Sorry I haven’t been on it in the last couple of months. Let me update you now on what we have been up to.
In preparation for the open day we did a lot of tidying. This included: taking everything out of the tool shed… and putting it back in again… Tom and Mick found many tools we didn’t know we had and many things we don’t want. It all went back in very neatly with proper places for things. What a revelation.
Rosie, Fin and one of our volunteers making elderberry wine.
My daughter Anyi on a shetland pony. Our enterprising young neighbors were offering pony rides on the open day.
Our stall selling home made produce, delicious discovery apples, apple juice, cider vinegar and Sophia’s beautiful homemade baskets. We managed to get rid of some of our leek surplus too! It was lovely to chat to so many people from the local area who had come to see what we get up to on our secluded hill. It is particularly nice to have regulars who come every year and show their support by eating cake and er drinking tea. We held a few small workshops, I held a scything demonstration which quite a few people were interested in. I hope some of them were convinced that they don’t need a strimmer, a scythe will keep them slimmer!
And at the end of the day we had an impromptu ceilidh helped by enthusiastic embercombers. Then we all went to the pub… Thank you to everyone who came, your interest and support means a lot to us. We look forward to seeing you next year.
Jim and Charlie in the Long Bramleys
October is apple time. We have been blessed with mild weather which has made the picking a lot easier. Climb a tree, shake the branches, climb down, pick the apples, shoo the horses away.. Repeat…
Its good fun and the children come down and sit in the trees or eat Bramleys. We pay ourselves for apple juice work so it is a great way to earn money in a short space of time. We have pressed enough for two years so if next year is not a good year we will have enough juice to see us through. The trees tend to yield well every other year as they are around 50 years old now.
We sent our last remaining dexter cow Rhubarb off to slaughter three weeks ago and the meat came back this week. After much deliberation we decided to buy a freezer which is powered by a solar panel. We are also salting some of the meat and making jerky. In the past we have had to sell the meat straight away as we couldn’t preserve it all but this way we can enjoy meat raised on our land by us. We know it is organic, we know she was well treated. We will miss her… chasing her around the woods and down the lane, her moody temperament…
Lady is still giving us milk and her calf is getting very big now. In chicken news; we have eaten all the old ones and they weren’t even that tasty, and we now have brand new ones. Lets hope they like it here and lay lots of eggs.
The harvest has been great this year, bumper apple crop as you may have noticed where you live. Lots of squash, carrots, beetroot and potatoes to store. Parsnips can stay in the ground and be harvested when needed as can kale.It is time to cover the beds with some manure and let them snooze the winter through. I sowed some overwintering peas to be ready in the spring. Sophia and Ed have sown winter salads and peas in the polytunnel, Rosie is doing broad beans. There are still lots of leeks. It is a tasty abundant time of year. We have made lots of jam and chutneys, rendered the fat from the cow. Now it is time to give the forest some attention.
At the moment though with this grey weather we are not getting enough sun to charge the solar panels much. We are having to be very sensible with electricity. I am cheating, using my laptop whilst i am away. Interesting though how (without films etc) you end up going to bed pretty early in the dark months, storing your energy in a semi hibernation.
Also we welcome our newest residents; Mick, Jen, Mia and Teo to our community. We love them a lot.