Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Animal Tales - 86


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

Happy Birthday Animal Tales!


Gosh, I have just realised that it is Animal Tale's 2nd birthday.  What a great 2 years it has been reading so many animal related posts, the happy bits and the sad bits all sandwiched together with plenty of informative posts too.  So for a bit of fun I thought I would randomly re-read a number of the linkies over the 2 years and pick some posts for you to read again.  You can find this random collection by clicking here - Happy Birthday Animal Tales.

Before you head off I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has linked up.  I can't give you an actual hug but I can send you a Henry and Saari paw holding moment, as we found them in front of the fire yesterday!



Monday, 5 December 2016

Animal Tales 2nd Birthday Compilation


My little linky #AnimalTales is 2 years old!  It may not be up there with the huge linkies getting loads of people linking up every week but I still find our little animal community it great fun.  I have met some wonderful people through it (at least one in real life too!) as well as got to know your pets and I have read some fabulous blog posts.  Thank you everyone who has linked up over the 2 years and made the Animal Tales the best linky ... IMHO.

So to celebrate here is a random selection of posts from the 2 years.  I am sorry if one of your posts is not there and had I been able I would have included one from all of you.  Mind you I do have a small grumble .... there are not enough HIPPOS in Animal Tales.  I need hippos posts in 2017 please!!!


10 random posts from 2 years of Animal Tales


Wild boar problems for Phoebe at Lou Messugo in Provence, France

Wild boar

Friday, 2 December 2016

Weekly Green Tips #34 - 7 Foods in season at Christmas


Week 34 - Christmas Food with Seasonal Ingredients


Christmas is a great time for sharing some lovely food with family and friends ... and there is plenty of seasonal  produce to choose from.  Here are my top 7 seasonal Christmas foods and some great recipe ideas.  Foods in season relate to the UK and northern France.

Foods in Season at Christmas

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Going Green #1 - Dec 2016


Welcome to the first of the monthly linky - Going Green.  This is the place to promote all your green, sustainable, environmental, seasonal, local, organic, fair trade, ethical etc posts ... basically any post that helps or inspires readers to preserve and improve our beautiful world.  If you are not sure what posts would be good or need some ideas have a look here where you'll find al the details about the linky >>> Going Green Linky.



I had been mulling over starting a "green" linky for a while.  Anyone who has read A Green and Rosie Life before must surely know my passion for all things green however I have realised there must be a lot of other bloggers out there writing on similar subjects and I am simply not seeing these posts.  Hopefully The Going Green Linky will help bring together all theses great green posts and inspire other people to start going green.

Before we start, can I remind people of a couple of the "rules":

  • Please can you include my badge (preferably) or a link back to A Green and Rosie Life.
  • This is a blog link so in order for us all to benefit please comment on at least two other blogs in the link up, ideally including the one in front of you and my host post.

If you share your posts using the hashtag #GoingGreenLinky and I will RT you etc.

Need to find me on Social Media?  Here you go ...

Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google + | Instagram (coming soon)

Thanks for visiting and I look forward to reading all your linked up green posts.


A Green and Rosie Life





Monday, 28 November 2016

New Linky - GOING GREEN

I think we all know in our hearts that we could do more to help our environment but sometimes it all just seems too much.  Often we don't know where to start or maybe you think your efforts won't make any difference.  Well now help is at hand through my new blog linky:

"GOING GREEN"

There are so many things that we can all do to help the world we live in and yes, each individual small thing adds up to make a BIG difference.  GOING GREEN will share your blog posts that help inspire people through great tips and fabulously simple ideas as well as informative posts to help us all make the best green decisions.  

The linky will open on the 1st of every month and stay open for a week.  The first #GoingGreenLinky opens on December 1st.

What type of posts am I looking to share? 

