Rabbit offspring

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Our rabbits have been at it again!

There is a reason why they coin the phrase ‘at it like rabbits!’ and ‘breeding like rabbits!’ – simply because rabbits produce offspring quickly. This time we have had 5 baby rabbits – including one who is extra fluffy due to angora ancestry!

Katy, The Good Life In Practice x

‘Who gives a flying Duck?!’

Yes Ducks are the word on the street down at The Good Life In Practice Smallholding. We have recently acquired 2 Indian Runner ducks who have now been christened Vivien and Merryweather.

They are a bit nervous but are very vocal and seem to randomly enjoy the company of the Leghorn chicken – an honorary duck we think! Here is a quick picture of them when they first arrived to their new home. Currently they have a watering pot to dabble and dibble in but their new massive old bath is in residence and getting prepared to replace the watering pot so they have a bigger water area.

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Book Review: A Little Piece of England.

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I received the book ‘A little piece of England’ by John Jackson through the post for a product review. It is a self-written account of about his family on their smallholding and their quest for self-sufficiency. The book has recently been re-released and follows the troubles, delights and activities on the family smallholding in rural Kent. I really enjoyed getting thoroughly into the book and enjoyed the way it was written. The characters that Jackson writes about are both detailed and believable – I found myself laughing many a times at the cockerels’ antics! Having had cockerels and chickens I found it doubly funny as the way he had written about the characters was spot on in the way they moved, acted and caused trouble!

The stories about Big and Little the dogs, the sheep and the elusive Ram, the cows and of course the numerous poultry including a feisty gander, geese, ducks and chickens are very easy to read and amusing. Personally, I think this is a great little book for budding smallholders and would be a great present for a new smallholder and conversely also entertain an established smallholder who could understand and identify with the stories and characters involved.

‘A Little Piece Of England – A Tale Of Self-Sufficiency’ by John Jackson has been reissued in hardback and is out now in all good book shops. It is also available in iBook and Kindle versions.

Mr Podge has been in the wars…again…

Poor Mr Podgington is not having much luck poor lad!

Mr Podge was in another cat fight we reckon and obviously lost very badly! He has been injured yet again and become a rather expensive cat for a cat that was a feral outdoors freebie cat!

Poor Podge had a mass of scratches, an absess and cuts on his neck and ears and a huge gash under his arm that would not heal naturally as it was too wide and open. Therefore, we took him to the vets and he had to have an operation to have  it cleaned and sewn up. Hence, for the last week he has had to wear the cone of shame which as you can see in the middle photo he has not appreciated at all. He has managed to take it off twice already!

Podge kept walking into things and misjudging the size of the cone – he gave up on trying to eat difficult items and gave up trying to clean his face properly; so we came home one night to his face covered in food, cobwebs and dust – lovely. Anyway, he was not allowed to go outdoors or jump until it was healing properly. Thank god he is now okay and can go outside – cone is off and we have a much more pleasant, less angry cat in our household!

Now Podge has been allowed back outside we popped his collar on -and within less than 10 hours he had lost it – that is probably the fourth one that has been lost…

Anyway, all is all this supposed farm cat is causing rather a lot of trouble at the moment,

Katy and Mr Podge, The Good Life In Practice xx

Recipe: Runacres Blackcurrant Jam

First things first, sorry it has been a tad sporadic on the blog post front recently – what with the move, new jobs and general summer things have been hectic and busy! However, my amazing friend Melissa brought round some tasty blackcurrants picked from her garden the other week – yum! She had a glut of them so I was lucky enough to be given a batch of currants! Hence a quick, speedy jam making session before tackling the next thing on the to-do list.

This jam thickens effectively and will keep for a good amount of time in a cold, dark place. Once opened pop in the fridge.

Makes about 4/5 average jam jars worth.

Ingredients:

-500g blackcurrants (washed and any stalks taken off)

-680g sugar

-Juice of one lemon

-450ml of cold water

Method:

1. Place the blackcurrants and the water in a big pan and simmer the mix for 25 minutes.

2. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the mix, stir until it has dissolved. Increase the heat setting until it boils for approximately 15 minutes or until it has reached setting point (test a bit on a cold saucer to check!).

3. When you are happy with the consistency of the jam, ladle it into your sterilised jam jars and cover with wax discs and lids.

This is tasty on crumpets, as a mix with apple pieces for a crumble and heated then drizzled over vanilla ice cream in summer.

Katy, The Good Life In Practice xx