The nights are really pulling in here now. It is now dark by 6pm. The temperatures are falling as the sun goes down, but we still haven't had a really cold night here yet. Temperatures are around 10 degrees at night and up to 25 during the day. We seem to be busier than ever now but I think really it's just because the days are shorter and we are trying to cram lots into each day. We are lighting the range every other day now...just to cook on. It is still warm enough in the house to go without a fire but by the end of November it won't be. We have moved the wood burner in the front room and it still needs to have the pipes put through the wall so that we can light it. This is a priority job over the next 2 weeks, but I don't think Kev is looking forward to the drilling, as the walls to the house are so thick.
Last Monday was the day for repairing anything that needs it. Kev fixed the gate to one of the rabbit runs, as it had come off it's hinges. He sorted the curtain rail in the front room so now we can pull the curtains without it moving! He also used this day to check the batteries and top them up with distilled water. This is really important. The levels need to be kept relatively constant for the batteries to function well.

2 banks of batteries to store all our power in.
We still haven't had any rain here and it is telling on the animals. Normally by now there would be lots of green shoots for them to eat but this year everything is bare and dry. We only have just over a month left until the turkeys should be slaughtered for Christmas and they haven't really put on as much weight as we would have liked. We had to do something. We placed feeders out on the land...hanging from trees and put corn into them each day. They are high enough that the chickens cannot get to them and also make the turkeys work for the food too. This is not an ideal situation for us but we need to get our money back for feeding them and so we need to fatten them up. We thought this was a compromise at least until the rains come.

Monday our friend the shepherd turned up with 3 bags of meat for us. We are trying to run the freezer down for end of November when we are having a whole pig delivered and we couldn't even fit all this meat in the freezer. Some was kept out and a mammoth cooking session was done on Tuesday. I made stew, pasties, pie and bolognaise sauce. The pasties were for Kev to take out with him when he is working to give him something substantial to eat at lunch time. We have sold some of the meat and are hoping to exchange some for a delivery of fire wood from some friends of ours.

Home made pasties!
I spent 3 days digging out rocks, moving them into the garden and building another stone wall. This one is tiering the vegetable beds as we found that only half of the beds could be planted up because of the bedrock just under the surface of the soil. We are hoping that this Spring we will be able to plant a lot more salad crops, squashes and spinach as they don't need really deep soil to grow in.

This is as far as I have got. It is really hard work...but a good work out!
Kev went and fetched another carload of wood in the week. This is small stuff for the range. Saturday morning he spent sawing it up into useable bits and I was stacking it in the wood store. We then went out in the afternoon and started to saw up an old carob tree that had fallen last winter. We managed to get about half of it back Saturday and Sunday morning we finsihed it off. We have boxes of sticks to light the fires with, wood for the range and also some for the wood burner. Carob wood is a hard wood and so burns slowly. It is brilliant for the wood log lasts all night once the fire is going.

The front garden is looking a bit like a wood yard. We just need to saw it all up and stack it now ready for winter. Although there still isn't enough, it is a good start!