Friday, 27 September 2019

Autumn Harvest

Yesterday was a beautiful day and we sat in the sun and processed the dried pea and sugar-snap peas from their haulms ready for planting next year. The whole family are here for a week helping me to harvest our home produced food mountain. We have our biggest ever pumpkin carried by my daughter Cat.
A huge tub of butternut squashes adds to the mountain.
The dried bean vines have been set out to dry both for beans to plant next year and dry beans for over winter stews. The turkeys are growing well and are starting to get their wattles. We seem to have three boys and a girl again. They are keeping the grass down in the orchard rather beautifully.
I am still very busy processing the fruit and veggies for the freezer. The sauerkraut has done well so far and stewed fruit is the order of the day for breakfast every morning. The weather is mixed but the rain is very welcome. The brush-cutter is back out and we are fighting to reclaim some of the forest garden from the brambles whilst still making time for trips out to see the beauty that is Galicia. As usual my medical tests are inconclusive and I now have to wait for a month for the biopsy results to come back. I seem to spend a lot of time waiting for medical results but I am not complaining. It really does beat the alternative.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

"Thar she blows"

We don't have a hurricane thank goodness and my heart goes out to all of those who are losing everything to Dorian, but the Autumn gales are knocking us about a bit. It has been a dry summer despite the cloudiness but the veggies have held up well. My beans are the latest victim of the gusty wind and we have given up on re-erecting them until the gales have gone.
Our soil is thin because we are on a stony hillside and the canes are just not well anchored enough. We have eaten and frozen tons of them and most days I am stewing fruit from our trees or making chutney from our veggies. In good news the lupins are fattening up well. I am not sure how you tell when they are ready to eat but I will keep an eye on them.
The turkeys remain happy and chatty, they really are very sweet.
Our sweetcorn has been a great success and very tasty. I shall be saving seed from this variety.
We are on course to produce the largest pumpkin that we have ever grown. It is still ripening but it is going to be huge.
This summer has been magical so far. After suffering from cancer and going through the surgeries and chemotherapy I wanted, actually really needed, to spend some time with Tim in our piece of heaven and we have done it. This place is our dream and having been apart so much over the last few years because of Tim's work we have been hiding away together like hermits just enjoying the best food and drink that Galicia can provide (the finest in the world), enjoying our own company, and enjoying nature at it's best and most magical. Later this month yet another round of scopes, scans and blood tests start, always a time of anxiety but I go  into it feeling like the luckiest woman alive.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Meat and Veggies

Despite the still changeable weather we are having a productive year. We recently killed the meat chickens and they were/are beautiful. They have done really well. All eight grew well and the place is awfully silent without the daily chorus of crows of varying tones and tunes. They have all dressed out at around 4.5 kilos and cost us around 8.50 euros each in total but more importantly they lived well, ate well and died well at our hands. I could not do this if I thought that they had suffered unduly.
The veggies also remain productive. As usual we have a courgette glut so chutney is calling me. I just need to get myself organised.
As ever the tomatoes have gone blighty but we are getting a few and the peppers are slow to come online with the continuing cold cloudy spell. It was stormy last night, unusually strong for the time of year and our winter wood has got wet again. We just need a long enough hot dry spell to get it dried enough to put away in the woodshed.
The lupins are beautiful. I am completely in love with them and I haven't even eaten any yet. The bees also adore them.
The sweetcorn is also very beautiful and the colour is so intense. I await the first cobs with great excitement.
In the background you can see the forest garden which is slowly developing. I should write a blog dedicated to just that sometime soon. Although some sections have 2 metre high brambles, most of the trees have survived and are starting to look like trees. They are now steadily coming on line and we have our first kiwi's, plums and persimmons to add to the many other varieties of fruit we already enjoy. Roll on nut heaven if we live long enough to see that. Our dream is to eat walnuts from our own trees.