Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Back to Basics

Yesterday after walking the dogs, I called by the polytunnel to pick my lunch. A handful of two different types of lettuce leaves, a handful of mixed leaves and a couple of radishes. On my way back to the house I looked in the henhouses and found 3 eggs already laid (it was only 9am) and it got me seriously thinking how close to self sufficiency we could truly be, and very soon.
Although Lovely Hubby is the biggest carnivore I have ever known he does love his veggies, I eat chicken and fish occasionally but am more than happy on a diet of veggies, eggs and cheese, and soon we will be growing almost all the fruit and vegetables that we eat.
We have started to eat the produce from the polytunnel already, well ahead of last year. The chickens are in almost full production now and we have been getting a dozen eggs a day since last week. So even now we wouldn't starve, it's a lovely thought that we can be more self reliant. Getting back to the land is what makes me love this life, during winter it's hard to appreciate things, the mud is deep and yucky, the dogs bring it and lots of other equally messy things indoors for me to spend time cleaning up. But in Spring when it's drier outside and the plants and soil beckon it's a different story.

Courgette seedling.....now getting it's 3rd true leaf.
There is something so satisfying about planting a seed, watching it pop it's head out of the soil, and then day by day grow into something that will nourish you and your animals. Maybe I should do a day-by-day seed photo diary.....could I be that organised?
In the meantime I have started a list at the top of my sidebar to log just what we are eating that we are producing ourselves, just to inspire me and keep me on track.

Yesterday I mentioned our visitors in the paddock...........they are two gorgeous horses that are temporarily living there while some work is being done on their usual field in the village. As we hadn't got around to ploughing up any of the paddock and knowing that they needed somewhere to stay, we offered to rent out the grazing for a couple of weeks. As usual when you really want a photo of something (I had promised you after all) it proves impossible to get a decent shot, they seemed to find the bit of grass in the middle extremely tasty for hours yesterday and even with the zoom this is the best I could get.
They seemed fascinated on their first morning here, watching the goings on with the chickens and dogs and cats, then they spotted the little piggies and were even more fascinated. I'm so glad we're entertaining them so well whilst they are here.
As soon as they move out we will be planting a quarter of the paddock with crops to feed us and our animals, and turning part of it into our new bird area, for geese and turkeys, in the meantime we have these lovely creatures to watch. Against the green of the grass their chestnut coats look beautiful. And for once we have animals on the farm that I don't have to do anything for or with. Their owners visit most days to see that they are okay, and I just check that they have water in their trough.
Sue xx


  1. I didn't guess at horses Sue!
    Have a great day -hopefully it's sunny where you are, we've got white cloud a chilly wind today, still we've been lucky recently, so can't complain!
    Donna x

  2. That salad looks scrummy- I do miss having the chickens around for an egg or two- and for their lovely company of course. Jx

  3. Hi Sue

    Thanks for the raised bed advice... Have just been reading your last few posts, catching up, and my heart is sinking with everyone I read when I see the phenomenal set up you have got going!! Those raised beds... lovely neat bark paths... protection nets made using last years rose branches.. it's amazing!!

    And I loved seeing the pictures of the new piggies. Pig nuts sound like a yum snack!

    Sorry to hear about the loss of one of your girls though, although I thought what you wrote about their final hours ritual was very touching.

    Love Charlotte

  4. Great pictures, so pleased you are getting closer and closer to your dream of self sufficiency, well done you and yours for all the hard work you have put in.
    Take care
    Sarah x

  5. I've got a feeling winters are only so horrible because the other seasons are so good in our line of work...

  6. Well done to you and hubby .. How brilliant that you are near to self sufficiency. I think it is amazing what you have achieved. I think I say this a lot on here ha ha.

    I would starve.. useless at growing things etc... still learning how to light a fire !! My hubby says there is no hope for me!

  7. I think the BEEB should come & film you ! You are an inspiration ( do you want four naughty hens ? )!!!

  8. Those eggs (and the whole salad) look amazing! How exciting to be getting close to self-sufficiency - congrats!

  9. I feel so inspired coming over to visit. I got some hens this week and am looking forward to getting our first eggs. This spring weather certainly spurs me on to get seed sowing and planting!


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