Our journey during the last 11 years has been a real adventure, starting with keeping chickens and turkeys, to catching fish and game and making sausages of all kinds. We have made cheese and learning to pickle and preserve a wide variety of foods.
Smoking salmon, cheese and a variety of other meats has been really rewarding.
Occasionally we hatch and rear Ross Cob chickens when we can find the hatching eggs; finished weights range between 6-9 lbs.
The bees this year 2012 have been struggeling to survive let alone produce honey city bees.org.uk I have still been called out to rescue swarms but less due to the wet weather. The adopt a hive scheme is starting to gain interest which has helped with the cost of supplying new hives to rehome swarms, we have also kindly been given permission to keep bees at another 4 sites including and with the National Trust at Antony House. In 2011 we started running beekeeper experience which is proving to be a popular gift to buy for Christmas and Birthdays, even holidays makers have visited.
Cheese making will resume this autumn if its not too cold, it needs to be above freezing and below 8 degrees C to mature the cheese in our workshop.
We are rearing two pigs again this year, Tamworths, last year we made 40lbs of pork sausages from our pigs which weighed in at 87 kg each, we will make turkey sausages again this Christmans from one of our 4 turkeys, with port and cranberry and chestnut and another batch with garlic and chilli . We invested in a vac-pack machine which increases the storage time for frozen and fresh foods by around 3 times.
We have launched an e-petition to try and get the meat industry to stop adding water and phosphates to meat, this is a deceptive practice to increase their profits although they will argue there are other reasons for doing it.
We stopped buying bacon because of the white gunge that oozed out of it when you cooked it
(water with added phosphate to bind it into the meat) If water were added to Scotch, the distillers would be prosecuted. If you want to add your name to the petition please use this link
The became too much of a burden and expense to justify its keeping, so it was swapped for a kayak catching more mackerel which we hot smoke and freeze the rest, which later we will turn into fish cakes, pasties and curry, which if somewhat unusual, is great.