It is a while since I last wrote. All is fine, we are just plodding along.
Apples are still featuring greatly in our lives, it really has been a good year for them. Unfortunately due to lack of time we have missed the best of the blackberries, although the turkeys have appreciated their daily treat, picked for them each time I pass through their run on the way to the geese.
We are now onto sloes and gin making, a nice change from chutneys.
The tomatoes are as good as finished, the peppers are still going strong. The veg garden is still producing but at a much slower more manageable rate.
As satisfying as it is to open the freezers and realise that most of produce other than milk and bread is home grown or, in the case of the fish, caught locally, we are considering giving the vegetable garden a miss next year. Maybe it is just the impending gloom of the darker mornings and evenings but we just seem to have so much to do in so little time. We have barely touched either of the houses recently, ours not at all and the one to rent has come to a frightening standstill. Something has to give.
We still have the lambs, a very long and embarrassing story involving a mix up on dates. They are now to go in a couple of weeks time. The ewes will remain with me for a couple more weeks to ensure they have completely dried up and will then go to a friends to feed on lush pasture before running with the ram. Hopefully resulting in Easter lambs.
The plan is to buy in a few weaners again next year as our pork supply is running low. It was strange without them this year but worked well, giving us more time and space for the other livestock.
All the poultry, turkeys, geese and hens are thriving. This year's hatch has produced a few very promising birds to add to the breeding flocks. Egg sales have been far more successful than I could have imagined. The aim was to just sell my surplus, as and when, I didn't realise there was such a market for them. I now need to consider how I intend to continue with the selling. I am tempted to increase my laying flock so increasing supplies.
We'll see, it is all very well thinking and planning ahead but the year never pans out as we expect.