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Last week

With  farmer J not back until Monday afternoon the morning was spent hosting a Neal Yard party, such lovely smells and products its hard to choose what is needed. Face masks and hand massages were enjoyed along with coffee and cake.

 The last of last years logs have now been stacked under cover ready for next year with space now made for logs to be chopped and stacked in their place.

Figs have now started to ripen as they don't last long once picked but seem to freeze well a grand picking session will have to be done as well as making jam, enjoying them fresh with granola and yogurt and baking them with cinnamon.

Along with figs blackberries have started to be picked for the freezer, wine and steeping in whisky, a time consuming job completed on dog walks (although its a bit of a fight with Franklin as to who picks them first), animal care and jobs to be done. As well as blackberries sloes and rose hips need to be collected, not sure what is the worst in pricking fingers it would be so much easier if no thorns were involved.

Sandy has been unwell this week, enough to stop her eating for three days and just laying in her cabin. She couldn't even be tempted with greens or bread. A while back we had four other pigs in the same enclosure with the same problem, all got over it after a few days so hopefully it wont be long before she is back to normal.

After picking Miss F up from the train station on Sunday morning we popped up to Najac. It's gone very quiet with just a few market stalls left.
The pigs are happy to see a new face we are too - more hands to pick that fruit.


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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.