Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Haymaking Day 3

Perfect weather for getting the hay dry, with sunshine and a breeze all day. C was working here this morning, then went off on the tractor with the hay turner on the back to do Saxmundham and the bit up the road behind the second home. He then turned our bit and our neighbours. He has decided to get our farmer friend to bale the two big fields into large round bales which he will be able to load with the front tractor forks straight onto the trailer of the man who is having them. Our field and our neighbours will be done into small traditional size bales. After taking so long to pay for the hay they had last year ( they still owe us about £60) the people who keep their ponies at our neighbours will only have the hay from her field. They have too many ponies, no money and keep being turned off every bit of land they rent either because they over graze or don't pay their rent. So this year we will not have all the hassle of asking for our money and then being fobbed off with a sob story.

I spent quite a while in the kitchen doing 2 loaves of bread and a double sized batch of our  favourite tomato and herb rolls. Then a bit of weeding, housework and sorting out the stuff we brought back from the car boot sale.
 I've put most of the left over books out on the campsite information room, there's plenty of choice for reading for our visitors now although at the moment the campsite has gone very, very quiet. Only 1 tent here last night after being busy all last week. Our bookings diary still has plenty of spaces for August too.

Thank you to everyone for comments about our giant  beetroot yesterday. They are a variety called Cylindra and most of the seed companies have them for sale but I got them from DT Brown which must have been the cheapest. We grow them every year as well as the more normal round ones - like Bolthardy. Beetroot has become a staple part of our salad lunch and C has a plan for trying to have them available all year round. He tried last year but they were in the poly tunnel that was damaged in the December gales so were lost to the winter weather. He'll try again with a late sowing and then an early sowing in February which gave us beetroot in late May. We will save as many as we can in a sand box for winter. Although I don't want to think about winter yet!

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Haymaking Day 2

Things looked a bit worrying this morning when we had a grey misty start, but the sun came out and the hay is drying. C got the hay turner sorted and just before dinner time he turned the hay here and at our neighbours to make sure it was working properly.

We had our 5-a-day all in one meal this evening. Our home grown veggie curry had onion, courgette, green beans, potatoes and a couple of apricots thrown in just to see what they were like, a bit too sharp was the answer to that question, I won't do that again.

You know how small beetroot are in those supermarket vacuum packs, well here we don't do small beetroot, we do VERY LARGE.
The variety is Cylindria and they are on a dinner plate!

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Monday, 21 July 2014

Now we need 6 days of dry weather please

Hay making.
The weather forecast yesterday looked good for the week so C decided to cut the fields, or rather to get our farmer friend W to cut the two big fields that we rent for hay making and to cut our smaller bit of about 2 acres and an even smaller part of a paddock over at our neighbours. But our old mower broke down- terminally this time- without even getting round our neighbours acre. So W ended up doing almost everything.
Now we've seen a new forecast which says storms on Friday - oh b****r!

Yesterday evening we did a bit of fruit picking, it looked so luscious I had to take a picture.

We are coming to the end of the raspberries, I doubt we will get this many again this year. Most of the red currants have been picked and sold  and just look at those apricots.We will make the most of them as it's likely to be another 3 or 4 years before the weather is just perfect at the right time for the fruit to set to get such a good crop.
I made 8 jars of apricot jam this morning and C halved the rest of this picking and open froze them for winter. The trees are still laden. Great Joy!

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

After the boot sale

Yesterday we brought downstairs all the stuff we had been collecting for the last year and a bit, looked at the weather forecast for today and decided to shove it into the jeep and nip up the road early to see what we could get rid of. It was mainly small bits of junk, odds and ends that have come from who knows where. A chest of drawers for £10 and another older tattier one for £5 were the only things we had for sale for over £1, I just like to get rid of stuff as we don't want to take it home for doing boot sales every week like so many people do.

Grand total takings of £98.20p - amazing!
I am now writing myself a note

There were not many stalls there which I think worked in our favour and I only spent £2 on 4 new tea-towels, something I had been looking out for since the start of the car boot season. We took food and a flask with us of course, so we were not tempted by bacon rolls.

There are some boxes of things left over to sort through, most will go to a local charity shop, that's a job for another day. The books left can go out in the information room/library on the campsite.

I've just been out to the shed to bring in some jam jars to wash because tomorrow I'm going to use some of our bumper apricot harvest for jam. We've had the trees about 7 or 8 years and this is only the second time there has been enough for jam making. I hope to put lots in the freezer too, they are still a wee bit sharp for eating straight from the tree but if we leave them too long the wasps will find them.

