Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The Farmers at The Larches

Busy? You betya!

Since last we spoke The Archers have been playing at being farmers. There's the daily harvest from the walled garden, the burping of the Elderflower Champagne in the cellar. There's cleaning chickens, collecting eggs. The daily push back at mother nature is becoming an hourly task as I strip weeds from vulnerable sweet peppers and physically remove caterpillars the size of an infant's arm, from the cabbage. [Note to self: cover the cabbages next year!]

Tabby, our most jock-like cat, is very helpful on the cabbage front; by hiding under the plants, he finds he can stop the process at source by eating as many butterflies as he can catch, - 'bout 9 a day, we reckon.

Benny, our James Bond-like cat, has been slightly lack-lustre for a couple of days. A less compliant prey appears to have caught him on the face with a claw or tooth, this caused an abscess and a fierce temperature. I am chucking tablets down his neck morning and evening from the vet and already he's vastly improved.

To ensure a plentiful winter I'm cooking and freezing vast quantities of ratatouille at the moment. (My recipe, so the kids are calling it Rata-mamma - Good name!)

The plums are a week away from ripe, the blackberries any day now and I'm sure I saw some sloes down the field - vodka-everything here we come.....

The other day we ate a plate of food with food miles of almost zero; local pork chops with my garlic, our potatoes with local butter and our chives, our apple sauce and our Rata-mamma. For pudding there was cherry pie, (thanks to a donation of local cherries by a farmer.) Quite special really.... Hugh Fearnley-Wotsit would be so proud...


***

We three, the sproglets and I, went to a friend's house at the beach for a couple of days. 4 mums and 8 children was really fun, I kid you not. The beach on the welsh coast was beautiful, 100 miles away on tiny winding roads, it was originally a little fishing village. The sandy protected bay was great for the babes who ran in and out of the sea all day long. The only bad part was that I erased all my photos from my memory card.... I'm very cross with myself. Hubby thinks he may have a magical programme to reinstate them - we'll see.

***

As I write, a tractor is tractoring (what is the correct verb I wonder?) up and down Home field outside my window, it is turning the golden hay. I can't believe that we arrived to The Larches only last year - the 28th August. Funny really, as it seems like we've been here forever and I wouldn't change a thing.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon