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Another step towards the Good Life

>Baby step by baby step we are getting our smallholding up and running – its a 5 year plan (don’t I sound like Chairman Mao !) but we are at least heading in the right direction

Veggie patch-wise we’ve really made progress this year and now have 4 beds up and running. Unless the rabbits / nunkjack deer manage to find a way through the netting we should be able to harvest the following over the course of the summer
– raspberries
– broccoli
– french beans
– sugar snaps
– spinach
– salad leaves
– potatoes (incredibly the ones that got frosted last autumn reappeared without any intervention from us)
– sweet peas
I’m really looking forward to being able to serve our own grown – even the small amount of spinach we grew last year was incredibly satisfying to have

The chickens have finally decided to occasionally lay after all the traumas of Winky getting taken by the fox, Wonky having to be rescued by me literally from the jaws of another fox and littlest hen decided to go broody – its not back to the levels of last year but some eggs at least are coming our way from the girls

I’ve a batch of elderflower champagne fermenting away in the kitchen and am about to set off a batch of elderflower cordial – can’t wait to be able to serve up something that I’ve made from things we’ve grown. Ok so the elderflower tree hasn’t required a lot of intervention from us but its still homegrown

The fruit trees we planted down the bottom of the field appear to have settled in and are happily growing away – hopefully in a couple of years we’ll have nice mature pear, apple and damson trees growing down the field. The other fruit trees around the place are looking a lot happier than last year

All in all it might not be the good life quite yet but we’re on the way – just need to find a beekeeping course and someone to sell me a piglet !

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2 comments to Another step towards the Good Life

  • The Dotterel

    >I'm looking for a good recipe for elderflower champagne/cordial. How hard is it to make?

  • Muddling Along Mummy

    >Its really not hard at all – for cordial take 30 heads of elderflower, 6 lemons (cut up, zest and juice) and bung in a preserving pan. Boil up 2 litres of water with 1 kilo of sugar (roughly speaking I prefer my lemony so tend to go heavy lemons but you can also cut down the sugar) and once cooled add to the flowers and lemons.

    Leave to infuse for 24 hours then strain (ideally through a muslin) and bottle. Keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks or alternatively put in plastic bottles and freeze for future use

    Not actually got any champagne to get going – for some reason my elderflowers seem short of natural yeast

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