Friday 30 March 2018

Video: Self-Sufficient in Suburbia Winter 2018

This video covers January to March 2018. The new wood-fired heating system is up and running, 5 baby goats are born, the snow is heavier than usual and one of the hives fails to make it through the winter.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Video: ivy in the churchyard

A few days ago, I visited St Mary's churchyard in Whickham, at the invitation of Father Barry Abbott, to check out possible sources of ivy for goat food.

Video: Pinkie passes away

You may already be aware from previous posts that Pinkie, our milking goat, passed away last month. This video was filmed after the birth of her baby, just before she died.

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Daddy and his babies

billy and kids Mar 18

I thought I'd post this photo which I snapped yesterday. Snow, one of our two billy goats, and his five babies. Cute!

First leaves

hawthorn first leaves Mar 18

I spotted the first leaves on the hawthorn in the hedge on our Farside allotment yesterday. There will be a few weeks yet before we can start cropping the hawthorn branches to feed to the goats but, at last, spring is beginning to arrive.

Egg numbers


The number of eggs laid by the hens has been gradually increasing as the days get longer. Numbers can be a bit erratic (a few days ago we had 17 and the day after we had 4) but are moving in the right direction. Duck eggs are still quite rare but the drakes have been getting a bit more randy recently so we are expecting more duck eggs soon.

Perky update

This short video of Perky, the goat kid we are raising by hand, was filmed last week. He had just started eating solids - in this case hay. The photo below was taken today. I discovered he likes eating grass and now that we are into spring, greenery is growing and we therefore have something fresh and free to feed the goats.

goats and kids eating grass Mar 18

Friday 16 March 2018

Bee update

We had a short break in the winter weather recently. The sun melted the snow and temperatures rose. So the bees came out. It looks like five of our six hives have survived. The remaining hive will need to be checked more closely. Alas, the winter weather has returned though instead of snow, we are getting rain.

Dehorning Perky

As we have decided to keep Perky, the goat kid we are raising by hand, we had him dehorned recently.

Rabbit meat

rabbit meat Feb 18

Another effort was made to use up the contents of our various freezers recently. In the process, we found a rabbit for last year which we decided to pot roast. The meat went well with salads. We then put what was left into a soup. I was less convinced about the results.

rabbit soup Feb 18

Thursday 15 March 2018


toad in the hole Feb 18

We discovered an old pack of pork sausages in one of our freezers recently. They must have been a few years old as the last time we bought a pig was in 2013. They were clearly past their best but we used them to make toad-in-the-hole. Nothing wasted.

Thursday 1 March 2018

It may be deep with snow but....

Yesterday, the Beast from the East storm dumped more snow on us but work still had to take place on the allotment. The small henhouse was cleaned and the animals were fed again in the snow.