An Autumnal Amalgam

Keeping the blog up to date has been much harder than I thought as technology becomes so much less a part of my everyday life. Of course it’s all a matter of discipline, or routine, or habit – whatever you want to call it.  It’s over 3 months since the last update and so much has happened during the latter part of the Summer, and now Autumn is upon us – a most beautiful season – and the “to do” list is nearly all winter preparations.

Our breeding trio at rest - they didn't have any built shelter for 4 months
Our breeding trio of pigs (BlackJack, BlackBetty & Pop) at rest – they didn’t have any built shelter for 4 months

Last year our eyes weren’t really open to the daily changes around us, and the uncertainty (or changes) to the weather each day passed very quickly – but not this year.  For example, a few days ago we had a -1ºC frost, and leaves suddenly fell off of trees and my Brussel sprouts all went droopy!  Two days later we were working outside in a balmy 24ºC, t-shirts on and sweating like mad… and then this week some rain came 🙂 .

As I said, so much has happened since I last wrote – too much to write a lot about – so I will simply list some of the achievements and highlights (in no particular order) so far and add some pictures from the past few months which I hope readers will enjoy.

A wonderful family gathering in September 2016 - sadly not everyone but nonetheless wonderful.
A wonderful family gathering in September – sadly not everyone but nonetheless wonderful.
  • A wonderful family visit in September with Jane, her Dad (Ray), our daughter Ashleigh and grandson Charlie.
  • Cladding and windbreaks to the barn fitted and painted.
  • Electric and water contracts for area#3 completed with no hassle even though we speak no Bulgarian.
  • Poultry coop renovations and repairs finished and (hopefully) predator proofed – we will test that this winter for sure.
  • Livestock paddocks finished and new gates installed.
  • Several new (strong and secure) gates fitted to the livestock paddocks and fenced areas.
  • Future paddock, fodder growing and garden areas ploughedto hopefully breakdown ready for sowing in Spring.
  • Pregnant sows moved to their “maternity pens” ready for farrowing.
  • Wooden doors on main gate, woodshed and garage all varnished.
  • Helped our neighbour harvest her considerable garden area and received over-generous amounts of her produce (for us and for the livestock) in return.
  • Boris, a Bulgarian bred Dalmatian puppy joined our family dog pack.
  • 23 cubic meters of firewood stacked in the woodshed.
  • 5+ cubic meters of fallen or scrap wood gathered from around the property sorted, cut and stacked outside on pallets to season ready for next year.
  • 4 cubic meters of “twiggy” (dried branches) and other kindling wood cut/chopped and stacked.
  • 3 pedigree Light Sussex chickens added to the food production team. We are still regularly getting two nice fresh eggs per day.  We also had two additional cockerels that were surplus to our friend Dave’s needs and they are now in the freezer 😦 .
  • 3 Pomeranian geese joined the security and grounds maintenance team – they are spectacular and majestic large birds sourced from some new friends who live fairly close.
  • We obtained a pair of young (just weaned) male goats from a friend and as an experiment we are fattening them up over winter with the aim of slaughtering them for meat in the New Year. If we like the meat and the goat raising process is not too much hassle we may experiment with Spring born goatlings either next year or the year after.

From my school days through the last time I worked for a company/somebody else, “must do better” has been a recurring theme in my life; once again I need to apply this maxim (consistently and persistently this time) to keeping this blog up to date!

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