales to purchase some of their new beer, The Wallet, at over 7.5% they told Gareth to be Careful.

Saturday, Mum and I met Madeleine at the village hall and we made several jars of Damson Jam, Marrow Chutney and Mint and Rosemary Infused Jelly's. They look fantastic. The Marrow worked out a little dearer than i thought but its still ok.  We have made over 100 jars now. Its not just the making its the gingham tops and labelling that takes the time.

They have there first outing this weekend, i hope they sell well!

I collected a lovely amount of apples from the orchard and plums from my Grandparents. As well as some from a house on the way home lovely James Grieves! I feel lots of Jelly Making coming on!

We ventured to the New Hall Vineyard Wine Festival on Sunday, great to taste local wine, but life was just passing me by sitting there in the sun. So i decided to go home and make a plum cake! Far more interesting.

I also made plum cordial, it is delicious i ended up with 2.5 litres that should last me the winter!

Its been a busy week collecting fruit, i managed to get 5kg of Damsons. Some for me to make Damson Gin and Damson Vodka and the rest for East Essex Smallholders Group so we can make Jam. I've also collected a huge amount of elderberries for freezing. We have trialled an elderberry jelly. Its very sweet.

I feel winter is getting closer we brought some of the ewes home last night as they have run out of grass.

We are going to try and make a South African Sausage this weekend with Our Friend Marisa. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

What a lovely weekend! I collected some Damsons for he smallholders group so we can make damson jam. I was also lucky enough to come across an orchard to collect windfalls from and met some lovely people. Hopefully the animals will have a steady supply of fruit over the coming weeks.

Gareth and i popped into the local beer festival hoping to sample Farmers Ales latest addition but it had sold out on the first day! So i tried Dengie Cider and Gareth stuck with his old favorite Dark Horse!

Dad and Maurice arrived home with lots of goodies from the Dorset Steam Fayre..

Thank god they didn't have a bigger trailer!

Maurice had purchased a Trusty Tractor. Another beast to add to his collection of Howard Gems and Iron Horses! I'm sure a use will be found here at Furzedown for it.

Mum and I have nearly finished preparing the jars of jam and chutney for there first outing to raise money for East Essex Smallholders Group. Im so proud of what we have achieved!

Today was time for our first lot of 2013 lambs to go to the abattoir. So am early start as we had to collect them from their summer grazing. We decided that would be the least stressful way to do it.

We are doing something a little different this time. We are sending their skins off to tanned into rugs.

Mum collected the skins mid morning and put them in our fridge. Tonight i have laid them out and salted them. I will do the same tomorrow and post them to devon on wednesday. Where they will undergo a twenty week process. I cant wait to get them back in the new year.

I am collecting our next colony of bees on wednesday night. We are going to call them the anniversary hive as its our first anniversary his weekend. We hope to celebrate with a trip to Wimpole Hall Rare Breeds.