Saturday, November 3, 2012


Winter is officially here. According to Pagan beliefs and the Celtic calendar the first of November marks the start of winter, a time when animals were moved down to winter grazing from the hill sides, a time to take stock of both animals and food supplies for the winter months. Keeping up the tradition, our own produced meats supplies are now in the freezer, and plans are being made for next years crops.
It has been an interesting year regarding production of poultry for the table, specifically the ducks. Ducks that we reared ourselves as opposed to those reared by mum were larger, with more fat on them. The ones that the duck reared had a far larger ranging area then our own brooded ones, but that run was also shared by six full grown ducks, we always make sure that there is plenty of feed, and there would always be some left when it came to supper time so I don't think it was a case of the youngsters not getting enough to eat but more a case of using up their energy following mum. Next year we will take over the brooding even if the mums do the hatching, and keep the ducklings in a more confined run.
With the start of winter the weather has also changed, it is now very chilly with several frosts, quite windy and rain, the hens don't like it one bit, but they all have nice warm dry houses and the pullets also have lighting which comes on for them at 4am, it would be a shame, now they have started laying to disrupt them and hens do need 13-14 hours of light to keep laying.
Fruit of the Sea Buckthorne.
Dunguaire Castle

We had a trip to the Galway coast  earlier this week to the very pretty fishing village of Kinvara, it has an interesting restored castle there, Dunguaire Castle, which dates back to 1520. There are also many traditional thatched cottages in the area.

Traditional West of Ireland Thatched Cottage
We also discovered Sea Buckthorn growing by the coast, something I had not seen before, we took cuttings which may or may not strike, depending on which web site you are looking at, we also collected some of the fruit which requires three months in the fridge before planting. Hopefully we will get some success and any plants we manage to grow will be planted in our wind break/ bird feeding hedgerow. The leaves look very much like willow, and is also deciduous and is very thorny.

1 comment:

  1. We used to have "forests" of sea buckthorn in the dunes behind a local beach in Kent/Sussex, Camber Sands. It grew as a complete ground cover layer but only about 2 feet high. The dogs would chase about under it looking for the (multitude of) rabbits and come out beautifully combed!