Sunday, February 24, 2013


So no planting today.  The earth is too wet and there is probably more rain on the way.  There is snow covering all the tops of the mountains and it's really chilly.  It got down to about -2 degrees C during the night, but it's about 9 degrees at the moment.  We will pickup some more plants this week when we have a lovely sunny day.  Thursday and Friday are fiesta days so we will probably plant them in then.

Making another lemon tart today and probably more lemon curd tomorrow.

We have solved the rice husk idea also.  The farmer said they are good on the ground of the chicken coop to stop the mud getting too bad - hooray!

More soon...........

Saturday, February 23, 2013


It has been quite a busy week and although the weather has been good recently it is all change this weekend.  Apparently we are in for snow! On the mountains anyway.  Sa Pobla is quite flat and at low level so it is not common to  get snow down here.

During the week C made a new temporary roof for the hen house.  A couple of the hens have been flapping up on top of it and have broken through!  C used palm fronds that have been pruned off the trees recently and with a sheet of plastic over the top it seems to be keeping the weather out.

Temporary roof whilst we get some different materials together

The hens are still laying and this week we had a couple of whopper eggs (they must be double yolkers).

The cockerel is pushing his luck!! As I entered the coop a few days ago, he attacked me.  GREAT! One bruised leg later, I am considering how to cook him!  We are now entering the coop with a bamboo stick to keep him at bay, but if it continues we will have to get rid of him.  We can't risk him hurting J or any of the other kids that come round here.  So WATCH IT ROOSTER.

C & I went over to the farm next door to speak with the guy there about which plants to plant in next.  We said we would come by on Saturday (today) to take some.  Whilst we were there he was shaking his head and mumbling in Mallorquin about pigeons eating all his seeds in the poly tunnel.  He beckoned C & I in and asked us to help him get them out! It was comical to say the least.  We spent about 10 minutes flapping our arms and running about - trying not to flatten any seedlings or the delicate water system.  Eventually they all escaped through the door and the farmer went about patching some of the holes where the birds were getting in.

The same farm grows and sells a special type of rice.  They have huge bags of left over rice husks, I have no idea what they can be used for, but I thought I'd research that and see if I can get some from them.

Large bags of rice husks, with Llam sitting on top

We are expecting snow, as I mentioned above, so it is possible we won't collect any plants today.  We already have cauliflowers/cabbages and brussels growing, but they are not growing well, so we'll get some more to plant in and see how they grow.

Yesterday was LEMON CURD day in our household.  I have never made it before and actually haven't eaten it since I was a kid.  It was actually so simple to do, I couldn't believe I'd never made it before.  So armed with some lemons from a friends tree I managed to make 3 jars of it, one of which will go to mum later today.

Lemon curd.  1st ever batch.

I also made a lemon tart, which isn't difficult either, however, it is a long winded procedure and so I probably won't make that so often.  The tart that I made yesterday was delicious and there isn't any left! ooops.  I am going to make more lemon curd this weekend I think.

Lemon tart - so yummy.

J has asked for a pet rabbit! groan.  I am not a fan of them myself and I have told him he'll have to wait.  We have friends that breed them for food but I don't think we've eaten rabbit before, if I like it we may do the same, but not at the moment.

Just a few more pictures from the last few days.

Ying and Yang cats

 Winter sky at sunset

View of the hills, from the Albufuera, Sa Pobla

Daisies after dusk.  Taken on a walk with Ruffa.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Well, another delay in writing the blog, mainly due to winter illnesses brought on by wood-smoke, mould and a lot of damp!  Mallorca in the winter (mainly February) is never the best place to be, especially if you live in the country.  

The past week has seen a couple of marmalade cakes being devoured, along with cheese & curry savoury biscuits.
The weather has been very on/off, with breaks of sun -which has been quite warm during the day, but also a lot of gloomy cloud, which quite frankly is darn depressing.  HOWEVER... this week we are going to go to the farm down the road to pick up some new plants to pop into the veggie plot.  This should cheer things up a little.

C is outside chopping up the last of our logs so that they will actually fit in the wood burner.  We need to order another load as soon as possible.

We still have loads of oranges and mandarins on the trees and they also need collecting and large batches of marmalade need to be made by C.

All animals at the finca seem to be happy at the moment.  Adolf appears to have recovered and even has some fur growing back around his neck.  We also have another couple of cats that seem to be creeping around, both black, so we will see if they become more friendly or not!

The turkey pen is being cleaned up and we are going to rebuild the turkey house to make it bigger.  No rush though as we don't need to get more turkey's till about July.

The olives are almost ready to pickle but just need a little more time in brine.