  • Recipes using seasonal or foraged ingredients
  • Organic gardening tips
  • Attracting wildlife to your garden
  • How to shop like a green pro for the best ethical, fair trade, organic, local produce and goods
  • The 4 Rs and a U - Reducing, Re-using, Recycling, Repairing and Upcycling.
  • Crafts reusing materials that might otherwise end up in the rubbish bin.
  • Waste reduction - how to slim down that bin and reduce your plastic use etc.
  • Energy saving ideas.
  • Conservation posts - helping wildlife, wild flowers and their habitats.
  • Nature posts
  • Connecting kids to Nature
  • Discussions on green, sustainable, ethical, organic, environmental subjects such as:
    • Green hobbies
    • Green technology
    • Green politics
    • Good environmental practice

.... and lots more besides.  If your post has a theme that is green, sustainable, ethical, organic, fair trade, environmental, seasonal or local please do come and link up.

I will promote all posts on Twitter and if you use the hashtag #GoingGreenLinky I will retweet you.  I will start a Pinterest page once we get going. 

The boring bit:


> Linked posts must have a green/environmental etc theme.
> Please add the GOING GREEN badge to your post or sidebar and link back to A Green and Rosie Life.
> One post per person per linky.
> Old and new posts welcome.
> Read and comment - please read and comment on the host post, the post ahead of you and at least one other.
> If you tweet with the hashtag #GoingGreenLinky and @greenrosielife I will retweet  you.
> By adding a link you give permission for me to use any images from your post in future GOING GREEN link ups. Photo credits will be given.

If you have a suitable post then please do come and link up here on December 1st and let's help everyone by GOING GREEN.


A Green and Rosie Life

Friday, 25 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #33 - 7 Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


Week 33 - Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


Christmas is a time for giving and receiving but the downside of this is it is also a time of huge waste.  Unilever estimated that in 2014 the equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinners were chucked away i.e. around 263,000 turkeys and over 7 million mince pies.  Each year some 1.12 billion cards are sent in the UK with no way of knowing how many end up in landfill.  There is more ....each Christmas the UK public throws away:

> 226,800 miles of wrapping paper
> 125,000 tons of plastic wrapping
> 10 million items of turkey packaging.
> 25 million Christmas pudding packets

And this is just the UK - multiply these figures up across the world and we are looking at an unimaginable amount of waste.  So what can we do to reduce the amount of waste each Christmas generates?  Here are my top 7 tips to reduce Christmas waste.

Tips to Reduce Christmas Waste


Thursday, 24 November 2016

Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens, Tramore, Waterford


On our recent trip to Ireland I was keen to visit a few gardens.  As we were there in October many were closed for the winter but a few were still open.  I have already blogged about Cappoquin Gardens in Lismore and today I give you a very different style of garden: The Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens in Tramore, Waterford.

The gardens reflect the life and travels of Patrick Lafcadio Hearn who was born in Ireland but who travelled extensively in America and Greece before finally settling in Japan.  They are split into 10 individually themed gardens where plant structure, rocks and water play more important roles than flowers.  There are however flowers to be seen, including one when we visited, that most certainly should not have been in flower in October, a Japanese Iris.  Irises grow wild in Japan and are also cultivated widely in gardens there.  The Japanese attribute meanings to their flowers and the Iris means Good News.

Lafcadio Hearn Japanese Gardens
The American Garden

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Animal Tales - 85


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

Autumn Storms


Autumn has been making its presence know over the last few days and after weeks of very calm weather, here in northern France, we have taken a bit of a battering.  Most mornings I have had to go and look for blown away food bowls and on one morning part of a chicken shed roof was dislodged.  Luckily there were no chickens in that one and it was easy to fix.  Henry, our elderly cat has now also decided it is far too wet to go outside, although in fairness a light shower is enough to deter his outdoor forays and together with Saari they are vying for the best spot in front of the wood burner.  Do your pets dislike going out in the winter?



Friday, 18 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #32 - 7 Green Christmas Present Ideas


Week 32 -7 Green Christmas Present Ideas


With the festive season fast approaching and many people being far more organised than me when it comes to present shopping I thought a post in my Weekly Green Tips series about the types of presents you can give whilst helping the environment would be a timely idea.  Rather than listing specific green items I am, instead, suggesting how you can switch your whole buying ethos to one that moves away from the huge excesses that currently seem the festive norm.  Can we work together to make this a Christmas where you still give generously but not excessively?


Thursday, 17 November 2016

Hip Hip Hooray - A Happy Hippo Post.


