Meekle’s Blog – An Insight into Downsizing

This Months Homefarmer Magazine – Spot On!
December 4, 2009, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This months homefarmer is excellent. plenty to read. articles on going 12v on your home electricity, and an article i think needs more exploration – 52 meals to save the world – based on great tasting food grown locally to reduce your carbon footprint.

The government want us to drive 5 miles less a week to save carbon, whats the point if we are buying cauliflowers from Peru? Thats where your carbon is people, not five miles less down the country lane, but all the imported foods. Buy your food from local stores that stock locally grown foods, or even better grow your own!

Things are looking up
December 4, 2009, 1:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Well, there was frost on the car this morning so i had best admit to it finally becoming winter!

We are currently holding around 120 chickens of various breeds, mainly Pekins with their fluffy feet and a good proportion of large fowl such as Cream Leg Bar that lay sky blue eggs.

We are experimenting over the next few months with some hybrid crosses using the CLB hens to produce an olive egg laying hen. This should mean that come Easter, we will be able to provide boxed eggs that are white, blue, green, cream, brown and chocolate-brown. They all taste the same but they will look like easter in a box!

we are also intending to perfect the meat crosses with the chickens. We have the stock now to formulate a good meat cross. we intend to cross a Dorking hen (rated at about 6lb when grown) to a Cornish Game cockerel (rated again at around 6lb). not only will this give us a large framed bird, the Cornish game should impart its wide stance which will increase the area of breast meat, but also the genes of the game and dorking when combined produce the “double-breasted” effect, which means that they will lay down even more muscle.

Our turkey enterprise seems to be going well, we have 20 turkeys of which we will be keeping 2 trios back for breeding, so we will have 14 going off to slaughter around the 18th December. Most are already spoken for but we may have one or two left. if interested contact us. Price for a heritage turkey (either slate or bronze) at around 15lb in weight oven ready is approx £60.

they have been outdoor reared and fed highest quality barley, oats, corn, wheat  and maize alongside the normal growing ration so they should have a good marbling of fat through the muscle which will make them mouth-watering when cooked.

as it is the winter season, game is high on the list of foods with rabbit curry being enjoyed – even by the kids, and a glut of pheasant and wild duck filling the fridge and freezers at the moment.

we like pheasant roasted with some lemons, and the duck is fantastic in a kiwi and lime sauce. Wild duck is very rich and the lime cuts the flavour beautifully. If you want the recipe you only have to ask…….

Bacon is in the curing tub for christmas, along with the gammon and the sausages are maturing nicely. we have approx 8 metres of salami cured and air drying and we are looking into having a go at making biltong. all good things to make the dark winter nights enjoyable.

We are currently loving curling up in front of our new addition – a log burning stove – burning carbon neutral wood – be it logged timber or scrap wood like pallets. the log burner has the bonus effect of not only heating the room but we can place a kettle on it to boil water or cook a stew or risotto on the top at no additional expense in the energy being used. It has a slight smoke leak around one of the door seals, but it’s hardly noticeable, but does give a smokey smell to the house. If burning proper logs this smell can actually be quite nice, its more a pleasant background smell rather than a thick fog you can’t see through!

Anyways, i must away to deal with the rest of the world and its problems, will write soon!

PS – did you manage to read our article last month in Homefarmer magazine? we wrote a fantastic article on choosing your first chickens, it was given three page spread too! We have written another article on carp rearing in your garden and await a publication date for that. Should be in the february issue which will be out early January