Nevruz 2016

 

turkey-and-duck-eggs.jpgHappy 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.

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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.

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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.

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and then later in the year we took three to the abattoir and had brain fritters, sweetbreads and other deliciousness.

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We hatched out lots of turkey poults, Pekin ducklings, Ixworth and blue-egg laying chicks – some in the incubator and some under silkies.

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We raised and slaughtered our first heritage meat birds – the Naked Necks

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I continued my adventures as a bad beekeeper, killed a few queens (accidentally) but managed to increase my hives to 4 and got 3, yes 3, jars of honey.

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In June my beloved Daisy Dog died (and I still cry as I write this) and I miss her every single day.

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but in October we held our first annual Daisy Dog Day  celebration  on the campsite, planted a tree (complete with turkey heads)  and had a great party.

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My little white cat of healing Twinkletoes, and Mao who lived with our friends in Bristol also  died this year and we miss them.

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On a happier note in June we established our hugelkultur beds

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and  grew squash, cabbages, leeks and cauliflowers on them.

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Throughout the summer we had lots of help from lovely campsite kids with feeding the pigs, alpacas and chickens during egg collection.

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and we also had the magic of hugging Inky Dinky Do

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We grew enough fruit and vegetables to keep us in food – and not just courgettes

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And made lots of delicious vegetarian and vegan meals – including these borlotti beans

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The giant fruit cage was built and is nearly planted up.

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We kept Berkshire, Oxford, Sandy and Black and Gloucester Old Spot pigs

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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.

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Lovely Kainaat qualified and won a UD open working dog trial and we stepped up his training working the sheep.

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We had lovely visits from friends and family

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And of course we bought and started to renovate the food truck for our future pop-up cafe

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But let’s not forget the sneak peak we had into synchronised chicken flowers

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and the duck pond we made on Christmas day

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We also managed some days out and time away: I swam at Shingle Street a few times and we went to Cornwall and Somerset on holiday where we walked, and ate, slept and found fossils

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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.

 

10 responses to “Nevruz 2016

  1. Pingback: Vernal Equinox | smallholding dreams·

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