Saturday, December 29, 2012

The second hatching.

Cambridge is a mother again to 11 tiny bundles of golden brown fuzz. She hatched her babies in the strangest of places, right up in the back corner of our yard, against the right angle of the corrugated iron fence. We only had two eggs that didn't hatch, and all ducklings are fit and healthy. We plan to sell them* / give them away... if you're in Newcastle and want a duckling or two let me know ;-)

Sam xox

* Sorry they are unable to be posted Reana Louise :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

An inspiring visit.

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to the home of a friend I have made through the Spinning and Weaving Guild I belong to. The purpose of my visit was to be taught how to spin alpaca fleece, however, honestly not a lot of spinning was done. I was too distracted by all her other amazing skills!

We got talking about our vegetable gardens, and I explained I had been researching how to preserve my produce during a glut. I asked her if she had ever tried preserving, to which she walked without a word to her cupboard and pulled out jar after jar of preserved goooooodness. Dill cucumbers, bread and butter pickles, relishes and chutney. All sealed up in Ball Mason jars. My jaw dropped. I demanded answers, explanation of how I would be able to achieve such a feet. I was pointed in the direction of The Redback Trading Company, as this is where she buys her canning supplies. I placed my order as soon as I got home.

Apparently you can't go past The Redback Tracing Company's own "Pickling Spice Blend"...

But my education was not to stop there. Next I was to be taught about cheese making. That's right, she even makes her own cheese! The taste of home made Camembert and feta I simply cannot describe...

~ Camembert ready to be wrapped in foil and refrigerated for at least 4 weeks ~ 

~ Feta ~

I am excitedly waiting for the Postie to deliver my order from The Redback Trading Company, because in my garden there is a glut of beans just waiting to be canned, and cucumbers begging to be made into dill cucumber pickle.

Oh, and just in case you were curious, I did spend 15 minutes with my friend spinning alpaca fleece. I found the fibres to be very different to sheep wool. I had read and been told a number of times that alpaca was different, but I guess I didn't expect it to be different in the way that it was (oh dear does that even make any sense?) The alpaca felt like it had almost zero elasticity to it, and the fibres appeared not to naturally fuse to each other. The yarn it created was so incredibly soft though which makes the effort worthwhile.

Sam xox

Saturday, December 1, 2012

And so it begins again.

So things have been a little quiet around hear on the 'duckies' front. You wouldn't believe how much Yorkshire and Chippenham have grown...

They are both beautiful. Especially Yorkshire with her gorgeous brown coat and white collar. Chippy is doing well. She is still undersized but does appear to eat well... perhaps she was the runt of the group? Her beak has grown back a little, but her tongue still protrudes and looks pretty cute.

Oxford is behaving nicely to them now and has take them under his wing.

"But where's Cambridge" I hear you ask? She is hiding in the corner of our backyard, under a wheel burrow, sitting on thirteen more eggs...

And so it begins again!

Sam xox