Monday, 9 September 2013

Onions, Apples & Cows

That last few days have been busy getting projects finished and jobs done. 
The onions are nicely dried out and plaited. Some are still out in the sheds but I will need to move them all indoors or they will rot from damp.

I have received an early variety of windfall apples from a neighbour. There keeping quality is very poor although they taste lovely. They are from a 100yr old apple tree. Although they are cookers, they are not so bitter and when stewed become very soft. I stewed a few litres for the freezer. By October I will have a large quantity of cookers to deal with!

Our cow is gone! She was collected yesterday, to be brought to the factory first thing this morning. A good life, a good death. 
We are seriously considering getting a Kerry cow as a replacement. We have made contact with a dairy farmer who breeds them. 
They seem ideal for us, although I have no experience of them and have never seen one in person either. He tells us they are much smaller than a jersey, eat less, produce 15litres + a day of milk, hardy and quiet. 
As our grazing is limited, it would be ideal to find a true cottage economy cow. 

On researching them I have learnt that they are the oldest breed of cattle in Europe. That their milk is similar to goats milk, it has smaller fat globules which make it ideal for infants, allergy suffers and the elderly. 

I am collecting tomatoes everyday in the tunnel. I wash, bag and freeze them. Our freezer is filling up nicely. The pigs are enjoying the treat of the fallen green and spoilt tomatoes that I give them. 

We had cleared out one side of the tunnel a few weeks back. Hubby then filled it up, barrow after barrow with old compost and manure.
I then planted our winter seeds, which have all sprouted and are doing well. 
We planted cabbages, winter lettuces, beetroot, leek and more that I can't think of.
We both were very proud of the quality of the compost. Once he dug down past the fresher manure, the compost was beautiful. Black, loose, soft and full of worms!

We will need to spend time over the winter to empty out the dung-stead completely. We are filling it quicker than we use it. 

I fixed the hens laying box. So we are back to collecting eggs everyday now. Many of the young pullets that hatched earlier in the year are starting to lay now. They should lay throughout winter while the hens will likely stop.


  1. Will Mamamoo be coming back ready to eat, or has she just gone for pet food?

  2. She was sold to the factory. Her meat will be graded and then we will get a price / kg depending on that grade.
    I imagine she will go into processed foods such as low grade burgers and shepherds pies.
    No doubt some of her will end as pet food and fertiliser.
    We did consider getting our local butcher to kill her but I was uncomfortable about the idea of eating her! Strangely! :-)

  3. I love that photo of her looking over the door. I am not looking forward to making such decisions when our cows get older, they are more like pets themselves! It will be interesting to see what kind of cow you get next.

  4. In truth we would have retired her if we had the leisure of extra land. Having such a small place means everything has to pay its way.


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