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Harvesting the pumpkins

Nearly all the pumpkins and butternut squashes have been picked for this year, its been very dry and warm, ideal ripening conditions. Only a few hangers on of Turks turbans and blue prince varieties are left who look like they are not quiet ready yet so I will wait until their leaves have died back. some blue prince beauties have escaped over the rabbit proof fence (that turned out it wasn't rabbit proof as they were small enough to hop through the wire -must think fencing re think for next year) have mingled and in twined with the stinging nettles, which are truly living up to their name being very stingy, the kind of tingly sting that lasts for ages. They will have to wait until jeans, wellies, long sleeves and gloves are worn as I pull up the nettles for the pigs, which don't seem to mind or maybe they don't feel the stings as they do love nettles, maybe they know how healthy they are for you.

So the pumpkin patch has been weeded, the marigolds need to be dug up and placed somewhere else ready for a bit of manure to be rotavated in then covered ready for next year, I'm thinking of putting tomatoes in their place but once a plan is sketched on paper they may be moved around before going back to the original one. At least I have been organised in buying a planning note book.

As to what to do with all the pumpkins that are now hardening off by laying on the hay bales before coming inside to store they will be made into soup, risotto, lasagna, stuffed, Curry, roasted, mashed and even find their way into a few cakes but no pumpkin pie we don't like pumpkin pie! Recipe books will be searched for new dishes, oh and a few are finding their way to Toulouse, if they can fit into Miss F's bag when she visits.


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Demounting a hanger

Farmer J has brought a second hand hanger. It's an extension to be added on to the farms hanger which  up to last year housed the cows in 2/3rds and hay in the other 1/3. As we now have more cattle and calves the hay space is being converted to house the cattle giving them full access to it.
Only thing is the extension has to be dismantled (and erected when planning permission is granted).

He managed to take down the road crash barriers on the side of it but need my gophering skills today to start taking off the roof. Cold, foggy and damp it was a bit chilly standing around however we did have a visitor, a old lady hunt dog. Once fed and watered (doesn't everyone carry dog food in their car or is it just me?) she found a draught free spot between the hay bales to have a sleep before being called back to her hunter once hunting had finished.

So a 1/3 of the roof is down with the rest to be completed on Monday ready for the metal structure to follow.

Laguepie chestnut fair

Yesturday was he annual chestnut fair at Laguepie, a small village in the Tarn et Garonne. The sun shone which made for an enjoyable time amberling round the market stalls, drinking coffee and eating hot chestnuts. Traditional dances and muscicians put on a display. In previous years there has been a mushroom display showing edible, toxic and fatal fungi in appropriate coloured boxes of green , red and black (leathel ones). I imagine no mushrooms could be found as it has been dry here for a while.

The many varieties of apples grown locally along with walnuts and chestnuts were laid out on tressel tables, so many different types of apples were displayed. As well as chestnuts for sale there was apple juice being made, which at this time of year many villages and organisations invite you to take your non treated apples along to have them pressed into juice for a small fee. We didn't stay for the set menu lunch, each course is chestnut based so you really have to love your chestnuts.