Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A glut of rhubarb

rhubarb June 16

I did a recent swap with a friend for some rhubarb. When he told me he had lots for me, I headed down to his house, filled the boot of the car and had to make a second journey to collect what was left - another full boot. Preserves and pies will be on the menu soon.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Pork chop

chops and mash June 16

We found more pork chops in one of our freezers so it was time to defrost them and have them for dinner. They went especially well with our apple jelly.

Ice Cream Making

goats cream June 16

We have vast quantities of cream from Pinkie's milk. My initial plan was to turn it all into butter but we opted instead to use some of it to make ice cream. This turnout out to be a good move. The ice cream is gorgeous. We've made two varieties: rhubarb with ginger and lemon marmalade (we found an old jar of lemon marmalade and this seemed a useful way to use it up).

We've had some of the rhubarb and ginger with rhubarb crumble. A very nice combination.

ice cream maker June 16

ice cream and rhubarb crumble June 16

Monday, 27 June 2016

The successes and failures of hay making

Kingsway Community Orchard June 16

My experiment in hay making was both a success and a failure. On Thursday I checked the hay I cut at the community orchard. It had dried nicely so I decided to gather it in the next day. Alas, when I got to the orchard on Friday, I found the council had cut the grass on the land around the orchard, right where I had put the grass to dry. The entire crop had been shredded by the council's lawn mowers! In future I will have to make the hay after the council lawn mowers have just been around.

I am currently making more hay though the sun is not expected to shine for the next couple of days. Rain is forecast instead. Instead, I'm laying out the grass on a pallet in the milking parlour. As it dries out it will go onto the haystack and be replaced with more fresh grass. Over the summer I should build up enough to get us through the winter.

hay making June 16

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Hay making

hay making June 16 (2)

After a week of damp weather we are enjoying a dry period (until Saturday when the forecast suggests rain). Time to make more hay. I want to cut down on the feed I have to buy in for the winter so the more we can produce ourselves, the better. All nettles pulled up on the allotment are dried but I have also picked grass on the somewhat overgrown community orchard in Sunniside. Some has been brought back to the allotment to be fed to the goats and what I don't give to them is dried in the sun. As the animals tend to kick it about, I've had a go at leaving the picked grass on the ground at the orchard. I am about to check on it but I'm hoping this experiment will work both to produce a good hay crop over the coming months but also to help get some of the grass and weeds at the orchard under control.

hay making June 16 (1)

Awash with milk

goat on milking stand June 16

We are milking Pinkie earlier than we expected, due to the loss of her kid. She is being very productive. When I got back from London yesterday, I took 6 litres from her. This figure was very high simply because it was her first milking since the birth. Today I took off 3 litres. She is therefore producing much more at this stage than last year. I will need to dust down the cheese making recipes.

In the meantime I had some muesli for breakfast with a liberal dose of Pinkie's milk. And tonight we had cauliflower cheese. Sadly both meals contained significant ingredients bought from supermarkets.

goat milk June 16

muesli and goat milk June 16

cauliflower cheese June 16

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Keeping Spot

goat kids June 16 (40)

We have taken a decision to keep Spot, the nanny kid born two weeks ago to Georgina. The loss of Geraldine last month means we need to fill her gap. We had planned to keep any of Pinkie's nanny kids but this came to nothing when she had only one offspring, a billy (which died after 2 days). Spot is a Saanen, a milking breed, and Georgina is a cross but we are reasonably certain she is part milker.

goat kids June 16 (43)

goat kids June 16 (34)