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July 2020

Still in lock down the weather is definitely not as warm as May but we continue to press on with jobs. The grass finally got going, we gave it a little boost with some seed just to cover the bare patches.
The ‘Orchard’ is looking good, I use the word orchard in the loosest way possible as there are only two apple trees with a few plum trees on the boarder, but after a lot of hard work we have finally created a flat piece of land and so our plans for the garden are beginning to take shape.
Our little pigs are not so little any more and all have been weaned from their mums, We need to watch carefully when weaning happens as pigs have delicate digestive systems.
This time one of the smallest of piglets took a turn for the worst when the weather changed so we brought her inside, she’s been named!! Penny...(the poorly pig). It only took a couple of weeks before Penny was much, much better and we now have a little helper at feeding up time, although her idea of helping is to eat all the food. She even likes to help milk the goat! Of course we can never reintroduce her back into the herd, she will never be accepted and so when the inevitable day arrives it will be a little harder and a little sadder but we know she will have had the best life possible.
We found the pile of eggs, hidden behind the straw. The rain meant we used a little more than expected for June so the end of the bale came and hey presto there was the clutch, all due for the bin (unfortunately) but at least she is laying with the others now. You cant get fresher than a morning laid egg, the perfect compliment to a packet of bacon or sausages.
We have a small co operative starting up in the dale, our neighbours Farndale Farm breed beef cattle, hoggart lamb and right at the very top end we now have a wonderful supply of organic salad and veg all seasonal and super tasty.

June 14th 2020

Two weeks into the month of June and for a while we thought winter may have returned we’ve had so much wind and rain. Thankfully as I write this the sun is shining and we have reappeared out of hibernation. The pigs don’t seem to mind the mud, they’re sometimes difficult to see when they become so covered in it but they continue to do well, snuffling around.
The arrival of two large litters last September gave us the opportunity to keep some of the girls on to bacon weight, and we are really pleased with the results. The bacon is, we think some of the best we’ve had, especially when Hickory Smoked. For those who may wish to try smoking at home we get our wood dust from a company called Hot Smoked, great product great packaging and loads of different flavours. It really is easy and their website opens up a host of different ideas to try.
Berties back in business and enjoying the company of Moss, the two will soon become three when Bracken joins them. Fingers crossed 4 months and we should have even more beautiful healthy piglets.
The goats are loving being outside and all that the grass has to offer. Eliza and Hazel are still a little timid but they will happily take food from your hand and occasionally allow their noses to be tickled. Daisy the youngest, is adorable and comes for cuddles all the time, she really takes after her mum Leisle who continues to give us a plentiful supply of milk, a good source of protein for the pigs.
Our four re homed chickens have settled into their laying routine, although since we moved them from the orchard they are free to roam the shed and every day is a game of hunt the egg. We can only ever find three. There is an egg that is alluding us. One day we’ll find a pile hidden behind a box somewhere!
In the garden the black currants are waiting to ripen, the gooseberries are almost ready, and finally the elder is in flower. So the recipe books have been scoured searching for anything fresh, zingy and cool. We’ve added a couple of ideas here along with the pork dishes we’ve been trying out this month.