Happy Nevruz. Here we celebrate the anniversary of the blog on the vernal equinox when the time of darkness and light equalise. The vernal equinox is also often taken as the first day of spring and is the Persian new year. Nevruz means new day. And as we start to watch eggs hatch, seedlings grow and all our lovely campers come back it is a perfect time to think about what happened last year and look forward to our adventures this year.
So here is a quick overview of our last year – very quick as this weekend I have got to not only finish the new currant patch, but I need to make a special new duckling shed in anticipation of our new arrivals (squeak squeak), vaccinate sheep., check bees, plant seeds, train dog etc.
We started the year by breaking ground on the new toilet block build which gradually took shape over the course of the season and is now officially named as Harold’s Abode of Felicity. This is just phase one of two – we need to save up the money for the next stage, but it is looking good.
In April our 4 pregnant Jacob ewes lambed 8 healthy lambs – 4 ewe lambs and 4 ram lambs – the first born here at the smallholding.
In June my beloved Daisy Dog died (and I still cry as I write this) and I miss her every single day.
On a happier note in June we established our hugelkultur beds
and grew squash, cabbages, leeks and cauliflowers on them.
Throughout the summer we had lots of help from lovely campsite kids with feeding the pigs, alpacas and chickens during egg collection.
and we also had the magic of hugging Inky Dinky Do
We grew enough fruit and vegetables to keep us in food – and not just courgettes
And made lots of delicious vegetarian and vegan meals – including these borlotti beans
The giant fruit cage was built and is nearly planted up.
We kept Berkshire, Oxford, Sandy and Black and Gloucester Old Spot pigs
and cured and ate our first spalla and prosciutto and continued making bacon and pancetta from our own pigs. We also continued to sell our lovely free-range home-reared sausages and bacon as well as eggs and jams.
We had lovely visits from friends and family
And of course we bought and started to renovate the food truck for our future pop-up cafe
But let’s not forget the sneak peak we had into synchronised chicken flowers
And lastly we started the foundations for our new glamping bell tent, but that is an adventure for this coming year. Who knows what other adventures will start …. will we get the goats? Will I manage to get more than 3 jars of honey from the bees? How many strawberries will Strawberry World produce …. and do I hear rumours of a poly tunnel?
A very happy nevruz to everyone who follows us along on this journey and may the coming year bring you all happiness and adventures that don’t make you late for tea.
N.B. for Nevruz 2015 see here.