New life..Seeds and chicks and long awaited goat kids.

As you  may know, I am currently on tenterhooks awaiting the birth of Marigold’s kid/kids. No show as of yet!… but I am checking her twice during the night now and I keep expecting to find her with a kid or two at foot when I go out to do the morning feed rounds. Will add pics here when the event happens! But kids are not the only new life here at Riverside. We have an abundance of new life here at the moment.. seeds are germinating, plants are growing, eggs are hatching.  I love this time of year. Here are a few photos to capture some of the life bursting forth here right now. xx

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The proud mum!

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Seedlings and plants growing!

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Vibrant pink growth on the baby Tree Spinach plants.

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and an unexploded Marigold

ImageI am SO blessed to be able to grow my own food, rear my own livestock, encourage wildlife to live here and nurture nature.

I cherish every day that I get to live here xx

Bubble-wrap bonanza

Today we have snow and gale force winds. Temperatures feel colder than they are, with the wind chill factor.

After doing all my usual chores with the animals this morning and carrying hay to the pony paddock in the next village, I set about trying to insulate my tiny lean-to greenhouse. Luckily I had been given a large roll of bubble-wrap by my parents last year, so I had the necessary resources available. So staple gun in hand I set about  lining the interior of my little growing space. It feels much warmer already and doesn’t make too much difference to the amount of light getting through. I didn’t cover the two largest windows as they are made from old double glazed patio doors, so they had no wooden frame to staple the bubble-wrap to (old aluminium frames) and they are insulated anyway.

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I have also laid a layer of bubble-wrap over the trays on the hot bed instead of the single layer of clear plastic and used a few rectangles of it on top of a few trays of seeds too.

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I have also baked two spelt loaves today and made two batches of Kombucha tea.

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Fresh from the oven

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Bottling this week’s Kombucha tea.. Made with green tea and ginger.

I also managed to sow a few more seeds.  I shall germinate these indoors by a window.

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The ponies stayed inside and ate yet MORE hay.

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Springtime. March 2013

…and to end today, a cute photo of my daughter with the goat kids. They are growing fast!

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Hope you have all had a good start to the weekend.

Tomorrow is day 1 of milking Tansy. I have sterilised the milking pail, got the udder wipes and  milk filters ready and a lidded jug to store it in the fridge.

I don’t take away her babies completely and bottle feed them. Instead her goats kids are only separated overnight, within sight of her but in a separate area. I do an early morning milking and then they are put back with her all day, until late the following evening….and so on.

I have yet more hay to collect tomorrow and of course there are always logs to saw and split.

This self sufficiency malarky is not for the faint hearted 😉  But I wouldn’t have it any other way x

My hot bed ( no not the sexy kind)

Sorry for the 3rd post in a single day..but I seem to have squeezed a lot in. It must have been all that sunshine 😉

Today I made a hot bed in my tiny lean to greenhouse. I seem to be struggling to get much to germinate, as temperatures have been so low here in East Lincs UK. Apart from the sunshine today we have had an awful lot of snow and sleet.

I don’t really want to go down the fossil fuelled, paraffin heater solution or to have to pay for the use of electricity to heat the space, albeit small, so I decided to have a go at making a hot bed inside the greenhouse.

In theory it should be able to generate enough heat so that I am able to place seed trays on it to get the seedlings off to a good start. Well that’s the theory!

I started by digging out ALL the original soil in the one bed against the back wall. It was compacted and stony, so good riddance.

I will sieve out the stones over the weekend and add the soil to my compost bins.

I replaced this soil with three wheelbarrow loads of partially rotted compost and fresh-ish horse muck.

Steam rose as I dug it out and put it in the wheel barrow which was a promising start!

I shovelled this steaming compost mix into the ditch that I had dug out and added two boards, one above the other, along the front edge edge, in order to prevent all the manure mix from tumbling forward onto the concrete floor.

I then covered the hot manure mix with some horticultural fleece.. and just laid some of my seed trays on top of it. Simple!

It must be generating some heat as not long after I had completed it the clear lids on the trays had steam/ condensation inside them.

Tonight I covered the entire thing up with a sheet of clear polythene, weighed down with bricks at the corners. I shall remove this once the sun is up tomorrow.

So fingers crossed it may help warm things up. I will keep you posted.

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..and now it is time for me to get into my bed..

with my hot water bottle.

Night all x