We are on the final day of 2012, a year I do not want to repeat. The weather has knocked back so many of our plans and wrecked many of our crops. The bees produced only a minimal amount of honey. The wild apples and sloes never appeared. But it's not all been bad news. We have expanded the number of hens we have. The ducks arrived in September. In October we bought our first pig, a Tamworth.
Our poultry and pig ventures bring me to my Christmas presents. I hate the idea of people buying presents for others that are not needed or not wanted. TV advertising in the run up to Christmas is packed full of commercials for rubbish for people to buy who can't think of what to get others. I always insist on people getting me practical presents that I need. So this year I got B&Q vouchers, oven gloves, an apron, a sausage making machine, an incubator and a heater for the chicks once they have hatched.
We have a freezer full of sausage meat so we'll be having a go at sausage-making shortly. We have a reasonable amount of game as well so we'll have a go at making game sausages as well.
The plan for the incubator is to use it for quail and duck eggs. There may be some turkeys as well. However, we are looking for a supply of rare breed hen eggs to help with efforts to protect breeds that could disappear.