It’s all about food at the moment here at Les Fragnes.

Chris has just finished home-butchering our first home-grown-on weaner, and we’re over 50 kg of pork better off. Most of this is bagged up in the freezer, but the two legs are being cured in different ways, and Chris will tackle the bacon in a few days’ time. Pine, the pig, cost us €60 and we reckon he ate about €100 of wheat and pig complement so our free-range, never-been-near-a-chemical meat is working out at around €3 per kg. Very well worth all the effort. And worth putting up with the mind-rattlingly-annoying music that accompanies the River Cottage pig butchering video that Chris has been studying day and night!

The leg under the salt will end up as air dried prosciutto ham


I’m still busy with damsons and peaches. I’m producing either a batch of jam or panful of stewed fruit every day. I’ve still got some more apples and the medlars to process. The medlars need to blet first, which is the nice way of saying I need to let them rot.

Finding the right food for Ruadrhi’s breakfast is a bit of a problem at the moment. He has his brekky at 6.45 am. Now, Rors doesn’t do mornings, so trying to get anything into him at that hour of the day is a struggle. However, since he won’t be eating again for another five and a half hours it’s crucial to get food past his lips. He’s not a great cereal fan but he’ll have it occasionally, and he’s the same with breakfast bars and biscuits. I don’t really like buying the latter two food items anyway since they’re ridiculously expensive for what they are and they’re way oversugared. And they don’t pack many calories either. So I’ve started making my own breakfast bar-cum-cake with muesli, raisins, peanuts and a few dollops of chocolate spread in. He’s eating that at the moment so I hope it lasts. A lot of country-dwelling kids face the same problem as Rors. They leave home very early on a bus so have a long, long time to wait until dinner. Snacks at school are severely frowned upon but they might become a necessity as Rors grows and gets a bigger appetite but stays such a bad morning person.

Yesterday I was sauntering up to feed the turkeys a small bucket of soaked wheat when Chris expressed surprise at the amount I was giving them. I said that was just half of their daily ration. Chris’s eyes grew wide. He pointed out that I was giving seven turkeys the same amount of wheat per day as he gives Oberon, our 100 kg (that’s 250 pound) pig. He suggested I might possibly be overfeeding them a little. Hmm. I think he has a point!

The pellet pallet

And finally a tonne of fish food turned up today. We placed an order for this winter’s carp pellets a few days ago but hadn’t received any paperwork. However, a huge lorry rumbled down the drive this morning and presented us with a pallet of pellets. Now that’s efficiency!