Saturday, 17 October 2009

Planning Ahead

You can never plan ahead enough here. When I think back to this time last year the weather was mild and still warm through the day, garden still producing and we had a house roof!

We've managed to get a load of things done over the last year, built an extension to the house (finished outside but not inside), had the exterior of the house insulated and rendered, moved some plumbing and the wood burner, plaster boarded walls, tiled floors, moved windows, added windows and the list goes on. The house roof is still a work in progress too with 3/4 of it done now and the rest on our urgent list!

The decorating, small finishing touches and general making the house more attractive can wait, the winter can seem long here and inside jobs get done then.

Included in the planning is what we'll eat over the winter. The crop from the garden was ok this year so we have a fair few vegetables frozen, other things pickled, made into chutneys or jams and a bit more to do. We won't starve that's for sure!

We've successfully managed to breed and raise some turkeys this year so they'll provide some winter food too, they aren't raised to sell on as we couldn't make enough to cover the cost of feeding them and the time it takes to clean and pluck them. But they do taste fantastic. There are also a few extra chickens being fattened up, although we do keep some for eggs.

Last year we slaughtered a pig and he provided us with 150 kilo's of meat. This year we've decided to breed from our female pig and her babies should be due around the middle of January fingers crossed! A neighbour is going to give us a small pig for meat in the next week so it will be pork and turkey for Christmas lunch again this year mmmmmm.

Oh and there's the winter wood to cut and stack yet. An essential to living here is a good chainsaw. Luckily for us the old timbers from the house roof will become our firewood, they aren't any good for anything else as they all had woodworm but at least they can keep us warm.

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