Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Silage Making On The Smallholding And A Busking Cat And Dog In Krakow.





The silage man came back last week and mowed and baled the fields we had saved for silage.  I estimated 20 bales and the other 3 of us estimated around the 40 mark.  The total number of bales including the Barley (baled a few weeks a go) was 44.  That's not bad for a first crop so late in the year.  That's about 22 weeks (2 bales a week) of feeding.  We have also bought some round bales of straw and we will go through over a ton and a half of beef nuts during the winter.  It costs a fortune to over winter cattle.

The picture of the cat and dog was taken recently when we went to Krakow by train from Warsaw.  I can't remember what instrument their busking owner was playing or what tune for that matter.

20 comments:

  1. Looks like a good crop, must be a good feeling with 22 weeks worth of rations for the cattle, and plenty bedding.
    You've been lucky with the weather, been wet here for over a week, not a full day without rain, heavy showers, river's well up and brown.

    What's happened to the kale?

    Not much going on here, too wet for anything, the shorn fields are gaining a bit of re-growth, looking green again.
    Raggy cat started coming in after a few weeks outside, it's getting noticeably colder as well, nights drawing in very fast now.

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  2. Here ours get wrapped into one long tube. They're shoved into the end of a wonderful whirling machine, one by one, and get wrapped into a long white worm. Not very attractive, but does the job. Next job is ensilaging the maize.

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  3. Hi Cumbrian,

    The weathers been very good to us in Ireland this year. Lots of hay (never thought I would see it made again), straw and silage been made and safely gathered in.

    Hope your weather improves. They had hail showers in Falmouth the other day, that resembled snow. Good weather is everything in the countryside.

    The Kale is very disappointing. There doesn't seem to be anything on the market that will kill the Redshank and not the Kale. I think I should have sprayed with Roundup first before we sowed the Kale seed. Looks like we will hand pick what we can and top the field. Then spray it and rotavate it in. I put it down to my inexperience and would love to know of an organic way of growing Kale. Is it possible without an army of workers or specialist machinery?

    Nights seem to be drawing in really fast here. There's not a lot to at night except the old television and that's not very good.

    Thanks!

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  4. Never heard of the long tube method, Cro. It seems to be either pit silage or round bales here in West Cork. The round bale contractors have starting buying new machines that mow and bale at the same time and you just need another tractor to wrap it.

    Thanks!

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  5. Never heard of the long tube method, Cro. It seems to be either pit silage or round bales here in West Cork. The round bale contractors have starting buying new machines that mow and bale at the same time and you just need another tractor to wrap it.

    Thanks!

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  6. Sad about the kale, I can't remember ever having so many weeds in it, usually once it's established it smothers everything else. Guess you're right though, the only organic way would be an army of workers, never heard of any specialised machinery. What did the rep have to suggest?
    Might salvage some of it by hand harvesting and leading it in to the beasts, but that must rank amongst the most horrible wet cold dirty jobs I can think of.

    I've never sen or heard of the long tube method either, must be a French (or Continental) idea, can't see the logic in it either.

    Weather continues its wet, cold and windy ways, starting to feel like winter, I made lentil soup from a ham shank the other day, usually a cold weather dish. And (never begin a sentence with and) thinking about lamb hot-pot, another winter favourite.

    Managed to get a couple of pounds of brambles this morning before rain stopped play, so it's bramble gin to set off hopefully ready for Christmas, need to set some mead off as well. Drinking Smugglers Ale at the moment, Muntons Premium, very nice, and a 5-gallon batch of Irish Stout in the bucket.

    Raggy cat seems to have migrated indoors, waits on the kitchen window cill first thing and demands the window to be opened, idle little sod, it's found a cosy bed on a pile of washing today. It's been eating well from the ham shank remnants, got a pork hock in the slow cooker today, so more feasting for it over the next few days, it gets rationed, don't want to stop it hunting.

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  7. Thanks for that Cumbrian. Just spent 2 hours pulling the Red Shank. I am determined not to lose the Kale for the cattle. Rain coming in tonight. So it looks like its going to take me a while to hand weed. It reminds me of when I first took on an overgrown allotment and cleared it with a fork and bucket and wheel barrow. I saw quite a lot of farms in Poland set out in the old communist style. Collective organic farming would be much better than struggling on your own. I suppose all farming was done by many hands in the past.

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  8. I published too soon then Cumbrian. The rep suggested spraying for cabbage white butterfly damage.

