Got up this morning before sunrise and it was cold. The temperatures are really dropping at night now. In the mornings when we feed the animals their water containers have a layer of ice over them that we have to break. There has also been a cold northerly wind blowing that makes it feel even colder. Most days the sun is shining so the solar is still working well. In the evenings we have been lighting either the range or the wood burner. This is still enough to warm the house through without both being lit.
This week has been about clearing the vegetable beds. The last of the squash plants have been pulled up and the root bed has been dug over. All of the plants and weeds were put into a water barrel and covered with water. The plants should break down in the water and release their nutrients. This will give us a natural feed with which to feed the fruit trees.



The barrel has a tap on the bottom. This makes it easier to get the tea out.

During the week I noticed that the crocus are in flower finally after 3 years of waiting. So far we have had 4 flowers. The idea was to grow our own saffron. I picked the stamens to dry but 12 isn't going to keep us going for very long, but on the bright side it's a start. We are hoping to get more bulbs and plant them out on the terracing. 

The weekend was spent helping our friend the shepherd sort out his almond trees. He just hasn't had time to even pick them. The problem was that you use a net around the base of the tree to catch the nuts. It was so windy that the net kept blowing away. Just after lunch time we had to admit defeat and come home. We spent the afternoon husking the nuts and now have 20 kg sitting on the terrace.
The chickens in the run were let out onto the land for the first time. We thought that the 2 cockerels would fight but they seem to be tolerating each other. The first day they took great delight in scratching in the compost bins. After a few days they were beginning to investigate a wider area, but they always come running back to the pen at feeding time. 
Another job was to decant the wine into clean demi johns to remove the rubbish at the bottom. This took me 4 hours. But the wine actually tastes like wine. It will be interesting to see the difference in taste between the 3 different types, once it has aged in the bottles. We should be bottling it in the next couple of weeks.



All done!