With the news a seemingly endless trail of bad news it is lovely to wake up one morning to a wonderful piece of conservation news. The International Union for Conservation of Nature's Pigs, Peccaries, and Hippopotamus Specialist Group has announced that, thanks to tireless conservation work, Hippopotamus populations have now recovered from the decimation brought about by poaching. 

More details can be found on this page from Nature World News where ...

Quote:

"The hippo is one of Africa's iconic species, one that is becoming increasingly threatened by hunting and other factors," said Deo Kujirakwinja, Wildlife Conservation Society Scientist and the author of the report. "Our findings that hippos are on the increase is encouraging and evidence that efforts to protect hippos and other species are working. "
 I am a happy hippo lover today.





For more hippos images do head over to the Hippo Pinterst board I have with Eco-Gites of Lenault.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Oven Dried Chillies


I have had a fabulous crop of chillies this year despite trouble getting them to initially germinate back in the spring.  I ended up with 9 plants plus one ornamental chilli I had overwintered.  So now I have a lot of chillies to deal with.  I usually freeze them which is fine for many recipes but sometimes I want chilli powder or flakes and for that I need to dry them.  I have air-dried them before but I find they collect a lot of dust so this year I have had a go at oven drying my crop.


Friday, 11 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #31 - 7 ways to tempt you outside in winter


Week 31 - Tempting you outside in winter


As the seasons move forwards it can be harder to get outside once winter arrives along with its often miserable weather and short daylight hours.  However it is well known that getting outside has many positive benefits such as reducing stress and combating illness, creating a positive outlook on life and helping us to think clearly.  And all these have advantages for our environment.  Not being ill means we are not pulling on medical resources, having  a positive outlook on life and good thought processing capabilities helps us to make the right decisions which will help the environment.

But what if you are not an outdoor person.  How can you be temped to step outside when your urge is to hide under the duvet and watch the latest box set on TV?  Here are some ideas that might help.


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cappoquin Gardens, Waterford, Ireland


Over the half term holiday we managed our first family holiday with all 4 of us together in six years and we headed off to Ireland.  I have family there so in between introducing Simon and the boys to my aunts, uncle and cousins we also managed to fit in plenty of sightseeing.  Cappoquin Gardens in Co Waterford were one of the few gardens still open in October and it looked like we picked a perfect autumn day to visit.

Cappoquin House was built in the 18th century on the site of an old castle.  Its imposing Georgian Manor is also open to the public at certain times but we only wanted to visit the gardens ... which besides the gardener we had to ourselves.  A leaflet detailed what each part of the garden was used for or represented but we actually enjoyed just walking along its grassy paths through areas of woodland, herbaceous borders and shrubberies all exhibiting their delightful autumn colours.

For anyone like me who is rather fond of hydrangeas this garden was a veritable treasure trove of pinks, blues and whites:

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Violence and anger are not the the way forward. Choose kindness


Today the world enters a time of uncertainty.

A lot of people are scared.

My social media channels are full of disbelief and a feeling of helplessness.

Whilst we cannot change the bigger picture we can all make a difference.  We need to show the world that we are decent people.  Yes, we are all different and we all have different views.  For goodness sake there are some pretty big things that my very best friends and I differ over but we respect each others' opinions.  If we have nothing nice to say we don't say anything but overall we agree to disagree and move on.  We never resort to name calling and certainly not violence.

Violence and anger are not the the way forward.
Choose kindness.

So today I write this to you.

Today, be nice to people:

Smile at a stranger.
Help someone with no expectation to receive anything in return
Build bridges not walls
Help those less fortunate than yourself
Contact a friend you have not heard from in a while 
Hold the door open for someone
Check on an vulnerable neighbour


Choose kindness today and every day.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Animal Tales - 84


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

I'm back


Apologies to anyone who looked for Animal Tales 2 weeks ago - I was on holiday in Ireland and so Animal Tales also took a little holiday too.  Sadly, when I was away we were to lose one of our regular contributors and I am sure all #AnimalTales readers will have been saddened to hear that Lisa's darling dog, Stella, lost her battle with cancer recently.  Stella often put paw to keyboard and I will greatly miss her canine shenanigans.  So, with Lisa's permission, here are a selection of pictures of Stella to remind us what a great dog she was and what wonderful memories she will have left with everyone who met her, both in real life and through Lisa's blog.

