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Friday, 29 August 2014

End of summer? And kitten.........

Well. there's not a huge amount of news from our patch. Things are steadily moving towards autumn with clearing tha land, sorting fences and harvesting  the last of the summer veg. We are starting to use leeks, the sprouting broccoli is still producing sweet shoots, caulies are thinking about swelling and cabbages are continuing to heart up. Unfortunately the very heavy infestation of flea beetle has decimated my two kale plants which I was carefully using sparingly. Everything has had a dusting of diotomaceous earth which seems to have helped get rid of them, but I fear those two plants will not recover. Of course, it needs doing again. We never get wind here...unless it is inconvenient. The last two days' wind had blown all the DE off!

Lovely leeks, I think these are a shorter variety than the usual four foot ones grown locally

My poor kale

Little buggers!!!


Cabbages hearting despite the flea beetle
The parsnips have been uncovered as Dave chopped down the sunflowers from around the tank. There are not that many of them but they are looking quite healthy so we might have enough if the mole crickets have left them alone. Also pulled out the ornamental squash but with them going in so late there were not many of edible size, but enough to have a taste as research tells me they are very nice to eat. We'll see
Goldfinch filling his face before the sunflowers disappear. We hope to leave these ones in longer...if Dave can bear to leave them there.


Our small squash, with a couple from next door
Our peppers are doing OK now, but we can't convince the neighbours, another bucket and a block of cooked and frozen peppers arrived today

Toms still going

We have started to eat the leeks, mainly because some had to be pulled up to make a path for the pipe from the septic tank emptier. Despite the hot weather continuing, I made a veggie stew with our garden veg (Dave had a bit of the chicken we bought for the cat!) and we had it in Yorkshire puds. Winter fare made lighter. It was delicious!

All we are buying at the market at the moment are potatoes, so Dave left me with the car on the main road and dashed in to get some. It's a bit hair raising watching what goes on. People 'abandon' their cars sort of on the side of the road, go in for sacks of melons/peppers/tomatoes/cucumbers or whatever, open the side door to load the car, totally ignoring the cars/delivery vans/horse drawn carts/lorries all trying to get past while dodging people crossing the road or loading their (often scarily derelect) cars, or even chatting in the road. The stress levels rose just sitting watching!

Venka is busy doing her 'end of season' pickles and lutinitsa (mixed veg sauce) so the shelf dedicated to the bottles she sends over, her own shelf as we are not always sure what things are and all my stuff is labelled. The mixed veg bottles are carefully filled and are a work of art, with cucumber, tomatoes, teeny cherry tomatoes in red and pear shaped yellow, herbs, garlic and anything else about the place. I have strict instructions to leave them for three months!

After the Yorkies there had to be something light, so the last of the peaches, one of our sweet little melons and some raspberries, and because it was to hand, some honey still warm from the hive. We only have two melons left (if you don't count the ones still coming from the neighbours) but the raspberries are still producing plump berries which we have to fight Tansy (hen) for, she has decided there are rich pickings in the garden, spending a lot of time amongst the fig undergrowth.

Straining the honey from the wax

Yum, three small jars from one frame
Which is fine, but she chatters away to herself which attracts the attention of the others, so although one hen in the garden is OK, ten is far too many, especially with small kitten about. So another length of fencing has gone up along the wall. Poor Tansy, she nearly brained herself trying to fly over it. I feel she is cured! Now to move the geraniums to the wall, they will cheer it up a bit and the chickens can't get to them to scratch in the pots. We had three in a small trough the other day. (Update...hen not cured, has gone over the gate!)

All the chickens are looking a bit rough at the moment, some moulting more than others. We are still getting eggs and I hope they will continue longer this year. Last year we only had eggs from one Shumen and Chubba (who eats her's) through winter. I just don't enjoy bought eggs any more but am reluctant to push them into laying if they want a break. We will see what the ex-batts do, though they are a bit erratic in their laying.anyway.I am giving a vitamin and mineral supplement for layers as we have no idea if the food is well balanced.

