Apologies for not blogging on Friday night but I was in the pub :-) Not often we get out for drinky poos these days, but as there is a very nice pub at the end of our milk delivery round on a Friday night, we thought we would pop in for a swift orange juice. Met up with some friends that we haven't seen for quite a while and caught up on everyone's news. Good to see that we aren't the only ones with escaping animals though - our friend Judy had gone outside to feed her 4 ponies on Friday morning to find them gone. Following the trail of broken fences and large hoofprints, they were discovered a few fields away munching on some very nice long grass. Seems that they weren't keen to come back home and, strangely enough, didn't want to eat all their dinner when they arrived!
Wye Market on Saturday was steady again. The threatened gale force winds did not appear which was good news for Nicci Gurr, a guest chef, who was cooking up market ingredients during the morning. We sampled some delicious winter greens and leeks tossed in a mustard sauce - absolutely gorgeous. She was demonstrating a few dishes and handing out recipe cards as well. Great way to publicise market produce! I think she will be doing it at a few other farmers' markets over the next month.
I was very excited that one of my regular milk customers, Lucy, brought some kefir grains with her for me to try.
http://www.yourkefirsource.com/ if you are interested to know more. So, I have my first batch fermenting at the moment - should be about ready this evening or tomorrow morning.
I was also thrilled that Clare the Egg brought her lovely collie Gwen along with her to market. Clare was the breeder of our two collies Nell and Ben and Gwen is one of their other two sisters from the same litter. She was the only long haired one and is absolutely gorgeous:
And the first signs of spring are appearing in my garden - first primrose:
First locally grown narcissi:
And look! Good Lord! Can it really be?! Marmite cat - OUTSIDE?????! Must be spring ...
And to continue the excitement of the weekend - this morning David and I went down to collect some hay from near Bethersden. Although we do still have a fair bit in the barn, it won't be enough to last the season and so we are gathering more from people while they still have it (and whenever we have enough spare money to buy some!). Bonus of this collection is that Hilary is one of the top pygmy goat breeders in the country and so I got the chance to nosey in her goat shed while David was loading up the trailer with Chris.
Hilary has about 50 adult goats and the first ones have already kidded. Pygmy goat kids are just SO gorgeous - little tiny things. Couldn't resist a few piccies:
Aren't they just adorable?!
So, busy week ahead this week - four little chaps to the butcher early tomorrow morning. Then off to make cheese later in the day. And, I haven't told Norville yet, but he's going to the vet on Wednesday morning.
Although the boys are disbudded at a few days old, their horns sometimes tend to grow back a little bit (they are known as 'scurs' as they are not proper horns). Usually, they will knock them off but Norville seems to have a bit of a problem with his and they are starting to curve back onto his head. I have noticed that he keeps rubbing his head against large immoveable objects (like the steel joists for the barn) in what appears to be an effort to get rid of them. We have nipped them off a couple of times but as he gets bigger, this gets increasingly more difficult and so I have decided to take him into the vet to have it done properly. It's quite a brutal and messy procedure but as it's done under general anaesthetic, Norville will be blissfully unaware of it. Poor lad. Won't tell him til Wednesday morning so that he doesn't worry about it ..