Dressing up

Friday, 4 November 2016

Weekly Green Tips #28 to #30 - 21 ways to cook efficiently


Week 28 to 30 - Cooking Efficiently 


Apologies for the lack of Weekly Green Tips over the last 2 weeks but I have been away on holiday.  So to catch up here is a triple bonus post with 21 ways you can cook more efficiently and thus reduce how much energy (gas/electricity) you use when preparing meals.  I hope you enjoy them as much as the food you prepare. 

Image from Pixabay

Monday, 31 October 2016

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in November

What is seasonal food? 


If you grow your own vegetables the packet will tell you when you can expect to harvest the crop and this is when it is in season.  If you see vegetables for sale outside of this time then they are not in season and may well have been imported or grown under heat in a greenhouse.

Why eat seasonal food?


Food that is in season has many advantages over imported food or that grown under cover:
  • It will have the best and freshest taste.
  • It will have a higher nutritional value.
  • It is good for the environment as it will have low food low miles and less energy will have been used than glass-grown plants to produce it.
  • As a result it will be cheaper.
  • Finally, as a consumer, you will get seasonal variety and the excitement of the first taste of a just in-season food is hard to beat.  A strawberry in winter may look appetising but it has minimal taste compared to a summer one.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Animal Tales is on holiday!


If you have popped in to add a post to Animal Tales then "Hello and thank you".  I am on holiday for a few days so am not running it this week.  Sorry about that and the next one will be on Nov 8th.

In the meantime here is an adorable cat I met yesterday who seemed to have the run of the local church!


ANIMALTALES



Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Bees in the Polytunnel - Part 2


Last week I found my polytunnel full of about 300 bees and had no idea why they were there.  It was a mystery but now I do have a little more information.

I posted questions about the bees on Twitter and a Downsizer, a forum I am on.  Several bee keepers came back to me and 2 thought that the bees may well have been attracted to the warmth which makes sense as we were having lovely sunny weather at the time with daytime temperatures in the tunnel in the mid twenties.  They also thought they might be coming in to feed on the honeydew produced by aphids - but there are no aphids in there.  A third thought was they were coming to drink the condensation on the plastic but again this did not seem likely as none were drinking, just bashing into the plastic.  In fact the only thing I saw a few of them do (other than fly into the plastic) was to feed on the French Marigolds I have on there.

I then received some ideas about the species and I now believe the bees to be Ivy Bees.  This species was only identified as a separate species - Colletes hederae in 1993 and has been in the UK since 2001 (longer in France).  It is a mining bee that lives in the soil as a solitary bee but there may often be many hundreds or thousands of them in the same place.  They are on the wing between September and mid November when their main food source IVY is in flower, hence their name.

Male Ivy Bee By Charlesjsharp (Own work, from Sharp Photography, sharpphotography) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 14 October 2016

Weekly Green Tips #27 - 7 Great Green Hobbies


Week 27 - Great Green Hobbies


Have you thought about green hobbies you can take part in?  Here are my top 7 leisure activities that are great for you and the planet.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Bees in the Polytunnel - Part 1


I know with Halloween approaching "Bats in the Belfry" might be a more topical post title but to be honest, I don't have a belfry, although I did see a couple of bats when I went to collect older boy from athletics last night ... and one was huge!  But I digress as this is a post about weird goings on in the polytunnel at Eco-Gites of Lenault.


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Animal Tales 83


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

Advance Warning


I will be away at the end of the month so the next Animal Tales will be in FOUR weeks on November 8th.  Feel free to add 2 or more posts if you want to.

Pinterest -  I am sure some-one asked to join the Animal Tales Pinterest board recently but I have forgotten who - please do let me know if it was you.



