12/10/2014

It’s haircut day again…

The past few days have certainly been busy. The six pelts (five rabbit and one coypu) have now been processed, and are soaking in the tanning solution. This is stirred twice a day for a week; so on Thursday the skins should be ready for the next step. This involves washing them, hanging them up until they are nearly dry, and then stretching them to soften the fibres. Just think – we need around fifty of these things to make a bedspread!

Today the second male bunny went to the great big field of clover in the sky. After some research online I used my mig-welding machine to construct a more humane dispatching tool. I won’t go into further details here, but this winter I intend putting up a new section on the website, probably titled “Husbandry” which will cover both chickens and rabbits, with relevant photos. Speaking of chickens, we have now moved the plastic chicken fencing to enclose a new area; the ground under the small chestnut tree near the courtyard was looking rather bare. They certainly keep the weeds in check, and even eat nettles – although only the young leaves!

The excavation of the barn floor is progressing slowly. Perhaps by the end of this week I’ll be able to start mixing concrete.

This year’s batch of sloe wine has finally started bubbling. Despite fitting a brewing belt to the container it’s taken nine days for bubbles to start going through the airlock, so I suspect the yeast may well be past its best. I’ve asked T&M for a small bag (500g) of malted barley, and once I have that I can try my hand at brewing some pumpkin beer. Unfortunately it looks like there won’t be any cider this year. Even T&M’s grandmother’s apple orchard has not produced very many apples. One of the trees at the aged FIL has a few fruit, but I think these will be eaten rather than brewed.

We still haven’t heard from the chimney sweep regarding the lining of our boiler stove chimney. I rather suspect LSS will need to give him a gentle reminder this week.

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