Friday 21 October 2022

Egg shortage


For weeks now, we have been getting very few eggs. The ducks have given up completely and the hens have been laying 0 - 2 eggs a day (most days it is zero). Most of them have undergone a big moult so while they are doing that, their bodies are putting more energy into growing new feathers instead of producing eggs. We have managed to get enough eggs for an omelette which we had for dinner last night. But as we get further into the autumn, we have to accept that egg production is seasonal. It won't be until the new year when egg numbers start to increase.

Thursday 20 October 2022

On the Thompson and Morgan website

This blog is featured again on the Thompson and Morgan website. They have a promotion about cherry trees and they've linked to one of my posts about making cherry vodka and another about home to make rhubarb, cherry and gooseberry chutney. You can read the page on this link.

Another stuffed marrow


When you are self-sufficient, you get used to gluts. Marrows are the glut at the moment and we are gradually eating our way through them. This one is stuffed with tomatoes, breadcrumbs and cheese (which sadly was purchased in a local supermarket). The potatoes were grown on the paddock on the farm which previously had our friend Steve's pigs in it. The pigs kindly ate the weeds, turned over the ground and manured the site for us. Despite the drought conditions this year, the crop is looking good.

Stripped bare


I was greeted by this site recently on my Nearside allotment - where we keep most of our poultry. Someone had thrown in a cabbage stalk which the chickens and ducks had stripped bare, leaving this skeleton behind! Since then, the poultry have eaten the leaf stalks as well. Before this summer, the goats would have eaten the stalks but they were moved to our farm in August. There's a great deal of grazing for them there and the poultry and goats don't have to go into competition for the snacks that get thrown over the gate.

New wheelbarrow!


While others may get excited about a new car, we get excited about the arrival of a new wheelbarrow. This is one of those bits of kit which are essential in the world of self-sufficiency. I noticed just how reliant we are on a wheelbarrow recently when our old one broke and was unrepairable. Fortunately we got over a decade's use out of it, during which time it was used nearly every day. Let's hope the new one lasts even longer!

Piggy in the middle (flat)

This story rather amazed me. I read it this morning on the Chronicle website (for those not local to Tyneside, the Chronicle is the main daily newspaper here). Click this link to read the full story.

Basically, someone bought a couple of pigs believing they were micro pigs. They were kept as pets in a flat in Gateshead which they rapidly outgrew. How could anyone think it was a good idea to keep pigs (micro or not) in a flat or indeed in a house. Animals, whether they are pets or working livestock) have to be kept in appropriate housing. Keeping a couple of pigs in a crowded flat in an urban area is completely the wrong thing to do.

Thankfully there was a happy ending. The pigs have now been rehoused on a farm in Co Durham. But please think before you buy animals as pets - do you have the appropriate housing for them? If not, don't buy them.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Farm tour


This video was filmed while I did a walkabout on our farm and our 2 allotments. The farm was extended from a rather small 2 acres to a larger 17 acres in February so enjoy a tour of the land, our goat paddocks, sheep field, our potato field, our soft fruit patches and our chicken and duck runs.

Dandelions in October


Dandelions are abundant in the spring. Summer often brings a second wave of them. Once or twice I've seen them flowering in September. But I've never before seen them flowering as late as October - until just a few days ago. Strange times for our environment.

Thursday 6 October 2022

Self-Sufficient in Suburbia September 2022


This is my latest monthly self-sufficiency video for September 2022. In it we test out the new hay making equipment, we go to the Bowes Agricultural Show, we make more jam and we rehouse the chicks and ducklings.