What’s for dinner Mum?

Today saw the first of our courgettes harvested..Yay!…along with more early peas, various salad leaves, chard, tree spinach, rocket, mizuna, red orach, various herbs and other edible goodies.. and as always we have eggs from our quail and hens and milk, cheese and yogurt etc from our wonderful dairy goats.  ….and maybe we’ll have butter soon too, if I can get my hands on a cheap or free cream separator!

So today’s dinner was this delight for the eyes and palate.  As you can see my daughter was quite happy with what I served up! . “What’s for dinner Mum?”  ..A rainbow.. xxx

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Fresh laid eggs used in an omelette with courgette, peas, chives, onions and garlic ..all from the garden..a few dots of  home-made kefir cheese melted into it under the grill..Served with a medley of salad leaves: including tree spinach, red orach, nasturtium leaves, various frilly / oak leaf lettuces, both red and green varieties, mizuna, pea shoots, raw peas, borage flowers, chive flowers, chives, cos lettuce, rocket and shredded spring onions. .and a home-baked bread roll. … all washed down with home-made elderflower cordial.

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Pretty and tastes great too!

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When is a duckling not a duckling?

….when it’s a keet /chick or course!! Well that was the answer to our conundrum this morning. We set some ‘duck eggs’ in the incubator a while ago. They were gifted to us by a friend of my parents ..as duck eggs to incubate..or at least that’s what we were told!….and lo and behold today we heard that familiar’ cheeping;’ coming from inside the incubator (slightly earlier than expected)  and peeked inside to find not a duckling in sight.. but two very dark and large chicks which we believe may be guinea fowl keets.  haha! Not quite what we were expecting!  Two eggs are still to hatch. so we shall await their appearance with bated breath! One egg is larger than the other so maybe we will get a duckling after all?  Who knows?

Below is a pic of the keets/chicks?  Not a duckling in sight!

ImageAnd here are a couple of them when they are almost dry.

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Recent happenings…

Just a quick catch up and an opportunity to post some photos taken with my new (to me) camera. I am just getting to grips with all the settings on it, so bear with me.

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As is usual it has been a busy few days here at Riverside. I have spent time weeding, watering and planting out more young veg plants and more willow whips. My broad beans are smothered in flowers this year!  So pretty! The garden is looking great and I really feel as though I have made some worthwhile permaculture progress this year with more top and soft fruit planted and more native trees too.

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We  have had a few  Spring hatchings.  As you know we hatched our quail eggs in the incubator a few weeks ago.  You can see the newly hatched chicks here... and you can see the latest photos of them that I took today when I moved them to a larger brooder cage.. They are almost off heat now and are fully feathered, which really shows how fast they mature. The females start laying at just 6 weeks old!

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The wild moorhen ( Mildred)  hatched her babies in a nest on my pond recently too. The chicks have been  making the most of the warmer weather and  have been sunbathing on top of a clump of marsh marigolds with their mum each day,  but they move SO fast that I have failed miserably to get a photo that is worth sharing! I will continue to try, but for now here is a photo of one of the goat kids, Heather, having fun in the sun today.

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My pied Sussex hen (Blackberry) hatched four of her five eggs, but sadly one chick didn’t survive. (See pics of her and her three surviving babies below). Very cute chicks. Two are dark grey with cream under bellies..and one is a pale dusky blue/ cream. An unusual colour. The sire of these chicks was a red and blue frizzle cross called Rowan. He is the friendliest and least aggressive of our cockerels here.  So we shall have to see what their mature feathering turns out to be like! We also have some mixed duck eggs in the incubator due to hatch, the beginning of June.

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One of my geese ( Holly-Hot-Pants)  is sitting tight  on her well-tended, deep feather lined nest and is due to hatch her eggs fairly soon. She is not even coming off to eat and drink  (and is looking a little bedraggled, bless her) so I am running the gauntlet with the gander charging at me every day as I place food and water within her reach.

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We are still awaiting Marigold’s kidding and she is looking fit and well and still has a ravenous appetite. Barley, a blue frizzle cross cockerel, has taken to sleeping with her inside her goat shed  every night and he spends a large part of the day sitting on her hindquarters crowing his head off! They are inseparable!  I think she likes having her back tickled by his feet  🙂

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ImageI have been blessed to have help here this weekend, so some much-needed DIY was definitely in order!

My ex husband ( a builder) has been here helping me to build a long wooden wall planter to replace the small  rickety fence that used to sit on top of the old yard wall but that had rotted so badly that it was falling down bit by bit….In fact one whole panel fell down as I was showing him it!

ImageSo here is a pic of the project whilst it is still unfinished..A work in progress.. It will need staining and lining with plastic feed sacks, to help retain moisture, and then filling with gravel at the base and then compost on top of that. It will eventually be planted out with all edible and medicinal plants.

It gets LOTS of sun, which is great as most of my growing space here is in partial  shade. Sunny growing space is at a premium here,  so every little bit helps.

 I will leave you with a few more recent photos.. Catch you all soon x

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Thank you for dropping by xxxx

Moppet makes an appearance.

I don’t usually take my camera out with me when I am milking. Goats and delicate equipment tend not to mix awfully well. Those of you that keep goats will understand. But something today prompted me to take my (borrowed) camera with me.

My camera broke a while ago and I am currently using one that belongs to my parents, until I can afford to replace my one or find one on Freecycle/ Freegle that needs a home.

So anyway, I tucked it into my pocket, inside its protective case for extra protection, and carried on with my early morning rounds.

On my way back inside the cottage, with a pail full of frothy, creamy milk, I always throw a handful of grain into the pond for Mildred. She is the wild moorhen that has chosen to make a nest here.

You can read more about her nest making and egg laying here and here. She laid 6  eggs in total.

As I walked past  today and scattered her grain for her, she hopped off her nest to hide under the ivy until I had passed, as she always does,  and on doing so she revealed one newly hatched chick!! I have named it Moppet. The photo explains why. I am not sure that you could call it beautiful haha! But what a cutie!

See there was a reason I took my camera today!

It looks like there are only two more eggs left in her nest so maybe she discarded some or a rat took them?

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Welcome to the world Moppet and welcome to Riverside.  xxx

If you’d like to  make a donation, no matter how small,  towards my new camera fund, please feel free to do so using the Donate Button.

I love taking photos to share with you all.

Thank you x

~*~*~UPDATE~*~*~

Three chicks now spotted. …and an egg still to hatch!

(Some were hiding in the reeds)