Weekly round up

Well, it’s been a reasonable week.

We had a review of one of our clients and when we sat down and talked it through we had to say that although they have problems, three years with us has made a big improvement in manners, use of mobile devices and willingness to work outside. I’m not saying everything is perfect, because none of us are (not even me, and I have the advantage of writing only the good things about myself) but we’ve definitely made a difference.

Whether it’s a warm glow of satisfaction at a job done well, or just a touch of false pride, I couldn’t say. However, for now I’m feeling happy.

We ran out of eggs today because so many people bought them yesterday and the chickens failed to turn up the production overnight couldn’t take the shine off my good humour. Though when the volunteer cook melted the egg poacher I did feel a momentary wobble in my good humour. She boiled the pan dry, wasted four precious eggs and melted the plastic pots you poach the eggs in. Then she threw the pan away. As I said, pulling it out of the bin, it will clean up and even if it isn’t fit for kitchen use it’s good for garden or farm.

Reuse, repair recycle. We’ve been doing it on farms for years. I’m going to send her one of these as a gentle reminder.

I’m sure Men in Sheds will have a use for it.

On the natural history front we’ve had a good flush of butterflies this week in the late sun, with Speckled Woods putting in a strong showing on every day. You’ve seen enough of them on the blog so I won’t add another photo. I don’t know if it’s fact or just my observation, but they do seem keen to get themselves trapped inside. They did the same thing last year – coming in, perching on ledges and eventually dying.

Apple pressing went well with plenty of bottles on the shelves;apple sorting went less well so we admitted defeat on that and just put them into a big pile for pressing.

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One of the few that went right

There are some truly beautiful apples amongst them. Speaking personally, if I was Snow White I would eat some of these apples even if I did suspect my stepmother. They are just so appley.

That’s not a word according to my spell-checker. Let’s say that they look like the very essence of appleness then. No, that’s not a word either. Ah well…

The plan was to pick them and to bag them up with a note of the variety so I could photograph them for the website.

It didn’t quite work out that way. Hence the big pile.

The group that visited us on Friday still enjoyed the apple pressing even if I couldn’t identify the varieties so it doesn’t really matter.

Finally, I started another of my ill-fated experiments. I have three jars of carefully weighed apple waste and water. With luck it will become cider vinegar. Regular readers may recall that my experiments often fail to work, often because I forget about them,so we will have to see what happens.

There are three jars – one has cores in (which should take a couple of months to become vinegar if the internet is to be believed), one has apple pieces (which should take longer) and one has pomace from the pressing process, which is a bit of an unknown quantity as we’ve already squeezed a lot of the goodness out of it. If it works, it will give us an alternative to feeding pigs with the apple pressings.

If it doesn’t work I will merely have expanded my repertoire of disastrous experiments.

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Apples, cores, pomace. Yes, I stick labels on later

To get the right conditions of reasonable cleanliness, freedom from interference, darkness and temperature, I’ve hidden them behind books on the bookshelf in the office.

What could possibly go wrong?

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