Dream For Three

Time to Take Stock

As a new year is about to come upon us, it is time to take stock and see how close to our goals we have reached.

The garden is starting to crank up for the summer harvest, and we even got our first crop of beans for the year. We eat alot of beans, so this is something that I not only grow for immediate eating, but also I freeze alot for the winter months. Last winter we ran out in the last month before the garden got going so this year the plan is to do a bit more.

I have some peas in the freezer for use over the hot summer months when they don’t grow, and my last row of them is just poding up now, it looks like I got the timing right that they will be finished before the heat kills them. I have today sown the pean beans that we used last year for homemade baked beans, so it will be good to get some more of them.

We have cucumbers and zucchinis in over abundance right now and the the tomotoes have started to ripen. The garlic has been harvested and is in the process of drying, seems to be bigger bulbs than last year, so that went well.

Potatoes, well  I could well be able to do two full crops so we will have plenty over the summer and still be growing them for the winter months. This year we have once again grown Chipawas for the wonderful chips they make, and also Sambagos for roasting. I have some moonlight seed potatoes but haven’t got them in the ground yet, as well as an unkown type that were here when we came and I have moved to the orchard to help the forest garden get going.

As for fruit, well we have had a surprising large number of raspberries off our one little plant, and I see that it is now sending up lots of shoots so as long as we have a cold enough winter we should get lots next year as well. The blueberries have done nothing with the berries just not ripening on the plants at all, but the strawberries have done well so that is all good.

We are looking like we will get plenty of apples and are already getting plums. One row of pear trees(winter cole) is doing very badly in the fruit department, but then it always has done next to nothing and we are still trying to work out what the problem is with them. The packham and nashi pears both have lots of developing fruit again so no worries there.

The necterine tree is doing really well on all the compost and manure it got last year, but the peach tree right next to is is fighting with us as to whether it will stay alive or not. This morning it had nine shoots on it, that is two more that two days ago and seven more than last month. Needless to say we will not have any peaches this year.

I think all the other trees are pretty much doing what they have always done, although there does seem to be alot of figs on the fig trees at the moment.

We are continuing to milk the cow, and we have been enjoying wonderful homemade ice cream, yogurt, butter, as well as milk. I have not made any cheese as yet, but nest year when daisy is in milk we will probably have to. Daisy is, I am pretty sure, now pregnant, but we have not been able to catch Sweetie Pye in standing heat to get the AI man into her, so not quite sure what we will do about that as yet. Her not so little calf Liquorice has been growing steadily for the last seven weeks and has will make a wonderful addition to our freezer in a couple of years.

We finally reached the point with the chickens were they are paying for themselves, and then my rooster died some mysterious death one day. On christmas eve we hatched the last lot of eggs we had from him, so now we will have to decide what to do about a replacement for him. I have been toying with the idea of just buying in fertile eggs rather than feeding a rooster all year around, but that decsion is still to come.

We have ended up with seven lambs of which only one is on the plan to keep, so lots of lamb chops in the future.

Having the pigs in winter stocked the freezer well, but they were not fun to care for in the rain with all the mud around. We had to repave around their gateway as they had created such a hole in it. Summer is definetly the only time we should do pigs, and certainly Orenoko and Tobermore that we have now are much more fun. Lesson learnt and we have an extra one on order for the end of next year to raise over the summer.

Over all I feel that I have reached my goal for the year. I wanted to be producing 70 -80% of our own food, I feel that with the addition of a housecow we have reached that point. We can certainly go through our fair share of packaged foods when we want to,but the whole point is that we only do so by choice and not because there is nothing else to eat. Even Bevan has been heard to comment on the poor quality and hugh number of additives in prepackaged goods, and that is a whole new way of thinking for him.

Now for my goal for next year. This is a hard one, as I really want to continue on the path we have started on. I think I need to have the gardens under better control as the weeds keep getting away from me at the moment, and I would also like to make some cheese in the future.

Certainly we will be wanting to achieve at least as high or higher percentage of home grown food.

Comments are closed.