We were back at it yesterday, planting trees on the edges of the upper meadow to help create wind defences for the vegetable garden and for the meadow depending on which way the wind is blowing. James had left an area at the edge with slightly longer grass after the big cut of the meadows at the end of last year. He knew that this was roughly the area we wanted to add trees to so yesterday we started by placing bamboo sticks in the ground where we wanted the trees to go making sure we retained a curved path wide enough for the quad. We have planted mainly the native and abundant Silver Birch but also some Oak and Rowan. This will not only create a wind defence but also help hide the working areas of the garage, barn and vegetable patch from the deck viewpoint area.
Great patience is required when planting for wind defence but you can’t ask for better results and if you are following this blog you will know we are always adding to our defence in different ways and it is amazing to see the results, a real work in progress!
Outdoor weddings are becoming more popular in Scotland and Rudha Mor Plockton is now offering this stunning location as a highland wedding venue. We recently held the 4th highland wedding event at Rudha Mor for a local couple who had lots of fun ideas which we helped to bring to life to make their wedding day incredibly unique and memorable. Our headland location in Plockton has some of the most stunning views of the famous Plockton Crags, Loch Carron, Loch Kishorn, Applecross and the Isle of Skye. We can now offer a full wedding package including marquees, catering, a bar and with your bespoke ideas in mind.
Well after just 3 days the seed trays I planted in the propagator have started to sprout. This is such an exciting development because we always seem to be running so far behind with our vegetables when they should already be producing. The plan for now is to keep the seedlings in the newly boxed in propagator and build another space that I can move them to when they are bigger but still not ready to be outside. This maybe just the thing we need to get our food production levels up.
I built the propagator earlier this year in the spring and it worked wonderfully for getting seedlings going this summer but as the cooler temperatures have descended on us it was not holding more than 8 degrees at ground level. I decided to box it in earlier this week and I am super pleased to find that it is maintaining an air temperature of 20 degrees. I have just seeded several trays of vegetables with the hopes of having food producing plants earlier in this coming year.
For the first year ever we have managed to grow (and patiently wait to eat) our winter vegetables so that we would have enough for a great Christmas spread. Delicious home grown carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts and onions and we have been eating up the leftovers with lots of green veggies. Today I made a dish with leftover turkey, and from the garden leeks, cavolo nero, purple sprouting broccoli and from the shop a courgette zoodled with some garlic and ginger for a nice healthy follow up to our Christmas dinner which was fairly indulgent.
We are so excited to have pigs! A healthy bore and a sow to help churn up the ground where the bracken grows shoulder high in the summer. The hope is that the rhizomes of the bracken will be destroyed or disturbed enough that we can begin to repurpose the area for other projects. Once they have worked their magic on the first location we will move the fence and start again with the hopes of making a real impact on several areas which have been lost to the fast spreading bracken. Besides helping us to tackle a job that has up until now taken up a huge part of our time the pigs are also a joy to be around. Mangalitsa pigs are known for their sheep like furry coats and their dog like personalities. They will eventually provide us with our first home reared meat, discussions have already begun on curing and cooking. For now we will enjoy each others company and look forward to seeing what difference they make to the bracken patch.
Well it’s been a long time coming but now is the time. Iv been meaning to strip the wood shed and make room, at first I thought it would be a quick sleeves up and we’re away. But no put a screw in the wall and watched it fall out almost straight away. Dry rot?? I. Then softly placed my hand behind one of the slats and give a tiny pull and almost the whole wall fell out. Luckily I had a plan before I knew it I’d stripped it back and the fire pile grow. With a lot of scratches to ones head I began figuring out how to put it all back together and make plenty of working room. It still needs a little figureing it out but we’re getting there.
The mushrooms are blooming! I think the combination of a super hot summer followed by some serious rain means that we are experiencing a super mushroom season. We have recently collected two huge baskets full of hedgehog mushrooms and only just tapped what was growing. Our general process is to bring in one basket at a time because they have to be cleaned before they can be eaten or dried. Top tip for all you mushroom pickers out there, we use a natural fiber pastry brush to gently brush the mushrooms clean. Whatever you do don’t wash them as they will just absorb the liquid and leave your cooking watery. We use a dehydrator which has 5 layers and usually produces about a quart size container of dried mushrooms. Dried mushrooms make for a great addition to the Christmas hampers that we like to give friends and family, we usually recommend adding them to soups, stews and gravies. Of course the best thing to do is eat them right away!! Hedgehog mushrooms are delightful and buttery and lend themselves perfectly to a risotto, we had ours with a little parmesan and goats cheese and I made sure to cook more than we needed because I wanted to try making arancini which is a classic Italian fried rice ball using risotto. Happy Hunting!
The problem with all work and no play is no recovery time! This place inspires you to to just keep going as you turn a corner and boom something else needs doing. But now a couple of years into it and a plan and pattern is revelling its self. But boy if you just keep going for it and not take anytime to enjoy, bang your down with a fever and three days in bed before you can even think about recovering. And this a the height of the season just give you more work to do when your back on your feet. And looking back at last year it happened then to.
So a little R&R is good for you take it.
The fabulous weather is back and we decided that it was a good day to tackle some of the changes we wanted to make down on Jimmy’s walk. We currently have Nona, our very first live in volunteer helping out around the property so the three of us headed down with a variety of tools loaded into the wheelbarrows to see how much we could accomplish in a day. Nona and James both started with strimming on both sides of the path while I cut back some unwanted plants around the pond. Once they had revealed a large area I went in and hand pulled the longer grass around some of the smaller plants and flowers that we have been adding to the area recently. They then began placing some new plants around and digging them in while I trimmed back growth around the bases of trees. It was so satisfying to see the results and in the process we came up with some new ideas of plants that might do well in the area. It just so happened to be a perfect day for a BBQ so I ran off to the shop for some supplies and we enjoyed a relaxing evening with friends after a hard days work.