Friday, October 4, 2013

Straw Bale progress. New Arrival. Hedgerow colour.

Progress is being made with the straw bale project,
the roof timbers are now in place, next they will be covered with  recycled fiberglass roofing sheets kindly donated by  friends who were replacing their sunroom roof  with polycarbonate. She  has a very good blog about living sustainably, and is a mine of information about growing.
On Tuesday we received a phone call from a neighbour who had had a young cat turn up on her doorstep wondering if we knew of anyone who had lost one. As we live quite a distance from other houses it seemed unlikely that it had just wandered to our neighbour who herself lives several hundred meters from us and quite a distance from other houses. We decided we would have a look at this cat in case we recognised it, we seem to know all the cats in the neighbourhood. Well this cat turned out to be a kitten about twelve weeks old and very hungry, we offered to take it back to our place and hope it's rightful owners would turn up.
We don't think there is too much chance of that, kitten was very hungry, had very bad ear mites and was very wormy, all this has now been dealt with, he has been named Jasper and is loved by all our other cats
including Sparkie who now has another kitten to play with and impress. Jasper has settled in well and has put on a lot of weight, he's lovely.
The hedge rows are now looking wonderful, full of berries and colour,
we have picked 3kg of Elderberries and they are being processed into wine, unfortunately it wont be ready for a year or more, we will look forward to it next year.
There are so many rose hips around this year,
I would have made rose hip syrup but Simon does not like it and there is not much point in making it just for myself so they have been left for the birds to enjoy.
The Blackberries continue to deliver their lovely fruit, I have never known such a good or long season for them as this one has proved to be.
The Hawthorne bushes are also loaded with fruit, the haws can be made into a tincture which is of benefit to the heart, they are already sheading their leaves.
The Rowans are also laden with berries which can be made into Rowan jelly, it goes well with any game, I have too much else on at the moment so I will be giving these a miss this year.
 Trees are slowly changing colour,
the Ash is now a golden yellow and is one of the first trees to loose it's leaves,  and one of the last to get it's leaves in the Spring.
 The beautiful sunsets continue and the weather is still very mild with moths, butterflies and  bees still around.
I am slowly planting all the new bulbs, only another few hundred to go, I will get there in the end providing my back holds out.
I have made a start on the glass painted windows for the straw bale building, I do wonder if this building will end up being used for the purpose that we had intended, it already has taken on it's character, it feels lovely inside and brings back happy memories of our Straw Bale house.
 Plans are being made for the garden that surrounds it, including a stone circle. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, it is already providing inspiration.


  1. Lovely glass designs Anne. We've just been out picking Elderberries today. Going to set too now and strip them off the stalks.

  2. Thanks Bridget, I have one more to do, I do wish my hand was steadier though. Have now put the Elderflower wine into the Demijohns, it bubbling away very vigorously.

  3. Ah, just wrote a comment and clicked sign out instead of publish..woops! Jasper looks so adorable! So great that Sparkie has another little kitten full of energy to play with. How did Tess take to him? Great photos, beautiful colourful berries and that sunset is gorgeous. Really lovely glass designs and can't believe how quickly you put up the straw bale, there's going to be so much to see when we're next over! xxx

  4. Jasper and Sparkie adore each other, Jasper is suffering from hero worship. Tess is well Tess, she loves everyone and everything, Jasper has no fear of her and at last Sparkie has now accepted that there really is such a thing as a dog. The roof panels are now up, not too sure when the earth will be added.

  5. Hello Anne,
    I am following your progress on the straw bale house, its coming along quite nicely. I just love Jasper, he looks so much like my Sammy. You and your family are such wonderful caretakers of these homeless creatures. We have such a problem in the states with what they call throw away animals. Our shelters are filled to the brim.
    Your elderberries are marvelous, I just planted some this year and hope they are half as good as yours. I have never heard of Hubbard hens where do they originate from. Putting last of the tomatoes in the freezer today.
    My best to you and especially to Tess for being such a loveable dog.

  6. Hi Carole, The Hubbard I believe is an American breed started by Oliver and Ira Hubbard in 1921 after Oliver had graduated from New Hampshire Agricultural College. They are available from a hatchery in Warpole N.H, is that very far from you? As for rescuing cats, most of our older cats are either rescue or the off spring from rescue, they seem to find their way to us, most of the dogs that we have had were also rescued.