It’s been a fairly quite week after last weeks influx of animals, Graham was sick, the weather was bad and I spent a lot of time being a stand-in goat mom rather than getting much done. Sam and Dean are both doing well thankfully and are rapidly putting on weight. I am very much looking forward to them moving out of the house at night so that it smells less like a farm!

Dean
Dean enjoying his bottle

We also have some other new animal guests in the house, a pair of welcome swallows have moved in and set up their nest above the door…in our bedroom! I initially spent several days trying to keep them out, knowing how much mess they make having raised a nest of three orphan chicks this time last year, but they refused to take no for an answer and apparently live with us now. It is quite special lying in bed with a cup of tea listening to their beautiful song in the morning and having them circle overhead and land on the bedside lights!

Welcome swallow
Last year’s hand-raised Welcome Swallows

The ducks are settling in well and enjoying their new tractor. Graham gave them a full vet check at the weekend and discovered that a couple of them have ‘Bumblefoot’, a foot problem caused by living on hard surfaces. We have started them on antibiotics and they are on grass now, but if it doesn’t improve in a couple of weeks he will have to operate on them. One of our female chickens has ‘Scaly leg’, which is much easier to deal with than Bumblefoot and should improve quickly with Ivermectin.

Scaly leg
Scaly Leg

 

Bumblefoot
Bumblefoot

After weeks of waiting, I was finally able to try a few of my latest fermentation experiments, chilli, bay and coriander seed infused beets, salsa made with tomatoes, red pepper, green pepper, onion, fresh chilli, coriander, lime juice, and vindaloo fermented cauliflower. I loved them all. Once I have played around with the ratios a little to find the best possible mix I will post the recipes to the blog. I am so into fermenting at the moment and we are eating so much fermented food that I decided to order a whole heap of new fido jars. Waiting 4 weeks to taste things is a nightmare when you are as impatient as I am!

Salsa
Fermented Salsa
Vindaloo fermented Cauliflower
Vindaloo fermented Cauliflower
Chilli beets
Chilli, Bay and Coriander seed fermented Beets

I posted a new blog on worm farming a couple of days ago and rescued yet another chest freezer from the rubbish dump to begin experimenting with larger-scale vermiculture using pig and goat manure – watch this space. I also managed to rescue a few other useful bits and pieces, including the frame from an old bbq that I intend to make into a potting table and a deep square drainpipe that will make an excellent wall planter for my greenhouse. It never ceases to amaze me what people throw away, tip runs are one of the highlights of my week!

BBQ frame
BBQ frame rescued from rubbish dump

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