Whatever the Weather

Weather: small talk the world over depends on its existence.  We bemoan it, celebrate it, pray for sun in mid winter and ski field snow while summer is still lingering. We want it hotter, cooler, still but not if we want to fly our kite, and rain to fill the hydro lakes…but only at night time. Here on the Homestead, we make huge efforts to just take the days as they turn up; rain is a blessing on our sandy soil and sun brings the bees to the blossom. Sometimes this Pollyannaish approach stretches us a little, and on inspecting the garden after Sunday’s hailstorm our smiles were a tad forced. The intervening four days have been spent making silk from hail- scarred sows ears.

While there’s still life in some


for the broad beans, who were pretty much finished anyway, the ice bullet barrage spelled the end.

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Not that everyone thought this was a bad thing

The decision was made to move swiftly in the case of the remaining cauliflowers and broccoli. No one complained about extra helpings of broccoli, the one vegetable that every Homesteader likes,


and the cauli has been morphed into piccalilli – yum!

The piccalilli production was made all that much easier by a visit from Daryl the Plumber.


Hot and cold running water and a dishwasher…ALL the mod cons!

The inclement weather has made practising the Homestead Christmas Eve musical offering a breeze (once we’ve got it down pat we may even give you a sneak peek) but it wasn’t exactly the best conditions to be introducing the prospective new Homestead flock, especially as our broody ladies shunned the new roosting box the Goat Herd and Milk Maid fashioned out of a couple of old drawers

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in favour of the existing nesting boxes, thus upping the chances of the chicks plummeting to their doom if we don’t move quickly enough.


Still, with three Mums on the job they should be well-guided. Delia (on her own) has so far managed to snaffle two of the fertilised eggs while the three Mother’s were busy duking it out.

And for the times when the sun does shine, access between the Homestead and Castle Chann has been greatly improved by the installation of a gate

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making games of pirates and hide and seek, communal coffee breaks, and popping next door for a clove or two of garlic just that much easier.

These school holidays are looking pretty good – whatever the weather.


23 thoughts on “Whatever the Weather

  1. I’m trying to take the weather as it comes, but at the moment all that’s coming is rain. I’m beginning to consider knitting flippers for the chickens… none of whom are laying because they think it’s constant night. Still, at least we didn’t have hail like yours!

  2. It must have been big/heavy hail to have caused so much damage!

    My caulis have bolted and I was wondering what to do with them. Maybe piccalilli is the answer.

    Happy Christmas 🙂

    • They are about six weeks old now and are still a lot of fun, but becoming a little too energetic for our confined space. After Christmas we’ll have to think seriously about the next step…eek!

  3. So sorry about the damage caused by the hail. You have certainly made the best of a bad business – the piccalilli looks very good! The kitchen is looking wonderful and it will be so nice to have all mod-cons working at Christmas. Happy Holidays to FG and Happy Christmas to you all (in case I don’t get to ‘see’ you again before the big day).

    • The garden seems to be bouncing back which is amazing considering the thrashing it got! Piccalilli is always a winner with us all – wonderful in homemade hamburgers and the like – and it was so wonderful to find the kitchen worked so well for us.
      I’m sure we’ll see each other again before Christmas, but just in case we return your Christmas wishes. I hope you have a wonderful day with your wonderful family.

  4. I am so sorry about the hail, that is a pity. I do hope, you got a chance to eat some good fresh broad beans before this happened! But the kitchen looks wonderful..and your chickens make me smile!!! xo Johanna

    • Our broad bean yield this year was amazing, and we also managed to freeze a great deal so we will be eating them for a while yet – much to The Farmer’s disgust 🙂
      We’re very pleased with the kitchen and as for the chickens: there’s never a dull moment with them around. xxx

    • The thought of anything connected with the Homestead being in a style magazine caused great merriment. We have been promised a week with temperatures reaching into the 30’s..I have mixed feelings about this

  5. I also was thinking the kitchen looks like an advert – very swanky. What a nice feeling to see the rewards of all your labour, and in time for Christmas, too! The nest box for broodies looks very inviting to me, but the chicken mind is an obscure thing at best. And when you think about it, cats also never want to be where you think would be inviting and lovely. Pity about the broad beans, but I’m sure the goats don’t think so. Summer holidays! Enjoy…and think of us poor Northerners socked in with rain and sleet and chilly darkness.

  6. It will be swanky only until we move in properly; we’re really not advert type folk 🙂 It has been wonderful to discover that we are able to do this whole DIY thing, albeit in our own raggle-tag way.
    I can’t even pretend to understand the chicken mind. We tend to just offer the opportunities and let them get on with it. It kind of worked last time, who knows what we’ll end up with this time.
    The broad beans had all but finished; we were just eeking them out for as long as we could. Much to both the goat and Farmers delight, their end has been met.
    As our weather is promising to pick up next week, Ill try and include some sunshine in the next post especially for you 🙂

    • Thank you! We could use some. And I forgot to say before – Picalilli – I never had it til I met my husband, or more correctly, my husband’s mum – she was an avid canner/bottler, and big on pickles of all sorts, and picalilli was one of her specialties. I haven’t had it in years, and miss it, but am not willing to buy it. I must try and remember to put it on the list to make this summer – when we get there.

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