December 21st and the shortest day can’t come quick enough for us, particularly the animals. We normally let them out to roam around dawn, depending on fog. The last few days we have woken up to dense fog. It seems to be settling in like a tired old lady in a comfortable chair, not certain when it wants to bestir itself. The chickens and rabbits are not happy about it. They don’t like fog. The ducklings are not bothered, but Maggie won’t fly in dense fog, so we have to walk her down to the others, quacking and calling to the others all the way. It’s obviously slower than flying. Continue reading
I’m sitting here, writing this blog post with a pot of apple cores and peels on the boil on the stove , deliciously wafting an apple scent into the room, and a bowl of vanilla ice cream and warm apple compote sat beside me just begging to be eaten. So, excuse me just a minute…. Continue reading
I am nuts about nuts. I love to eat them, but even more so I love to cook with them ~ then eat them. Given the chance, I could spend on nuts what others spend at a coffee shop, easily and regularly. I can’t decide if walnuts or hazelnuts are my favourite*, so when we discovered last autumn that we have both in the garden I felt like a kid in a sweet shop with the biggest smile on my face. Read On
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
Anyone reading our blog, gets the idea that we love re-using, recycling and not letting things go to waste. Now take the humble (or pesky, depending on your point of view) Dandelion. Read On
An Egg Murder has taken place. Can you help us find the culprit? Read On Watson
I met John, aka Movin’ On, when we were both walking the Appalachian Trail. With the wonders of internet, we’ve managed to keep in touch over the years, though homes have moved. John set roots down in Vermont and recently posted about harvesting maple syrup on Facebook. This took me back.
My family regularly spent weekends in New Hampshire, when I was growing up, where we had a small cabin (think ‘Little House in the Big Woods’ one of Laura Ingalls-Wilder’s first books if you haven’t read it). The area had no shortage of maple trees and each winter we would see buckets hanging from trees collecting the sap. It’s a scene that has painted itself into one of my fondest childhood memories.
I know many people don’t actually know where Maple Syrup comes from (answer: maple trees, hence the name), or if they do, how it is done (essentially the trees are ‘tapped for their sap’), so I asked John if he would write about his experiences, as I felt this something quite unique and worth sharing.
We are very lucky to have an amazing walnut tree on the property. We were able to collect a large basket of them over a couple of weeks in the autumn. The trick was then to dry them out as we didn’t have much space that could also be kept dry. We had them resting everywhere.
And once dry, then began the process of shelling. It became my daily treat to take the basked of nuts down to the rabbits and shell them there. They of course enjoyed the odd nibble, sometimes even cheekily stealing one. Read On
I was once extremely lucky to work as a chef in a Vegetarian Inn in North Carolina. That’s not something you get to say every day, but my memories were stirred as both Pumpjack and I contemplated making our respective dinners this week. Read on