    Will do a blog with the red shank weeding in progress.

    I have never heard of the long tube method either.

    You eat and drink really well Cumbrian. Would you be kind enough to give us the bramble gin recipe, please?

    Raggy cat lives the good life too.

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  9. Just like sloe gin but using brambles.

    300 gr brambles, big juicy ones, there's a lot this year
    150 gr sugar, just ordinary that's in your cupboard
    70 cl gin, cheapest you can get

    Put all together in a wide-mouth jar, shake daily to dissolve the sugar, usually takes about 10 - 14 days, then just shake a couple of times a week. Strain off after about 6 - 8 weeks, keep cool and should be just right by Christmas, a nice pinkish purpley colour.
    Mine's in 2 x 200 gr coffee jars.

    Sad part is you have to use real gin, i believe it's possible to make it but that it's against the Customs rules. See the Air Still T500 available from www.lovebrewing.co.uk which is used to make distilled water.

    Heavy showers here.

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  10. Thanks a lot Cumbrian for writing down the bramble gin recipe. Must try the Mead and Jeddah gin tonight to see how its matured.

    Looked at the Air Still T500. It looks like a very good still. Can't understand why Customs won't allow you to distill. Is it because they can't tax it?

    Rain here tomorrow.

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  11. Thanks a lot Cumbrian for writing down the bramble gin recipe. Must try the Mead and Jeddah gin tonight to see how its matured.

    Looked at the Air Still T500. It looks like a very good still. Can't understand why Customs won't allow you to distill. Is it because they can't tax it?

    Rain here tomorrow.

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  12. Probably because they don't get any tax from it as you say. Brewing ale and fermenting wine are perfectly acceptable ways to produce tax-free alcohol, but for some reason, in some countries, distilling is somehow illegal. I've often wondered why, it must be a good hobby to complement beer brewing and wine making, sure I can drink myself to death just as efficiently on beer or wine as I can on spirits.

    Hope the Mead and Jeddah Gin are OK, they should be all the better for the keeping.

    A dj of blueberry wine bubbling happily, and half a dj of the same, there was just too much so I left the berries and topped up with some water, sugar, yeast and a splash of lemon juice to try a second ferment and another couple of bottles, it seems to be bubbling OK.

    Bramble gin transferred to a Kilner, I found one lurking in the back of the cupboard, nothing wrong with the coffee jars but the Kilner has a more watertight lid for shaking it up/

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  13. There is still quite a bit of Poteen Mooonshine, "the white lemonade" made in Ireland and my friends father in law in Poland distills his own vodka. I once heard of somebody who sold his home brewed barley wine for 50p a bottle. What harm is somebody doing making a few bottles of spirits or home brew and selling them? I have even heard that allotment holders are not supposed to sell their fruit and vegetables. There's nothing they can do to stop people using their produce for barter.

    We are really pleased with the Jeddah gin and the Mead is superb. Thanks again for the recipes.

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  14. I think distilling is less popular because of the perceived difficulty in building a workable still, and the great difficulty in carrying out the process.
    You can see them, big copper things about 8' high, for sale on the roadside in Portugal, I was told each village or farm will have a distilling session which might last a few days.
    But the small home stills now available seem ideal for the hobby enthusiast, many types of essences are available to produce different spirits.

    Yes, I think trading is a good thing, saves a lot of the need to use so much money, a bottle of home-produced vodka for a bag of home-grown spuds, home-cured ham, home-baked bread, home-made jam, preserves, an angler might have a salmon or some cod, etc, etc.

    Plum wine started today, just awaiting it cooling down to add the yeast.
    Dinner today fishermans pie with mangetout, Friday is always fish day.

    Still raining and getting colder and darker, no Indian summer here.
    Raggy cat found a new nest on a pile of washing in the bedroom, sleeps all day but always asks to go out at night, it's enjoying the pork hock remnants.

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  15. Sorry it's took me a while to comment, Cumbrian. Been mad busy labouring and mixing mortar.

    You made me think of that old Irish ballad:"The Rare Old Mountain Dew".

    "There's a neat little still at the foot of the hill...."

    Love your barter currency.Perhaps I could offer a working holiday on a smallholding in West Cork. We would provide them with their meals, a room and a drink or seven?

    Rained all yesterday morning. A lovely day today.

