There are two drawbacks to keeping your hens free range, the first and most problematic is keeping them safe from predators.
Without a doubt the one predator I have lost most stock to is the fox. They are nasty killers and will get amongst a flock killing everything in sight, but only take one bird to eat. I don’t really think they’d bother me so much if they just took what they needed to feed their family.
(For the record I wasn’t being kind to this fox by feeding it, I was keeping it in place whilst a gun was fetched)
We also have to battle with Badgers (one Badger took out an entire family of Muscovy ducks by digging under a buried chain link fence), Crows (they take the eggs & young) and Buzzards (they take young birds). And of course we also have rats that take eggs and chicks if given a chance.
The second ‘downside’ is a lot more fun but just as time consuming! My new laying hens are in a temporary house where they have a lovely nest box which only three of them lay in every day.
Two others have discovered this outdoor nest box which is nice and easy for me to get to.
One lays in this log pile.
And one little beggar lays in this old disused pig sty. I have to jump down this wall…
crawl through the teeny pig sized doorway…
and she lays behind the roll of sheep fencing.
Yes, I could block the doorway up but I don’t go to a gym so figure this little assault course has to do me some good. And I only collect her eggs every couple of days :)
Where’s the craziest place you’ve found a nest of eggs?
When I first saw a picture (on Pinterest I think?) of someone using houmous instead of tomato sauce on a pizza base, I couldn’t get my head round it at all.
But being the worlds number one fan of that tasty little dip I knew I had to try it, and boy is it good! It doesn’t change consistency at all (not sure what I was expecting it to do), it just flavours the pizza to perfection.
I can see you’re all pulling the funny face that I initially did but seriously, don’t knock it till you try it. If you love houmous as much as me, I promise you’re gonna adore loading up your pizza with it :)
Getting asked by Baking Mad to blog my favourite summer desert was more than a little tricky.
Raspberries in Champagne Jelly was my first thought (especially if I was trying to impress). Then there’s Eton Mess, that quintessentially English scramble of meringue, cream and strawberries which is beyond decadent.
But then I realised, I’ve never made you a Cornish Cream Tea! What could be better for a sunny day, with friends a visiting than a fresh scone piled high with strawberry jam & a BIG dollop of clotted cream? Thankfully Lizzy & H came to help me scoff them!
For those not in the know, this is the way to serve a Cornish cream tea, with the jam on first and the cream heaped on top. If you cross the river Tamar into Devon, they do it all back to front with the cream on first and the jam on top. Trust me, the Cornish way wins every time :)
Whilst I made a plain scone here to let the clotted cream and jam do the talking, Baking Mad have a tonne of interesting recipes for scones and lots of other gorgeous looking summer baking recipes too. Enjoy!
I LOVE visiting county shows and the Royal Cornwall is my absolute favourite.
I enjoy the animal events and the displays and the myriad of local businesses touting their wares, but the bit I love above all else? Unsurprisingly, the food stalls!
The show has become a Mecca for the fantastic food producers this county has to offer, and this year the selection of different foods was outstanding.
Sadly I didn’t get a photo of the Deli Farm Charcuterie, as their Cornish Honeyed Coppa was outstanding. And sorry, I scoffed it all before I could even get you a shot of it. You’ll just have to take my word for how tasty it was!
We are truly spoilt on this fertile peninsula of ours. The collective passion of our farmers, fishermen and other food producers to supply top quality produce to the rest of the UK and beyond, has really put Cornwall on the gastro map.
I feel equally blessed, proud and hungry to live here!
The Royal Cornwall is on every June in Wadebridge if you’re ever in this neck of the woods. You won’t be disappointed, I promise :)