Back to the point though. We had just sat down to our meal of omelette made from the first of the eggs from my hens, when our neighbour called, and she handed Dave a lovely bowl of...lutinitza. So kind, but we have twenty odd jars of the stuff on the cellar! How it was different, however, is that the veg had been cooked over wood, giving it a strong smokey flavour which Dave is really keen on. So, even though I am now a reluctant lutinitza maker, I decided we should make another batch and char the peppers and aubergine over wood. Not too much as I found the smoke a bit strong, but a batch so that we have a bit of a change. So off we went to pick some veg. But oh my, there was a lot more than we thought there was, especially peppers. And more worrying is that there are still masses of peppers left on the plants.
The okra has joined the rest in the freezer!
We are having trouble with garden pests. The broccoli and kale have a huge infestation of flea beetle, as have the cabbages, but they are big enough to cope.
Also in trouble are the beans. The French beans looked as if they were fighting off the ants successfully, but now there are so many they look awful and production has slowed right down. The flowers on the runner beans have been nipped off and they came to a halt before they got going, but there are more coming at the top of the plants, which are looking better than the French beans, so I will not give up yet. The lone late cucumber plant we put in has given up though, again it might be because there are so many ants which make tunnels around the roots. The amount of colorado beetles I have seen lately don't fill me with confidence that we will be able to grow potatoes successfully next year either. It looks as if we have a huge challenge ahead next year dealing with all the beasties, which we really don't want to use chemicals on as there is a real threat to friendly wildlife. But we will need the neighbours' help and advice, and the translating thingy Dave has found on the computer will be well used.
The hens all seem to be laying now. The only one we do not know about for sure is Bunty, the white one. But we had a soft shelled egg yesterday from chook unknown, which might have been her. I hope it is a one off with them being young and just starting, as these eggs not only take a lot off effort to push out, but they can break on the way out and give the hen peritonitis.
Sevi is being a great cockerel. I have never known one before, but have heard tales and was worrying that we might get one with dubious temperament. But he seems a real sweetheart, although still young at nine months old. He shows all the girls plenty of....er... attention, and seems to like the big girls best. He calls them all over if he finds anything tasty and waits for them to tuck in before he does. He will sit with them in the nest box when they go in to lay, and the ones who were looking outside the pen for somewhere have settled on the temporary nest boxes, with him by their side.
Dave sat up for a while last night to watch the meteor shower. He was hoping to get some photos but the sky wasn't dark enough. It gave him chance for a cool down though, but at the cost of itchy legs. I didn't go down, but I am still covered with fresh bites this morning.