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  16. ...............Where the smoke curls up
    By a whiff of the smell you can plainly tell
    That there's poteen, boys, close by.
    For it fills the air with a perfume rare,
    And betwixt both me and you,
    As home we roll, we can drink a bowl,
    Or a bucketful of Mountain Dew

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  17. Labouring and mixing mortar are great exercise, a rung up the ladder from cutting kale. You building something?

    Working holidays sound good, what about WWOOFers, our friend Steve Golemboski-Byrne at Lackan Cottage Farm seems to have plenty of them, you maybe could take a leaf from his book?
    Sure you could find plenty for them to do in exchange for basic accommodation, plenty of good food and a some home-produced beer to oil the wheels.

    Yes, the bartering, recommended by our guru JS, i believe we could make much more of this system, everybody has some skill or produce to offer, nobody can do everything.

    Blowing a gale, SW, and pissing down. Back to normal.

    Raggy cat in, looking a bit bedraggled, milk, pork shank remnants, biccies, and asleep in its nest.

    How's Domino, terrier and Bracken?

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  18. "Thiddle I ay di diddle dum thiddle I aye..."

    I love the old Irish ballads, Cumbrian. Especially the likes of the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers. Folk music subjects are infinite and the often evoke every emotion from sadness to laughter. The great John Seymour used to love dancing and singing in the Irish pubs when he lived in Ireland.

    We have finally got round to installing a slatted tank and closing in the yard and holding crush. No more mucking out (except for Bracken in his new pen) and gallons of slurry for the silage fields. I won't be getting wet through either. I love labouring for the block layer and having somebody to talk to.

    Steve seems to be making a great life and I always enjoy following his blog. It would be great to have help round the smallholding. Smallholding farming is great but you miss talking to people.

    I would gladly help people in a barter scheme. I enjoy stone picking and having a laugh and a joke. There should be more emphasis on people being able to move to the countryside instead of the city and big towns.

    Gale and rain here. Domino sleeps next to missus on the couch and the terrier sleeps on the tiles on top of the pipes from the range, next to me, while watch the television. Bracken grazes with the cattle. I think he thinks he is one of them. Terrier sleeps in the barn full of straw. She helps to keep the rats away. Domino caught another mouse last week.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  19. "Thiddle I ay di diddle dum thiddle I aye..."

    I love the old Irish ballads, Cumbrian. Especially the likes of the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers. Folk music subjects are infinite and the often evoke every emotion from sadness to laughter. The great John Seymour used to love dancing and singing in the Irish pubs when he lived in Ireland.

    We have finally got round to installing a slatted tank and closing in the yard and holding crush. No more mucking out (except for Bracken in his new pen) and gallons of slurry for the silage fields. I won't be getting wet through either. I love labouring for the block layer and having somebody to talk to.

    Steve seems to be making a great life and I always enjoy following his blog. It would be great to have help round the smallholding. Smallholding farming is great but you miss talking to people.

    I would gladly help people in a barter scheme. I enjoy stone picking and having a laugh and a joke. There should be more emphasis on people being able to move to the countryside instead of the city and big towns.

    Gale and rain here. Domino sleeps next to missus on the couch and the terrier sleeps on the tiles on top of the pipes from the range, next to me, while watch the television. Bracken grazes with the cattle. I think he thinks he is one of them. Terrier sleeps in the barn full of straw. She helps to keep the rats away. Domino caught another mouse last week.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. "Thiddle I ay di diddle dum thiddle I aye..."

    I love the old Irish ballads, Cumbrian. Especially the likes of the Dubliners and the Clancy Brothers. Folk music subjects are infinite and the often evoke every emotion from sadness to laughter. The great John Seymour used to love dancing and singing in the Irish pubs when he lived in Ireland.

    We have finally got round to installing a slatted tank and closing in the yard and holding crush. No more mucking out (except for Bracken in his new pen) and gallons of slurry for the silage fields. I won't be getting wet through either. I love labouring for the block layer and having somebody to talk to.

    Steve seems to be making a great life and I always enjoy following his blog. It would be great to have help round the smallholding. Smallholding farming is great but you miss talking to people.

    I would gladly help people in a barter scheme. I enjoy stone picking and having a laugh and a joke. There should be more emphasis on people being able to move to the countryside instead of the city and big towns.

    Gale and rain here. Domino sleeps next to missus on the couch and the terrier sleeps on the tiles on top of the pipes from the range, next to me, while watch the television. Bracken grazes with the cattle. I think he thinks he is one of them. Terrier sleeps in the barn full of straw. She helps to keep the rats away. Domino caught another mouse last week.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete