Tag Archives: nettles

Focus! First week report.

A week in and little has changed – seems like I’m going toi have to do some fine-tuning.

The intention was to narrow down my workload and achieve more by focussing relentlessly on getting results. The reality was that I’ve been given more to do and I’m still sprinkling my effort lightly over too many projects. Sprinkiling lightly seems to work with fairy dust, but in real life it doesn’t bring many results.

On the other hand, we did make nettle soup today, something I’d been meaning to do for two years. I’m hoping to move on to other nettle products as the year progresses. With luck, they will appear on my new nettles page, but considering my track record the result may well be that one of the other pages disappears.


It’s been a productive week with two days delivering the college course, a day of Woodland Trust training and a school so far. I’ve even had chance to try out my new soup and soda bread lesson, which went a lot quicker than I thought it was going to do. I’m going to be running it twice more next week so I’ll have to add a few bits.

Meanwhile Julia has landed me with running a party for twenty five-year-olds tomorrow – looking at lambs, making butter and being generally nice. It’s not really my forte.

Latest news on the guinea fowl is that several have gone in the pot and were delicious. The survivors are currently engaged in escspe-related activities and the outside group has risen to eight. They are so successful at escaping that we have been accused of helping them. If you remember when I first pased an opinion on the captivity I said that in a battle of wits my money was on the birds – seems I’m right.



This a picture of guinea fowl at liberty during a solar eclipse. Not much different to a normal picture of guinea fowl but I was bored after borrowing a welding mask and staring at the sun with a bit missing so just took some random photos.

The Moving Finger

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward FitzGerald

Yes, I know it can be read as a bit of a miserable quotation, and I admit I do always get a bit gloomy at New Year. For the first few days it’s always a case of remembering what I haven’t done in the last year, though I gradually build up a good head of steam and start to look forward to the new stuff.

Things are already moving on for next year – we had a booking for a Yoga Retreat yesterday and a local college emailed to confirm five more dates to come and do its animal care course. This morning we had another email as one of our regular schools booked to bring three classes round to look at lambing and do some cooking. That’s a good start to the year.

I’ve also been writing a list of things to do. That in itself is enough to cause depression as it’s a bit like building a mountain for yourself to climb. However, I just mutter the short version of the above quote (The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on:) and get on with it. That’s what New Year is about for me, doing things and moving on.

This year we will be building up the butterfly garden and recording butterfly sightings in a more systematic manner.  We will also be doing more observing and recording of insects and birds. We’ll never be as good as the people at eakringbirds.com but that’s no reason not to try.

As usual the garden is the site of many of our good intentions, and as usual we’re already falling behind with it.

I’ve been doing some reading over Christmas so I have a few new notes to add to the cookery demonstrations. I’ve also dusted down my old guano notes as I’m feeling the time is right for more talk of manure. And dung, compost, fertiliser, nitrates, personal liquid waste (as Bob Flowerdew calls it), comfrey, nettle tea and anything else that rots, festers or smells.

I need something to replace the “Is it wrong to eat people?” presentation as this didn’t go down terribly well with the parent helpers or my wife. This will, for the moment, join the notes about eating guinea pigs as a subject that needs a little polishing before being used again.

It’s also the time for finalising all the special days – either traditional ones like Lammas or the modern manufactured ones. I keep meaning to do National Carrot Day just because it’s so unlikely, and because we could make carrot lollies just like World War 2, National Nettle Week is a definite for this year because it ties in with the butterflies and making people eat weeds. There are others I’m looking at too, though I’ll be giving National Chip Week a miss and National Mango Week is just taking the mickey.

So there you go – 2015 and it’s all to play for.