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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Just a quiet Saturday

No one arriving on the campsite today and not much else happening either.

There were thunderstorms around in the early hours of the morning and we had quite a lot of rain but it was fine again by 7am and still dry now at 4 o'clock although very humid.

C has been doing all sorts of odd jobs around about and I hauled out the rest of the things still in the greenhouse and old shed. No sign of wrens in there anymore so we can start taking it down. I've also sorted through the various pots of odds and ends that were standing along the back of the house and decided what can go where. The sweet chestnut, oak and Ash saplings will go on the edge of the caravan part of the campsite. We pushed a lot of willow slips in earlier in the year and most have taken so the saplings can fill the gaps. Soon this half of the site will be as sheltered as the tent part.

We've also brought all the car boot sale stuff downstairs so that we can do a sale as soon as the weather forecast is good enough. The small spare room looks a bit bare as some of the things have been standing there since we brought them back from the car boot sale last May.

And now I must catch up on some reading as 4 of the books brought home from the library van in June are wanted by other people so I need to get them read quickly.

Thank you to everyone for comments yesterday and welcome to Sara reading via Bloglovin'.
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Friday, 18 July 2014


It's been hotter here today, wall to wall sunshine but still with a nice breeze so not the high temperatures that some parts have had. We had an hour or so sitting out with cricket on the radio for him and a book for me.

C picked all the Morello cherries that he could reach yesterday evening, the blackbirds had taken several already and many were wrinkled and small, so not a good crop this year. Today I've taken the stones out of a few and put them in the freezer. The rest went into a couple of punnets and I hopped on my bike to take them to a friend in the village who had asked for any we had spare.

Earlier this morning C went to see man about some barley straw. Now that the fields locally are being farmed by a big company they are not keen on letting us have any to make small bales. They wanted £1 a bale which is twice as much as we paid last year. So C had a think and went off to see someone else and Good News we can have some for 40p a bale as long as we bale another 50 for someone else at the same time. That's a Much better price. While he was out he took all the bottles that are recycled from the campsite to the bottle bank ( if only we had 10p for every bottle of wine/beer drunk on site we would be millionaires!) and then went to get chicken feed.

I've been clearing some of the annuals that have finished from the front border, but it soon got too warm for that job.

I haven't done an' Out For Sale Today' list for a while, so here's what went on the stand this morning.
3 cucumbers at 50p each
2 bunches of beetroot at £1 each
2 bunches of onions at 50p each
2 Bags of  Climbing green beans at £1 each
1 bag of runner beans at 50p
4 bags of various sized tomatoes at 50p each
2 bags with 2 small pointed peppers in each bag at 50p each
7 bags of potatoes at 50p each
4 punnets of redcurrants at £1 each
AND 17 boxes of 6 eggs at £1 each

Home grown/Homemade eaten today
Tomatoes, cucumbers, beetroot, lettuce and salad leaves, green beans, quiche using courgette and pepper and onion and our own eggs, chips using our own potatoes. Home made bread. Raspberries.
 We are living very well at the moment!

I did another wildlife  rescue this afternoon. Polly the cat was in the conservatory making funny little squeaking noises, with her nose under the old settee. So I went to see what she was talking about, tipped the settee up and spotted a very small frog, about an inch from nose to tail, luckily  it jumped into the corner of the conservatory and got tangled in a cobweb- I knew I'd left them there for a reason :-) so I was able to pick it up and pop it into the small sink pond. I'm sure Polly gave me a black look!

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Thursday, 17 July 2014

Rescue operation

Coming out of the back door I noticed something poking out of the spout of the watering can which was standing by the old shed door.
A very small baby wren had got itself wedged in the spout, I suppose it had fallen in the watering can and was trying to get out.
How to get it out?
I nudged it back down and then did what I always do with a blockage - Blew down the spout.
Teeny weeny wren went bump on the bottom of the can and I scooped it out gently and popped it back in the shed for it's parents to find it. There were 4 young in the nest but once they got too big they moved out and have been in the shed hopping about for the last couple of days. There may only be one left.

A lovely day here today, nice breeze keeping the heat down a few degrees and blue sky all round. C was working for his Leiston customer this morning while I had a big cleaning session - I really know how to have a fun morning in the heat!

Lots of comments yesterday about this years garden failures. It is a rare year when everything does well but on the other hand it's unusual to have complete disaster throughout the whole garden so we just carry on and it helps to grow lots of different things.  We won't starve!

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Whoops forgot to say welcome to R and Sarah who are new on Bloglovin'