Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Creating space. Straw Bale Progress.


We started off with one Freezer, trying to convince ourselves that one would be sufficient, this was an upright drawer type, the theory being it would be easier to find stuff, we also promised ourselves that we would not freeze veg or fruit.
 It soon became obvious that one freezer would not be sufficient, so a second one was bought, again a drawer type, quickly followed by a small chest freezer, just for poultry, then the forth one joined us, for the over flow! We might just have well bought a large chest freezer .
 We still can't find things, as soon as you take anything out, to make space it's impossible to get stuff back in with out leaving air space which costs to keep cool.
 Plenty of veg found it's way into the freezers, why do veg all have to come at the same time? Broad beans freeze well as do Peas so they got frozen, French beans and Fennel also freeze OK, Runner Beans, Cauliflower and Broccoli don't do well but that hasn't stopped us with the exception of the Runners, which we have salted.
 Then there is the fruit, Lemons, Oranges, Gooseberries, Blackberries and Raspberries all found their way in the freezer, but now is the time for the poultry to be slaughtered, the Hubbards are up to weight as are the La Brese and the Cornish Game fowl we also have quail waiting to be slaughtered. Time to start processing fruit.
Marmalade, again.
We were out of Marmalade, so more has been made.
Such a beautiful colour.
The twelve pounds of Blackberries have now been turned into Blackberry Cordial, these yielded six pints of juice which after straining through the jelly bag overnight
Boiling the juice.
then boiled with sugar and cardamom,
then into sterilised bottles which are then boiled in a hot water bath for ten minutes
Vitamin C in a bottle.
      to complete the process,
Fast running out of jars.
the Gooseberries have now been bottled.
 Raspberries and Lemons will remain until we need to use them in a dessert, they don't take up too much space. Whether we have created enough space for fifteen birds plus the quail remains to be seen. We won't be short of food this year that's for sure.
The apples that we bought last week at the Farmers market have now all been sorted, those which are perfect have been wrapped in news paper and stored in a box in a very cool spot, the less perfect ones will be used or bottled in the next week if I can find any bottles that is.
I now have plenty of apples for the West Country Spiced Apple cake, it's a simple cake to make and quite delicious.
The Straw  building is progressing well, the first coat of internal plaster has been applied and our helper, who is quite an artist has used the natural contours to create  sculptures,
the living roof is now growing, we haven't planted it yet it's just seeds that were in the compost already, I still hope that we will have mainly Clover on it though as Clover forms a good root mat.
For the door panel.
      I have done the last of the glass paintings for the
         windows and door,
Magic Mushrooms. 
 and Simon is busy carving mushrooms for the garden.
With luck the whole area should be quirky and full of character.
Jasper the latest kitten is a little unwell at the moment he has an infection so the vet came out to him and gave him a couple of injections, Sparkie is a little upset as his playmate is rather quiet, but he has decided that kitchen towel is a great thing to play with and is doing a cat version of the Andrex puppy.
Thanks Sparkie, just what we need, lots of shredded kitchen towel all over the kitchen.
Mico at work.


  1. The straw bale building is looking fab, did you see the cob house on Grand designs this week, they have copied your idea of sculpting the walls ;)

  2. No we missed Grand designs, I think it coincides with something else. We built a Straw bale house many years ago and we sculpted the walls there, but nothing like the work of art that Mico has created.
    Thank you for the inspiration on the mushrooms, I loved yours, hence setting O.H to work.

  3. Brilliant progress on the straw bale house and I love that multi coloured door glazing panel!

  4. The door panel took the shortest time of all the panels to paint, just two hours from designing it to finish.

  5. Wow! The straw bale house is looking fab. Liking Simon's shrooms too and of course your glass panels are lovely. Well done all round!

    1. I love the mushrooms, they bring magic to me. Really pleased with how the strawbale is progressing, I loved doing the glass panels, now looking to see what else I can decorate.