Growing…and Crowing.

Monday morning, we were feeling a tad despondent about life on the Homestead.  The courgettes are past their prime, the beans verging on too stringy, the remaining lettuces have bolted, and our beloved Homestead staple, the New Zealand spinach, is starting to sport the Keith Richards look. Oh woe, the end of summer’s bounty is nigh and all that. Sometimes it pays to calm, as they say, the farm and take a moment just to breathe…

A conciliatory stroll around the estate was called for.  Morning coffee in hand, we soon discovered that while some crops are easing off, there’s a whole new troop poised to take centre stage:


The Brussels spouts did much to lift our mood; in a Homestead first we’ve managed to coax them past the bolt and flower stage. As for the lemons…our hearts began, if not singing, certainly humming a little.


While focussing on what to put on the table each evening, in our inexperience we’d stopped looking at the big picture.

It’s easier to keep an eye on the livestock; they’re pretty quick to point out any oversight. We’re down to milking Geraldine once a day now, but that’s more to do with fitting into the time constraints of the new school term, and she’s giving us about a litre a day despite only allowing us to milk from “our side”. Yes, we’re over indulgent, but we reckon it’s a mother’s right to feed for as long as she wants


even if “baby” Ruby is nearly is large as she is!



and if the camera’s out, Leia’s striking a pose – molasses smudged nose and all.


In The Meadow, all are thriving which is a little bittersweet. Princess N, the Homestead chicken connoisseur, ran her expert eye over our first batch of “babies” recently and announced that we had got a big fat tick in the “raising birds for meat” column. Four of the five surviving chicks are indeed roosters. In truth, we’d been watching their wattles and tail feathers grow (and grow…) for a while now so it came as no surprise. It’s hard to step up the treat food for only four birds in a flock, but we’re giving it our best shot.


no amount of jellymeat is going to make this guy into a main course.

Others are worth the investment

While some are worth the investment…

Deciding that, on balance, our lot was looking rather positive we ripped into our week. Top of the “spare time” list is the brick clean-up.


Any worries that the noise was upsetting our neighbours was quickly dispelled by the over-the-fence presentation of some very rock’n roll cinnamon scrolls.


Have we mentioned we have great neighbours? Now, just to work out how to get a reference to Black Forest Gateau into this weeks blog… 🙂

But even the most tolerant of neighbours shouldn’t have to put up with early morning rooster yodelling and one of our blokes has The Bean Counter reaching for the black hood.


Micro chicken nugget, anyone…



16 thoughts on “Growing…and Crowing.

  1. You might be the first person ever (and the last) to compare Keith Richards with an apple. Poor apple :).

    Seems to me the garden is going gangbusters still, well done. Lemons! Envy, envy, envy.

    I was thinking you hadn’t mentioned the chickens in a while…well, you’re going to do well on the roast dinner front this winter…

    • Keith has the exact same life-beaten, leathery tough look! It’s uncanny 🙂
      I’m not counting my lemons until they ripen (to murder an adage) and they are definitely the most cosseted thing in the garden – I so miss our decrepit, ignored but always laden tree at the former Homestead.
      Looking forward to the winter roasts, but why did the littlest (and prettiest) one have to be the most vocal?!

  2. We had a similar issue with our recent run of chickens. They were allegedly all sexed as pullets, but we wound up with four of them that displayed their machismo at an early age. Three in the freezer and one has already proved himself delicious. Thanks for sharing the goings-on of your homestead. Cheers.

  3. Interested to know why you needed to clean the bricks and how you did it. I’ve got some bricks with cement in them which I’d like to remove, so I wondered if that’s what you were doing?

    • Hi Helen. We’re cleaning the mortar/cement of the bricks so we can use them to make raised vegetable gardens. Admittedly not the perfect use for them, but they’re available and free. We’re using a hammer and cold chisel to remove the mortar. Arduous work but the pile is growing…

      • Thanks for your reply – I originally got my bricks for the same purpose. Anyway, it sounds like a good use for your bricks, especially if you got them free 😉

  4. Well, those apples!!! They look excellent, potential pies, apple sauce, stamppot, jumjumjum. All your photos have a lovely end of the summer mood but I cannot, really neve ever, think of a situation that a Brussle Sprout can lift a mood;0) Then again, a Boerenbont plate with sweet goodies: No Problem!

  5. A liter a day sounds good to me! We go through milk so quickly at our house! I get a bit sad when one batch of crops start to end, but something new is coming! Maybe you could shred the courgettes for bread? Let the beans go to seed and save you a bit of money next season? Always something new going on in the garden!

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