Time for a change

There’s been some serious thought going on here at Garybuie over the last couple of weeks concerning our future on the pig front.

A need to recover

A need to recover

After the departure of the pigs, the land is in serious need of some respite. It’s too late to re-sow now and if we were to get more pigs next spring, there’d be no time for any significant regeneration of the ground. Consequently we decided to give pig rearing a miss next year. But then after giving the situation more thought, taking into account rental of the land, increased feed prices and a general high work load over the summer months, we’ve made the difficult decision to give up the land and any future piggy pursuits. Travelling south for our sons’ weddings this summer also made us realise the huge responsibility which we pass on to our poor neighbours, Mark and Gerlinde, whenever we leave the place. Our feathered friends are fairly flexible about when dinner is served, whereas pigs are less forgiving and are consequently far more tying. So we’re taking a step back and over the next few months will move all our livestock to within  Garybuie’s perimeter. There’s plenty of timber and paving stones within the Piggy Palace plot to dismantle and transform into new duck houses and chicken coops.

Plot for development

Plot for development

Most of this year’s potato crop was grown in what’s probably our least successful veg plot. It’s certainly the smallest usable area and because of the trees along the far side with their roots and leafy shelter, half of the area can be quite dry, even in rainy weather. We’ve decided that this will make the perfect duck enclosure – half for the Cherry Bs and MacRae, half for the Muscovies – with access to the main garden too. The ducks will be able to utilise the whole space which even has some low beech branches for any Muscovy who fancies reverting to ancestral behaviour and perching in them! There’s a lot of work to do but it looks like a great winter project. So although it’s quite sad to turn aside from pig rearing, we’re both looking forward to the new venture, which is just another step in the evolution of life at Garybuie!

Still swinging in the breeze!

Still swinging in the breeze!

Returning to porky matters, our chorizo sausages are looking good now. They’re drying nicely and are developing some patches of mold which are all part of the process. Meanwhile, our hams have had fourteen days in the cures and so I removed them yesterday to dry off. Kevin commented that the darker hams – Wiltshire cure – look good enough to eat just as they are! He’ll have to wait until Christmas day though I’m afraid!

We’ve had some glorious autumn weather over the last couple of days. The birds have been singing and a whole host of them have been devouring the remaining rowan berries. The  tree has been a hive of activity with robins, chaffinches, blackbirds and a whole crowd of thrushes, enjoying the fruity feast!

Blackbird 'n' berries

Blackbird 'n' berries

Robin 'n' rowan

Robin 'n' rowan

And just as I thought that yesterday couldn’t get any better, as the sun started to set at the end of the glen, look how the evening light made those autumn colours ZING!…

Autumn colours in the glen

Autumn colours in the glen

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2 Responses to “Time for a change”

  1. Dorinha Says:

    Oh, I can see myself walking there with Lalo. I miss the glen…….

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