Thursday 31 August 2023

Sunniside Leek Show


I popped into the leek show at Sunniside Social Club earlier this week. Various people asked me why I hadn't put in any entries myself. Alas, I haven't grown show leeks before (we have grown ordinary leeks for eating). Perhaps next year I will have a go. Nevertheless, well done to everyone who took part in the competition.

Wednesday 30 August 2023

The egg glut


This is annoying! At this time of year the hens are producing fewer eggs. Temperatures are starting to drop and the days are getting shorter. Winter is approaching and the hens are responding accordingly. And then we find a clutch of eggs (the 3rd in the past few weeks) which we can't sell as we don't know how old they are. These clutches mean we have a large number of eggs to use up. Fortunately, the Bowes Show is approaching and we will be using lots of the eggs to make flans, cakes etc which will go into the various competitions that are held.

Monday 28 August 2023

How to make creamy tomato soup


One of my fellow allotment holders gave me a load of tomatoes recently. I made them into a creamy soup using the milk, whey and cream from our goats. This video walks you through the recipe I used.

Wednesday 23 August 2023

From waste into food


One of our mantras is that waste should be treated as a resource. This was certainly the case recently when someone had their apple tree pruned and they gave us all the branches (plus 3 sacks of apples). The goats loved the branches - and the Hebridean sheep joined in as well.

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Bowes Show schedule


The schedule for the Bowes Agricultural Show arrived recently. Now is the time to start preparations for the show, which we have been attending since 2011. I will be entering the jam, pies, bread, scone, chutney, flan, egg and fruit liqueur competitions. The big competition is the pie making contest. A few years ago I won first for my game pie and it also won me best industrial exhibit in the show, meaning I had a trophy for a year. Alas, I've not even won a certificate since then. I have plans however to a pie that will hopefully put me back on top. More about that closer to the show!

Monday 21 August 2023

Alternative poultry feed


Rowan berries are ripe and abundant at the moment so we have been picking bucket loads of them to feed to the chickens and ducks as an alternative to the more costly layers pellets and wheat. We get through half a bucketful each day. We haven't eliminated pellets and wheat completely, we've simply reduced the amount we put in their feed. Hawberries will be ripening soon so we will be picking them as well.

The July video


This is the Self-Sufficient in Suburbia video for July. Issues covered include our failed attempt to get a hay crop gathered in due to the persistent rain and 5 baby goats were born but they all turned out to be boys.

Last of the gooseberries now harvested


The last of our gooseberry crop is now picked. Some of the berries have been used to make jam. The rest will go into a pie or be made into chutney.

These are the 8 jars of jam made using the first batch of gooseberries.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Feeding five baby goats at the same time


Two of our nanny goats had their babies in July. Agnes had two boys followed a few days later by Florence who had three boys. To cut a long story short, Florence has adopted the two babies of Agnes, so she is now raising five. We are bottle feeding the babies to ensure both mum and babies are in good health. We have a rack which can hold 4 bottles. The fifth bottle I hold in my hand. It means there is quite a scramble at feeding time but they all get some milk. The video wa filmed to show hope we cope with feeding so many babies at the same time.

Sunday 6 August 2023

How to make a goat cheese flan


We have a glut of ricotta goat cheese. To use up some of it I made some flans. Watch the video for the recipe.

Saturday 5 August 2023

Disappointing crab apple crop


Crab apples are one of our basic crops. They are full of pectin so are good for making preserves. And they make a good fodder for the goats and poultry. Alas, the crop is not looking so abundant this year, unlike last year when the trees were sagging under the weight of fruit.

Thursday 3 August 2023

Plum brandy


Plum brandy - I made this last year. I sampled it last week. Very pleasant. I've picked lots of soft fruit recently so we will be making more liqueurs shortly.