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Showing posts from July, 2013

the sad patch

Last week the veggie patch was looking good.

Today it was a different patch

After the weekends storm I am only hoping it will recover a bit. I am guessing the root veg will be fine even though their top leaves have been squashed and torn. Climbing beans have fared better than the French ones. The broad beans have had it. 
Potato tops look very sad. I have been digging them up fresh from the ground each meal time this makes preparing lunch a little longer as it is far easier to pull them out of the potato keeper in the kitchen than popping to the veg patch but the taste far out ways shop brought. Think I may have to dig them up.
Not a lot of tomatoes will be preserved this year, they are all splitting and marked, some even knocked To the ground.
Even the global artichokes look sad. lots of tidying up to do, only hoping a bit of sun will aid their recovery.

Storm in a tea cup

Well it was a bit bigger than that filling buckets with rain water. Starting Saturday evening with a wind arriving, the sky turning grey with a few large spots of rain. A huge crash of thunder and flash of lightning coincided with farmer J seconds before hand unplugging the equipment in our butchery, it could of been expensive!

We had just finished processing two pigs having a lot of meat in the cold room and freezers.Electricity left us followed by 30 minutes of torrential rain, it was like someone throwing buckets of water down. Hail stones fell, water gushed every where in such a short period of time.

Luckily the generator came into good use, priorities decided - cold room, freezers and electric fencing for the pigs. Damage could of been worse Sunday was spent gathering the gravel of our drive way, removing the mud and stones washed down on the road from the pigs. Water flooded through the bottom wall of the unused part of our gites building so that will need attention very soon. …

Saturday happy photo

An ever hopeful local waits at the butchers stall at Najac's Sunday market.

pig moving again

This morning we managed to move two lots of pigs to their new enclosures. The first two pigs followed the bread and didn't take that long crossing the path.

They are now content and very happy to have a ready made wallow kindly filled by the torrential rain of last night. Boy did it come down with a terrific thunderstorm and lightning illuminating the sky.

The second two took a little longer. Pigs are really scared of crossing over where an electric fence once was. This makes them very difficult to move and patience is needed  to not scare them. Bread treats running low they finally managed to follow the path up with a bunch of other pigs looking on.

Once they crossed the line they moved swiftly into their new enclosure where they are now sniffling and earthing up the green foliage.

For the love of pigs

Mad dogs and English men go out in the midday sun. Not our dogs, they are put inside when it's as hot as it is at the moment. I have always been happy in the thought that our animals have fields with access to shade if they want it.

It is a bit different for the pigs as they are in separate pens some are shadier than others. Our young sow is in the sun, she can't get her whole body in her wallow, time for a move to to the shady side and a rest for her old pen, especially with a heat wave predicted on Thursday - whoopee, can't wait for that.

So this morning it was decided to divide a pen that has a bit of shade into two and move a hut. Posts were banged in, hooks attached (my job as well as chief gopher, go for this, go for that).  Before the electric fence was stringed along the hut had to be moved. Now mid morning with a temperature of 32 degrees and in the full sun, a bit of heaving and hoeing the said hut was up ended down the hill with the one liner I hear so often &q…

Saturday happy photo

Ok I didn't take these. I got Master C to (his far better than me) It's a hummingbird hawk moth loving the lavander. (I think?)

Short back and sides

It's that time of year again. Sheep shearing.  Our two retired ewes fleeces are not the best of quality that's for sure. I have tried spinning and felting with but it is too bouncy. The only place for our two's is the bin or compost. Even then last year I tried to compost them (the fleeces not the sheep) do you think they would rot down - no. I was left with smelly sheep fleece all over the veggie patch and warm mice for the winter. Best place for them the bin. (that is the fleeces, if you talk to farmer J he will say the sheep!)

One year before we sold our small flock we called in a shearer with his electric shears, quick and efficient (and cheap, €2 a fleece) with the shearer taking the fleeces away (to sell for insulation).  It was far easier for farmer J as anyone who has sheared a sheep will know it is a bit tough on the old back.

So the shearer turned up, sheep at the ready it was over in a very short period of time. Some did look as they were turning a bit punky wi…

Simple pleasures

The first two ripe tomatoes. The size of cherry ones, can't remember what they are called but I know they will taste good being home grown.

Finding three ceps in our woods, one a bit nibbled (a slug perhaps? Do they nibble??)  Not a lot was eaten.  I have sliced and dried them in the sun today.

And three eggs  from our new chickens who are a bit camera shy and scared of going out in their run at the moment. Different in size with one laying double yolkers at the moment.

Having a clever husband who can mend your car. Thank you farmer J.

Running away

We were fortunate enough that our wedding anniversary coincided with Miss F staying at home, enabling us to celebrate by a meal and stay overnight here in the village of Sauveterre De Rouergue. A bit off the beaten track it's a beautiful village of France of which there are ten in the Aveyron, Najac also being one.

Based around a central square with roads running off it like a grid.

Although it's now holiday season here it was notably quiet, my favourite hobby of people watching while having a drink at a cafe was a bit of a let down, did managed to hear the young French man try to chat up a couple of American girls, don't think he was in luck they weren't impressed.

We walked around the village which we had visited quiet a few years ago with Farmer J's parents. We tend now not to have time to go off especially when animals need feeding.
Sometimes it's nice to just be somewhere different and not be able to do anything involving work on the farm even if we do si…

Saturday happy photo

Each year we let a local apiarist brings his bees to feed on the sweet chestnut blossom in our woods.

Hay 2013

The last field has been baled for this year. It has been a good harvest, with the extra hay fields that farmer J and his fellow farmer friend were able to access there will be plenty for this year and a stock for next.

                                                                  From growing.

                                                                     To cutting.

                                                                    Letting it dry.

Turning it to dry once more.

                                                                   Then lining it up.

                                                                     Ready to bale.

                  To stay in the field for a few days before it gets stored ready for winter feeding.