The geese are looking well. We (Dave) is looking into changeing to general purpose.ducks next year. We really feel we do not have the space for geese, and though they are doing well as they are, with a largeish area, two pools and the bee area to mess about in, the ground is so dry that there is not much grass...which will be why people keep them on the lanes at the mercy of dogs.

And so, those who dislike cats may stop reading as we now have kitten overload. I am generally not into cats so do understand.

But he is so very cute. We eventually got him to the vet who has given us a wormer for him. Research on the internet shows that he was between three and four weeks old when he decided to live here so as he is looking well and there are no instructions on the tablet (just one tablet, no packet) and we were just told to give him a quarter, we have decided to wait a week.

We are now getting a beautifully formed poo every morning. He is getting goat's milk on demand and seems to be doing well on it. Next week I will start to water it down just a little, and as today we had a major breakthrough with lapping, he can start to lap the mix between meals. He still gets a little confused and raises his head to suck or bites the edge of the saucer, and occasionally you can hear him sucking his chicken/softened cat food instead of picking it up. But the sucking on skin or Bella has lessened to those times when he is over tired and needs some comfort.
At last....lappage!

But he still tries to chew the saucer

Of course he is a character. All kittens are. He is bold, looking at new noises and experiences as interesting. He mercilessly pushes the dogs around and using teeth and claws in play. His teeth, which were very tiny a few days ago, are growing and his bite is getting stronger....I know! But we are gently letting him know that rough play is for animals not people. One day no doubt Bella will object, but at the moment she is putting up with Splash hanging from her face, just moving away when it gets too much. She tends to accidentally stand on his tail as he is forever under her feet, (he can't half yell!) and he had a lucky escape when I went through the door and touched his leg before realising he was there. It doesn't bear thinking about what would happen if I really trod on him. It is a reminder that having a minute animal in the house will totally change your ways. I will be more careful.

Attack the broom

Catch the shadow

Put the melon in it's place



On a mission

...round and round and round........fascinating

Splash is eating well, chicken mixed with soaked kitten kibble...he doesn't like cat food from a pouch. The food, like the litter tray, is in an upturned plastic crate with a hole in the side (keeps the dogs out) . The litter tray is indoors at the moment, but not for long. It is a long way for little legs to reach the border on his own. Also, having the litter tray means we can keep an eye on what is coming out the other end. It seems his diet must agree with him as all is well. And he is getting a shine on his coat now that it is not staring and his eyes are clean. The ridge of white hair along his spine stands up in play. I hope he doesn't end up fierce like a Rhodesian Ridgeback lion hunting dog! (Actually one of my favourite breeds)

Picture overload of our three gorgeous pets.
zzzzzzzzzzzz Bella worn out too



Bonnie is not at all sure that she wants the boy to stay


Climbing practice


Not sure I would snooze here, the tinned dog food doesn't really suit Bonnie...........

Seems to have pinched my seat...again! Bonnie needs me there for cuddles
Bella taking protection from Dave...can you spot the cat?


  1. The last photo is soooo cute! It really shows how tiny he is. Unbelievable what the flea beetles have done to your kale.

    1. Yes he is tiny, and you can imagine how mortified I would have been if I had stepped on him properly. I have had to stop wearing long skirts for now.

      As for those pesky flea beetles, I have never seen anything as bad, and I have had them before. You can hear them jumping around. We have definitely seen some off with the DE so another dusting might do the trick.

  2. I read the whole post but now all I can think is: awwwww kitten!!!!
    You've turned me into a little girl again with all those adorable photos haha. Awww!!

    1. Daft isn't it? I can't help taking pictures and I don't even like cats. But you have to admire his determination to find someone to take him in and then totally take over the household...despite not being able to see through his gummed up eyes. He's a little belter.

      And welcome by the way. Nice to see you here.