Saturday, 31 August 2013

A New Receptionist

On Wednesday Tim had his 60th birthday. To "celebrate???" he cycled 75 miles to London to present a cheque to Farm Africa raised from his challenges during his 60th. year.
Here is a link to see him arriving.
What an incredible achievement. Well done Tim.

Here is another link to read more about Tim`s fund-raising.

Tonight we are celebrating in the barn with a party.
Maybe more photos later.
It is NOT a barn dance.

Whilst they were on their way to London Steve and I put the latest scarecrow together.
We had a lot of fun doing it.
Tim wanted a new "receptionist" for the reception hut...... farmers are always so busy!!

Anne gave us Tim`s old clothes.
Steve articulated all the limbs so that it can be placed in any position and I can tell you it was in quite a few compromising ones as it was being made.....perhaps why we giggled so much.

This photo shows the articulation.

Yes it is stuffed double tights.

A headless body.

Getting friendly.

A helping hand.

A trip in the car to the farm.

In the reception hut.

You will notice that the final touch was a solar panelled spotlight which shines on his face at night.

The following day Tim discovered his new receptionist and as Anne said.....
"not saying very much but with a nice smile."
They saw a light in the yard and went to was the solar light making things look a little spooky!


Friday, 30 August 2013

Harvest for All

We made a late afternoon visit to the garden mainly to harvest........main onion crop, red cabbages, French beans, courgettes, sweetcorn and carrots. What with the flowers for drying, it takes quite a while to sort through it all when we get home.
Anne and her dad were in the Wool Barn and we all marvelled at Tim`s cycle ride on Wednesday 
(a separate post) 
They were checking over an incubator as Holly has bought some fertilised eggs.
Paula, my sister arrived soon after with the home-made cakes for sale.
After checking over the pond, we were debating whether the frogs were Common frogs or Marsh frogs.
Anne`s dad thinks they are Marsh frogs because Common frogs are not usually calling at this time of the year and ours are VERY vociferous. I will try to record the sound.
I have found a superb website called UK Safari and it helps you identify any creature you may find.
I used it to find this....
it is a Sycamore moth caterpillar.

 Steve harvested our main crop of onions. We are very pleased with it.

In the meantime I decided we had better pick the pears. 
Quite a few have disappeared and this is what has been happening....


I gathered the remaining ones which are not quite ripe. I may preserve them but not sure how yet.
They are the first ones we`ve had from this tree.

Paula  and I picked tomatoes and cucumbers, trimmed more mildewed leaves, watered, and fed them all.

 We are trying elderberry wine this year. 
Look out all those family members and friends who get a plot box for Christmas.

Tim and William have been harvesting today. On the way home we stopped to see their progress round the field. The farm is in the background.

There were two huge red cabbages weighing a whopping ten pounds.
Steve looks a trifle bemused about what he can do with them.
Several people we know like pickled red cabbage. More Christmas ideas?

The insides are quite stunning.

Finally, I found this in the greenhouse the other day.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Tranquil Evening

A lovely peaceful visit to the garden today. It was still very warm. A dog was barking in the distance.
The sun was lower in the sky giving everything a rosy glow.

We really went to harvest flowers and vegetables but I couldn`t resist some weeding after the recent rain.
I am preparing some ground for some small Spring bedding seedlings.
Forgetmenots, wallflowers, sweet williams and bellis daisies.

The onions will soon be ready to lift.

Steve is lifting a row of potatoes in the distance.

The borlotti beans are coming on.

Our harvest today.

The sweetpeas are still lingering.

Our chicken scarecrow on the gatepost is looking a bit sad.
Needs a spruce-up.
We will be going tomorrow to do some real work.

Friday, 23 August 2013

C obbing Complete

I am happy to blog the completion of the cobbing on our cob shed.
It is looking very good.
It was a baking hot day. We started with a swim and picnic at Pett Level. The sea was rough but not as cold as earlier this week.
After collecting all the veggies, Paula, Steve and Anne set to on the last 3 loads.

Today`s harvest.

 There was quite a lot of excitement
It has been VERY hard work so quite a relief to finish.

Some people tried to have a mud facemask at the same time.

Afterwards there was time to relax as the chickens had a good scratch round 
and dustbath outside their run.

The next project will be constructing the roof.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


I have scarecrows on the brain.....(shades of Oz here I think)
The reason is secret at the moment.
But it is reminding me of last year at this time when I was creating another "secret."
It was so secret that it didn`t get posted on the blog at all.

My cousins Carolyn and Joanne and her daughter Victoria were all celebrating special birthdays and we were invited to a big party at Garston. We camped at Joanne and Jonathan`s  
farm where the party was held.
As a birthday present we made a scarecrow for Joanne, who dances with the Garston Gallopers, 
 a Morris group. The scarecrow was dressed as a Morris dancer.

.......with a bit of artistic license.

 Joanne and Jonathan entertaining us.

The lovely head dresses with real flowers.

For September it was very cold as the evening wore on but the party was a great success.
We all had a great time.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pickling Paradise and Bumblebees

It`s been hot. The gardens have been full of all kinds of insects including bumblebees and butterflies..
If you want to know which plants will attract bees you couldn`t go far wrong with cardoons....a statuesque plant which needs space but my goodness it will repay with the bumblebees it attracts. This one is in our garden but I am hoping to get some started at Freshwinds. They really are quite spectacular.
This little film may make you feel wasn`t my filming technique but a slight breeze.

I did notice the little blobs on this bee`s back but it wasn`t til I had a closer look on my computer that I realised that it was a colony of mites. I thought it was pollen!!

Is this one of the problems with our bumblebbes?
More pictures.

I also spotted this tiny butterfly on our lavender. I have not yet been able to identify it. I hope Belinda can help.

The edges of the wings are worth a closer look.

These are my cucumelons soaking in brine ready to be pickled. They might be a bit like gherkins.

 Pickled onions.

Pickled red cabbage.

What to do with all the cucumbers!! There are 5 more on the table and 4 were given away this morning.

There are now enough tomatoes to make our own tomato sauce.

Our chilli collection so far. The two in the bottom right hand corner are called "Heat Wave." Haven`t tried them yet. The pleasure!!!! is still to come.

Steve has been busy building an owl nesting box for one of the barns.

 I have been making owl cushions and using an old pattern from the 70`s 
to make this rather retro owl toy.

Great summer so far...... a swim in the sea this a.m. at Pett Level....... extremely calm, 
like a millpond as they say, but it was cold!!!!