Saturday 30 April 2016

Selling the eggs

Paddock Shop High Spen Apr 16 (1)

I'm pleased to announce that we are now selling our eggs in a farm shop called the Paddock, in High Spen, in western Gateshead. The hen and duck eggs are taken up each Friday morning (often coinciding with the arrival of the freshly baked bread - which seems to sell out in seconds). Laura, who runs the shop, also has a table at the monthly Jesmond market in Newcastle where she sells my quail eggs as well.

Paddock Shop High Spen Apr 16 (2)

Paddock Shop High Spen Apr 16 (3)

The shop is well worth a visit.

Draining the stock of elderflower champagne

elderflower champagne Apr 16

We have lots of elderflower champagne to use up. Some bottles were made as far back as 2012. In June we will make this year's supply of champagne. So we need to free up some bottles and space on the wine rack. A couple of bottles consumed each week for the next 6 weeks will help though in total we have over 30 bottles to use.

I'm avoiding references to champagne lifestyles!

Friday 22 April 2016

North of England Beekeepers' Convention

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (6)

We were in Newcastle last Saturday for the North of England Beekeepers Convention. A great day for meeting fellow beekeepers, listening to lectures and looking at trade exhibits. There was a very interesting talk by Professor Keith Delaplane which looked at the evolution of bees to help explain their super-organism nature. There was also quite a challenging talk by Gareth John on treatment-free beekeeping.

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (5)

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (4)

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (1)

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (2)

North East Beekeepers' Convention Apr 16 (3)

Monday 11 April 2016

Pork and apple meatballs

sausage meat balls April 16

We found some sausage meat (with added apple) in the freezer. They made excellent meatballs. We had enough for 2 meals.

Rhode Island Red Cockerel

Rhode Island Red Mar 16 (1)

The last batch of eggs we hatched last year produced 2 Rhode Island Reds, among other chickens. We thought both were hens but in recent weeks, we noticed that one of them was developing large tail feathers, a bigger comb and wattles and an interest in the girls. Alas, last night we slaughtered him. He had made a half hearted attempt at crowing on Saturday. As we are not allowed to keep cockerels, he had to go. He is a good size bird so we will be having him roasted as some point soon, after a period of rest in the freezer.

I plan to get more Rhode Island Red hatching eggs. It's an attractive breed and is good for both meat and eggs.

New egg record

eggs Apr 16 2

We had another new record for hen eggs last week. On a single day, 21 were laid. I was greeted by the above pile of eggs when I checked the old henhouse. Other eggs were in the other henhouses. We sell a modest number of eggs at the moment but we will be making flans this week to use up as many eggs as possible.

Green, green grass of home

Kingsway orchard Apr 16

This is the community orchard we helped to set up 4 years ago. Now that we well into spring (and having had no real winter), the grass and weeds are growing well. That means lots of free food for the poultry and goats. All I had to do was get an empty sack and fill it.

poultry Apr 16 1

goats Apr 16 2

goats Apr 16 1

Thursday 7 April 2016

Quail eggs boost

quail eggs Apr 16

Before today, we were getting between none and 2 quail eggs a day. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get any more. That was until today. I found 8 eggs this morning in the quail house. We have 20 quail hens so still more to go.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Duck eggs in the incubator

duck eggs Apr 16

Despite the recent drop in the number of duck eggs produced recently, we decided to put the most recent ones into the incubator on Sunday. Only 26 days to go before hatching!

Yesterday's eggs

eggs April 2016

18 hen eggs yesterday. We've had a number of days when we've had 18 but are yet to break this record. We are also looking for recipes to use up lots of eggs.

Sadly, the number of duck eggs has dropped. About 2 weeks ago, we were getting up to 6 or 7 a day. Suddenly, the numbers dropped. On some days we get none. We have no idea why this has happened.

Friday 1 April 2016

How to make a goats cheese pudding

We have lots of goats cheese we made last year still to use up. This is one of the recipes we used to reduce the cheese mountain.