cherries, lemons and other stuff

we have been blessed with the biggest cherry tree in the world, it was one of the only fruit trees that came with the farm, it’s quite old…….it’s also protected by the house now

cherry treeso despite very late frosts which ruined any chance of newish cherry trees from having any fruit, the big old one was not affected…….and then it also rained alot and the sun came out and it rained alot again and the result was masses of very very juicy cherries………we’ve eaten alot and I’ve made some jam and the rest have been made into cherry pie fillings and frozen for those long. cold winter nights when cherry pie is such a cheering thing to have……


Whilst our citrus trees continue to produce and flourish, there isn’t always enough to justify picking what there is and making things like lemon squash, so sometimes I get them from somewhere else, last week I got about 150 from various sources, so have been busy (with the help of willing guests)

zestzesting and juicing….some of it is going straight in the freezer to be dealt with another time. I’ve also made lemon curd and lots and lots of lemon squash and lemonade

With the days being rather too hot for me, i’m finding that I am still outside working at 9.30 at night, after watering and picking for the next days meals, I spend the last bit of light picking loganberries, they are prolific again this year and we are now at the “giving them away” stage as the freezer is nearly full and we’ve still got the tayberries to go.



I pick some strawberries everyday for our smoothie in the morning, it seems unlikely that we will freeze any this year as we keep eating them!!!


We’ve also had out first blueberries, not many but they are new plants, we’ve had a couple of handfuls so far, hopefully next year will see more


I’ve done a first thinning out of carrots and parsnips, the parsnips I transplant using a giant stake to make sure all the root goes into the hole, they never really take as well as the seed sown ones but I hate to waste them, they always look very sad for a while, but perk up in the end


The beans are a bit pathetic, the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines too. The salad beds have either gone to seed immediately or not amounted to anything apart from one little bed of rocket and the occasional lettuce thats sort of doing ok, I haven’t taken any pictures because I am ashamed and embarrassed!!! It remains to be seen about the squash, broccoli, kale, sprouts and beetroot. I will do a short post about my garlic and onions soon, onwards and upwards

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pop1 pop2 pop3 pop4 pop5 pop6 pop7 pop8 pop9


and our outdoor bathroom under the kiwi’s

outdoor bath

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apparently we’ve had the coldest March for 31 years and I suspect we will have had the wettest April for ages too, by the time it’s over.

riverWe’ve had a lot of rain this year, quite a lot of flooding and landslides but despite the dreadful weather, the wild flowers are amazing and my garden has never looked so good at this time of year.


I sowed some peas at the same time as the broad beans, about October time and although I have never done this before, they seemed to have survived the winter and are now producing actual peas, the broad beans have masses of flower too but are looking a bit beaten down by the endless rain and then winds, but they are still alive and podding up nicely, maybe by the end of the week we’ll have some with our favourite dish….

peasbroad beans

the purple sprouting broccoli has been the plant that just keeps giving, so much that I am giving it away, it took ages to do anything, had to be staked, has got so tall but now they’ve got going, there’s no stopping it


the other thing I’d never done before was to grow some winter lettuce, this too has been prolific, I kept it fleeced over for the very cold months, it’s done really well and has supplied us all winter

salad as has the coriander


which I have been amazed at as have my friends, who have all benefitted.

The asparagus, as I could have predicted has not done so well, I think I disturbed it a bit last year, so I’ve only got myself to blame, but I’m grateful for the small amounts we have had, I shall be moving the bed this year and starting some new ones, they are 7 years old after all.

Potato obsessed husband has planted almost an entire field of the things


Aside from all the foody bits, the flowers are very blue and some are yellow and orange, they’ve been out all winter….weird



Now, we would like it to stop raining, please, just for a bit and only at night, thank you

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winter wonderland


snow3 snow2 snow1 snow and sunsnow4 snow5 snow6


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happy new year, happy new home

yes, we did it, we got in before Christmas

baubleswe’re not there by a long shot but we can live in it


we love it


we are exhausted


we are truly blessed

mince pies

and very happy


thanks for all your support in 2015, stay with us for more updates, coming soon

happy 2016

Posted in crafty stuff, kitchens, New builds, The simple life, Timber frame | 12 Comments

stone floors

i wanted stone flags for the kitchen, as it was going to be a heavy trafficked area, that we wanted to be able to walk straight in from the farm with muddy boots. there wasn’t any york stone at the farm, however there were a number of large slabs of schist on various roofs of the previous buildings that made up the site. during the demolition process, 6 years ago, i had stacked the stone away with the intention of using it for that purpose.


all that was required was cutting it into flags. i didn’t have a wet bed cutter, or a disc cutter with a water jet, so i had to suffer the dust of cutting it with the disc cutter dry. i won’t bore you with the hazards of that, but you can imagine. breathing difficulties for a while.

abreathing difficulties
i figured on using 5 or 6 sizes of flags to create a random type effect rather than a set pattern. and given the sizes i opted for it meant cutting about 120-130 flags.

astack a stone

i drew an approximation of how i thought i could lay them, and pretty much followed it.


i’d offset the backing osb to give me enough room to bed them in and keep the same level across from the wooden floor that it joined. i uni-bonded the osb and stuck the flags down with tile adhesive, then grouted them

agrouted floor

the flags currently aren’t sealed, not sure there’s any point, it’s fairly water repellent.  thought they look pretty farm house kitchen worthy

afarm kitchen floor

afinished colours

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wooden flooring

i cut a fair number of trees for flooring boards

felled trees

enough for 150 square meters of flooring, but, in the end, not all the wooden flooring came from the forest

trees on trailer

some of it came straight from the mill. by the time i’d milled the trees for flooring, and got the boards back, i had to sticker them for a while in the building to dry out. then thickness plane them, before laying them. fortunately, my friend dan, loaned me his record 151 floor clamps that are like the dreadnought battleships of the floor clamp world



they were probably made at the same time as dreadnoughts, or taken from the same kind of design and cast out of rendered down battleship iron. they are huge and more like the windings of lock gates than floor clamps, nothing stands in their way, and there is even a satisfying ratchet sound as you wind them up.

anyway, suffice to say, i cut the boards as full lengths to span the rooms, except for the loft where they would have to exceeded 8 meters

loft floor

not for how they were going to look, but because they were slightly random widths, in the general neighbourhood of 7″ ( 175mm), give or take. and i knew, as they weren’t tongue and groove, just butted up, that it would be easier to get them to marry if they were single lengths rather than multiple lengths.

40 kgs of flooring brads later, and the floors got nailed. then eventually, sanded and finished.

old elm floor boards (i wish)

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