You may have noticed that any cooking show about food and France always shows someone shopping in a market, sniffing veg, squeezing fruit and generally making out that a French Market is Am-aaa-zing. But is it?
The last month has been fraught with emotion as our little Maggie (pet duck) has grown up and started laying eggs. It is probably no coincidence it began with the arrival of Meeney, Minhy and Mo, two drakes and a female respectively. Continue reading
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
When we think of vineyards we generally think of autumn and harvest, when the grapes are collected and made into wine. This is the busiest time of year for both the vineyard and the winery. But there is lots of work to do in the vineyard through out the year. In winter, there is the pruning and tying down, getting it ready for the next year’s harvest and beyond. Continue reading
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.
Winter is the time to prepare the garden, getting it ready for spring and planting things. This winter has dragged itself out mightily, giving us teasing glimpses now and then of spring to come, the odd dash of sunshine, the hint of warmth in the day, raising our hopes up only to find the next day dawn cold and wet.
I can only tell spring is actually on its way by the hardy flowers that have been making heir way slowly out, one by one showing their bright and sunny, generally yellow (or purple) faces. Read On
The rabbits have let it be known that they are getting too warm now in their winterised house, so it was time to start opening it up – a little – as nights are still quite cold. I removed the straw insulating the roof of their house, which then got added to the duck nesting area, and took the opportunity to clean out their house as well. This means removing wood shavings and hay and putting in fresh. All duly done. And all with the help of Hobbs. Read On
Last year this time I was a garden virgin. In fact, I would have declared easily that I had a brown thumb. My mother has the most amazing green thumb, so I have always felt extremely disappointed that I didn’t inherit an iota of her talent ~ I managed to kill (mostly through kindness, I hasten to add) every plant she ever gave me, even the ones she said were impossible to kill. However, that never meant I was willing to give up.