Jam / Polytunnel / KeysRSS feed

Posted: Monday 23 August, 2021

by Rosemary at 5:58pm in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

Monday 16th August

Cool morning, warm afternoon. Did all the outstanding paperwork except contacting the bank about access to the account of a voluntary organisation I’m involved with. I just have feelings of such despair with these things. I know it’s probably a sign of getting old, but it was so much better when there was a branch in the village with nice, helpful staff.

To cheer myself up, I made up my seed list and ordered my vegetable seeds for next year. I also want to buy some bulbs but I’m faffing over what to order. It’s pathetic really.

Dan and I took Smokey and the dogs out for a walk. We all enjoyed it.

Tuesday 17th August

First job this morning was to complete the removal of furniture and “stuff” from the dining room and kitchen to let the painter get started. The rooms look so much bigger.

I fed the strawberries (because they’ve just been pruned), leeks (because they are pathetic) and kale (because it’s been nibbled).

Wednesday 18th August

Contacted the haulier to see whether the bull was going away Monday, but he can’t tell me until Saturday. I hope it’s Monday – I’m so not looking forward to it and just want it over with.

It’s so hot today – 24C on the car. Dan and I had a sneaky wee run into Dundee to drop the chainsaw off for repair, then went to M&S for sandwiches and sat on the riverfront and ate them. It was fair braw.

Painter was finished and away by the time we got back. It’s all looking very lovely. Dan said we should sell it now.  We’re having a bit of a sort through cupboards, drawers and cookery books, deciding what to keep and what to pass on. I found eleven Gu dessert containers. And a drawer of random keys. Why, I ask myself?

keysRandom keys.

Thursday 19th August

Cooler and overcast – I should have made a start on the polytunnel today. The sweet peas, beans, peas, lettuce and coriander need to come out now. The plums are ripe – hundreds of them; since we’ll have a rubbish apple crop this year, we’re stewing and freezing them for winter breakfasts. The Victorias and the gages aren’t ripe yet.

polytunnelMessy polytunnel.

We have local honey to sell again. Alistair dropped in 20 jars (of the 263 jars he has this year). He’s coming on Monday to have a look at Blizzard, because she’s lame again. I think we’ll have to go for a nailed-on support. He’s half day tomorrow and off this weekend. I’ve brought Blizzard in and she’s happy being fed and being on the rubber mats.

My veg seed order arrived. I need a bigger box.

boxBigger seed box needed.

Tara and I took Euro and Smokey for a walk; the Buddon was open because of the golf (Women’s Open), but it was quite busy.

Friday 20th August

Overcast, but warm. I spent an hour in the polytunnel until it was too warm, but managed to get a bit of a tidy up started.

polytunnelBit of an improvement.

Blizzard in more comfortable on the mats and apart from an occasional “moo” they’ve all settled down.

Most of the furniture and “stuff” is now back in place in the kitchen and dining room. I’ve got the two dining room tables together as one big square table to see how we like it. No pictures up yet, only the clock in the kitchen. We really missed that – didn’t realise how often I looked at it.

tableOur big table.

In going through the cookery books, I found a C-------- magazine. Don’t think about it, don’t think about it. I baked ginger nuts to get over it. I also found a recipe for Spiced Plum and Sloe Gin Jam, so I’m going to give that a try. Rebecca brought round some sloe gin, bartered for jam. I think I’ll need to start pickling some beetroot too.

Saturday 21st August

That’s the Spiced plum and sloe gin jam made and it’s very, very nice. I’ll make more next week.

Since I haven’t heard from the haulier, I’m guessing Ace isn’t going to the abattoir on Monday, so I’ve let Blizzard out. Rosie is lame and looks like she’s coming into season. I thought he looked a bit half hearted last time round.

Vet booked for Monday – I didn’t want a weekend call-out because I wanted Alistair to see them, because he treated Blizzard last time, and this is his weekend off.

Dan and Andy weeded the polytunnel. I finally ordered some bulbs – scented narcissi and hyacinths fro the house, and gorgeous tulips and wallflower for round the back door. I have some random bulbs in a box that I’ll stick in the ground somewhere.

Sunday 22nd August

Rosie is now very lame. Same foot as Blizzard. They are my synchronised limping team. Rosie has also abandoned her calf in favour of Ace. Bronte not very happy and telling everyone about it.

Haulier phoned to say he’d been stuck on Islay because the boat had broken down, and he would pick Ace up tomorrow. But Ace has a week’s reprieve because he’s loved up with Rosie. He will be going next Monday though.

Moved the lambs about – put the two ewe lambs in with the ewes, leaving Bean and the two wethers; then put the white wether in with the ewes too, mainly to shut him up.




Thursday 26 August, 2021 at 12:42pm

Oh boy!

I've spent the last couple of weeks reading your diary entries from start to finish.

It's been a complete roller coaster ride, albeit on "fast forward" for me.

So many highs and lows - I feel exhausted, I can only imagine how it's been for you.

I alternate between jealousy and relief it's not me living it.

Still like to give it a (smaller) try but I'm probably too old to start now (almost 58) and I haven't got a Dan in my life - just a disinterested Colin. So, unless I win the lottery and can afford help, it's never going to happen


Thursday 26 August, 2021 at 12:48pm

I obviously waffled on too much in my last post and it got cut in half but...

I really wanted to say thank you for sticking to your sustainable farming guns and for leading the way in rare breed husbandry.

Hopefully you've inspired a whole new generation to follow suit.


Leave a comment

Please use the form below to leave a comment. All fields are required unless otherwise indicated, and your email address will not be displayed or shared.

Some HTML allowed: <strong>, <em>, <blockquote>. URLs will be converted to links automatically.

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2022. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS