Our First Harvest – Pursuing grapes, bees, birds, mildew and rot

We were given the go ahead to work on our vineyard in September, right in the middle of harvest time. Talk about thrown in the deep end. But the plus side is from the get go we would know what we were dealing with, which would then highlight what the priorities would be in the vineyard in the next year, as well as what would be needed in the winery. Read On

A Day in the Life of our Maggie

Our little rescued Maggie duckling has quite the Cute Factor. She is growing every day, growing into her feet – finally. She is doing really well now and becoming quite the character (she is currently sat on my stomach overseeing the telling of her story.

We took little snippets of video to document her progress and the struggles she went through to live, from premature birth, and club foot, to learning how to adapt to a human life. They aren’t great quality, as often taken one handed whilst the other was helping Maggie, but they give a good sense of what she had to go through.

Pumpjack & Piddlewick on You Tube: Maggie’s Story

We hope you enjoy.

Why do the French make omelettes with only one egg?

We have ducks and chickens, and amongst the chickens 3 types of hens. Consequently, we get 4 different types of eggs. Of course this is dependent on all of them laying. We do have one slacker in the chicken world, who lays only when the weather is sunny and warm. So currently, we have been getting about 3 eggs a day, give or take; a beautiful blue little duck egg, a pale cream small egg, and a large beige egg.

Normally we collect the eggs at the end of the day, when we put the chickens to bed. Yesterday was no different, except… for one of the eggs. Oh my. My, oh my, oh my. Somebody put in a bit of effort.

What we found was one of the beige eggs, but twice its size. I mean a whopper. I mean the size that when you look at it you honestly wonder~ ‘how‘?!?!  And not only was it huge (!), it was heavy, really heavy. A size and weight where in fact you worry about the chicken (though all seemed normal and healthy on checking).

We don’t know enough about eggs, but are sort of assuming that  she may have somehow combined two eggs (as we notice she hadn’t laid an egg the day before) into one egg.

We haven’t cracked open the egg as yet to see, and eat, (currently we are in too much awe) but when we do, as the French joke says “Why do the French make omelettes with only one egg? Because in France one egg is un oeuf*.”

*(in case you don’t get it, ‘un oeuf’ means ‘one egg’ and sounds very like ‘enough’. Get it?)

A Story of Life, Death and Margaret Thatcher in the Duck World

This weekend, nay month, has been rather chaotic in the Duck World here.  We lost our Delilah to a bird of prey (we think) a couple weeks ago, taken from her nest under a hedge in the garden. We moved the eggs left behind to Lucy’s nest in the duck house.

Saturday was a lovely sunny day, the kind that normally finds me (hopefully) writing letters lying amongst the rabbits. And so it was that afternoon, when I looked up to see Kath and Kim, our two non-nesting females waddle past. It took me a moment to realise there was something wrong. It was too quiet, which meant, where was Mr Drake? Read On

Do Wee Wild Birds and Chickens Mix?

We’ve made it a habit to top up the duck and chicken feeders in the evening, when our feathered friends are heading home to roost. This way, they have a feed in the evening, before bed, should they wish, and it is there ready for them in the morning whilst they wait patiently (well, maybe not the ducks) for us to come and let them out. Continue reading

A Murder more Fowl?

Addendum to the Addendum: After writing the previous posts about the various eggs being broken into, we had decided to enclose our wayward duck and her nest in a large ‘cage’ that at least would protect her and her eggs from predators, whilst we waited for the weather to get better and determine if we would move her.

The morning found me up early and letting the other animals out, then it was off to our Delilah, only to find her nest with 4 eggs laid bare and no Duck and no covering nesting materials (feathers and leaves). The eggs were cold to the touch, but still, in a bit of a panic, I collected them up and took them to Lucy’s nest (in the duck house), defying her pecking beak and hisses to slot them under her. It’s probable they will not make it, but until we determined where Delilah had gone to, it seemed the best course of action. Continue reading