Tomorrow I have a trip to Palma, then back to Sa Pobla in time to teach some art and get messy with papier mache!

Friday, February 8, 2013


Yesterday I refreshed the water in the olive bin, for the umpteenth time, and then decided they were ready to pop into brine.  I put fresh clean water into the bin and a fresh egg (see a previous post about this if you don't remember) and stirred in lots of salt.  Once the egg popped to the surface I took it out and threw in all the olives.  I will check this every day, removing any scum and then I will change the brine water about every 5 days or so.  We will see what happens.  There seem to be many different ways to do it, so I am doing it MY WAY!  I just hope they don't turn out too bitter!

I was looking online for some labels to print out, for the jars of olives, marmalade etc and found an excellent site.  It is called...


I spent about half an hour messing about with it.  Great fun.  Now all I need to do is make some gummed paper.  Easily done.  Just use NON-flavoured gelatin, dissolve in some warm water and you are ready to paste it onto the back of the paper you are going to use.  I will be printing off the labels first then gumming the backs of the paper, leave to dry and then they are ready to use when you need them.

Today the weather is cloudy, rainy and sunny all at the same time, I have not seen any snow on the mountains today, which is good.  The workers are all out in the lettuce field next door, gathering them up for a local business.

We got two eggs from the hens this morning, which is great as it really is chilly but they are still happy to lay.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


Yesterday the wind got up again and was so strong I thought we'd get blown away! 

I stood in the doorway of the house waving C and J off to school this morning, C shouted back that the hen house doors had been blown open!  I tiptoed up through the muddy vegetable plot, past the suffering lettuces, cauliflowers and cabbages, in my crocs and pyjamas, to secure the doors.  I realised at that point that the nest box doors had also come open and the wooden posts supporting the boxes outside had come loose! eeeek! Our chicken house seems to be collapsing!

I went back to make a cuppa and throw on some clothes.  Heard big rumbles of thunder!  Had some toast, C got back to the finca and had brekky also.  I donned my big waterproof coat and headed for the wheelbarrow.  I pumped up the tyre (its old and needs a new one) and headed for the hen house.

Of course the heavens decided to open just as I was cleaning out the chickens.  We seem to be getting a lot of hail and sleet this morning.  It is very chilly, wet and gloomy, not a nice day in my book.  I wonder how the mountains are, have they got lots of snow on them? It is thick black cloud over them at the moment so who knows!

I put clean bedding down for the chickens and secured the doors - job done.  I had just got inside when the hail really came down.  Hail the size of large peas! Everything was white but a bit slushy for a few minutes.  I need to walk Ruffa this morning but I am not sure he is going to be too happy walking in this weather.  However, sitting here at the computer writing this, I can hear all the birds singing loudly, so perhaps it has improved.

Hail on the sunbed! This is the bed Ruffa uses when it's a bit drier!

Our dwindling log pile.  We will have to order another ton soon.

Views from Ruffa's walk yesterday.

Another view from our walk.  It was a lovely sunny day, but with a very chilly wind coming down off the mountains.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


The past week has been a little busy - hence no posts!

We have had a wonderful week of bright sunny weather and the temperature during the day even reached a balmy 20 degrees C around Wednesday.  Lovely.  But now, alas, the weather has turned again and we have very cold, strong winds.  Apparently there should be snow on the mountains again this weekend, but it is so dark and cloudy over them, that I haven't been able to see.

We have had a little rain but nothing major yet.  All the cats have been sheltering from the winds.  Living here, amongst the fields, we are a little exposed and all the trees almost bend in half! brrrrrr.  One of the tall palms at the front of the house has lost some of it's branches in the night! They were strewn about the yard when I got up this morning.  Glad no-one was standing under those!

C has been very busy cooking all sorts of lovely things.  He experimented making cheese and curry savoury biscuits, which I have to say didn't last long, really good.  He has also made a pear and ginger loaf, again delicious. It's great having a husband that enjoys cooking - yummy.

Curry and cheese savoury biscuits.  Taste a bit like cheese straws but with a curry spice zing.  Delicious.
C has managed to prune most of the palms and disposed of the branches/leaves on the big fire heap at the front of the property.  It will need setting alight again soon.  

We have all be struck down with nasty colds/coughs so things have slowed a little, but we keep plodding on.  Adolf the cat that has a very nasty wound on his neck, has wriggled his way back into the cat family outside. I am keeping an eye on him to make sure he doesn't suffer any more fight wounds for a while.

The hens are still laying, although we are now averaging about 1 per day! not much but at least it's something.  We will have to resort to more supermarket eggs!

Stay tuned......