Got up this morning to brilliant sunshine. We sat out on the terrace to have our morning cuppa. There had been a really heavy dew over night and everything was wet! It was such a glorious morning that the thought of sitting inside to write this made me not want to do it. So Kev made me a computer shade from an old box and I sat out on the terrace in the sunshine...bliss!
This week Kev has been away from the house for 4 days. It is getting a little bit frustrating as we don't have anytime to get the big jobs done. His one day at home was spent playing catchup...all the jobs that had not been done in the week i.e checking batteries, fixing things and general maintenance.  
On Monday afternoon we recieved a parcel from my lovely mother. She has sent storage tins, moulds for cakes and chocolate and Lakeland Crumpet Cooking Rings x 4 (Includes Recipe). I have been making crumpets with my very small, spring loaded cake tins. They work fine but are just a bit big. Tuesday I made a new batch of crumpets. The rings stuck the first batch but after that they were brilliant, the crumpets just fell out of them. I shall be posting the crumpet recipe on the recipe page in the next week, not the one that comes with the rings another dairy free one.

Wednesday was used to plant up the garden. All of the mounds were planted up witha range of vegetables. I am trying out a lot of different mixes of seed, known as companion planting, to try to deter pests and help the plants to grow well. 

We have had a problem with this mound all week. The chickens love it... they dust bath in it and keep scratching all the straw off of it. I wouldn't mind but they are actually out on the land with loads of room...but they just like to be difficult. We had to catch them all and clip wings again and so far today, none have been in the garden! (touch wood!)
At the weekend I started to change the layout of the fruit tree forest. We have noticed that the pathways I built are not being used and we have a bare patch where we walk to the chicken run. I have decided to dig out this bare patch to make a lower pathway. We are going to fill it full of wood chips to retain more moisture and the soil will go into mounds by the side. This will give us a deeper soil to plant up more summer fruit bushes and hopefully they won't all die on us like our first lot have. 

I am going to make it twice this width and run these around the garden. I am going to leave the rock paths in as they make the garden look nice...they are just not very practical. It's a shame but we learn things here all the time...and better planning before building is just one of those things!
At the weekend we sorted out the dry cured bacon. I had soaked it for about a week to remove the salt. This also plumps up the meat again as it rehydrates it. I boiled the bacon for 2 hours, covered it in honey and slow roasted it for another 2 hours. We have ended up with honey roasted ham and it is delicious.

I think next time we will take the skin off before dry curing it. The skin was lovely when we ate it hot, but as it cools down it goes rubbery. Since we have this for cold meat the skin will not be used...but we know George will enjoy it!
Our 2 turkey toms have had to be seperated  as they are fighting all the time. Since we know Paxo has done his job, there was no real urgency to keep the other male. Sunday morning he was culled and I made turkey sausages as an experiment. We got about 6kg from this one turkey. I mixed salt, pepper, sage and thyme with a little mustard and the turkey. We really liked these. I thought they may be a bit dry and bland as turkey can be, but this was not the case. We have given some to friends to try and await their feedback. They have been made for an event we are going to do here in April, so we are hoping for positive feedback so that these sausages can be used. The next experiment will be lamb and mint, we are just waiting for the lamb to arrive.