Monday, 10 October 2016

Litter and Wildlife - It is our responsibility


I recently tweeted this picture:


... and it got a lot of retweets and comments.  A couple of people tweeted, quite rightly, that they would never throw litter so they could not be responsible for the plight if this poor bird.  I have no doubt they that they do never chuck plastic bags into the wider environment - or any litter for that matter - but that slightly missed my point.  My point is that we all use plastic but we actually do not have a lot of control over what happens to it once we stop using it.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Weekly Green Tips #26 - 7 ways to attract birds to your garden


Week 26 - Attracting birds to your garden


Gardens, especially small urban ones, are an incredibly useful habitat for birds and if you provide the right features you will be surprised how many birds you can attract.  Here are my 7 tips for attracting birds to your garden.



Monday, 3 October 2016

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in October

What is seasonal food? 


If you grow your own vegetables the packet will tell you when you can expect to harvest the crop and this is when it is in season.  If you see vegetables for sale outside of this time then they are not in season and may well have been imported or grown under heat in a greenhouse.

Why eat seasonal food?


Food that is in season has many advantages over imported food or that grown under cover:
  • It will have the best and freshest taste.
  • It will have a higher nutritional value.
  • It is good for the environment as it will have low food low miles and less energy will have been used than glass-grown plants to produce it.
  • As a result it will be cheaper.
  • Finally, as a consumer, you will get seasonal variety and the excitement of the first taste of a just in-season food is hard to beat.  A strawberry in winter may look appetising but it has minimal taste compared to a summer one.

Friday, 30 September 2016

Weekly Green Tips #25 - 7 Green Halloween Tips


Week 25 - A Spooky and Green Halloween


I am the first to admit I love Halloween but not the overtly commercial Halloween that has appeared in the UK over the last few years.  For me (and the boys) it's all about the ghoulish food, the dressing up and the not having to dust away the cobwebs in the weeks preceding Halloween!  It is NOT about heading to the shops to buy stuff  from the shelves that bear ever increasing amounts of plastic Halloween merchandise that we actually do not need.  Here then are the 7 ways I have a Spooky and GREEN Halloween.



Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Animal Tales 82


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

We are back down to just having Saari here again after all our canine shenanigans at the beginning of the month ... but she is making her presence known as she is in major moult mode.  I totally understand why some people get bald dogs LOL.  She is missing having some playmates though and hopes some of our gite guests will bring dogs with them!  



Monday, 26 September 2016

Musical Fields


At the end of September you would normally expect the Normandy countryside to be green but this summer has been exceptionally dry.  That might have been great for guests in our gite but not so good on the smallholding side of things with grass being a rather rare commodity this year.  So this weekend we played the animal equivalent of musical chairs i.e. musical fields!

Mojo and Pupmkin before they moved fields - can you see them both?

Our 4 turkeys
Our table chickens had already found themselves taking a one way journey to the freezer so that gave us one extra small field which started off a chain reaction of animal movements:

The laying hens are now in the field where table birds were and can still get back to the hen house by some clever gate design.  Although Bianca has decided she doesn't like her new field so is currently running round with the sheep.

Bianca

The 2 older sheep (she who had lambs and our own ewe) had pretty much eaten down the grass in the small pen by the veg garden so they are now in the hen run eating down what the hens had ignored ... and we will swap the hens and the sheep once the sheep have munched everything down and after we have made a shelter for the sheep as they don't fit in the chicken house that is there! 

The piglets were in the orchard field but Mojo, who is in season, had got through into the adjacent ex-sheep field in an attempt to get to Boris, our boar and her father!  So she and her sister, Pumpkin, were moved into the larger front field as this has newer and more secure fencing and a bit more of that rare grass.  But the turkeys were there so they have been shifted back into the small pen behind their shelter.  That also meant Mojo and Pumpkin were nearer to Boris and Coco so we moved them to the other pig pen, further away! Oh and we couldn't leave Peardrop, our final pig, in her pen as that was now next to the piglets and they fight through the fence so Peardrop went into the orchard field where she is too lazy to try and escape and being a little on the rotund side does not need loads of grass!

Are you following this?  Maybe this summary will help:

> Chickens to freezer
  > Hens to chicken field
    > Sheep to hen field
      > Piglets to turkey field
        > Turkeys to small turkey pen
          > Coco and Boris to the other pig pen
            > Peardrop to the orchard field

And we managed it without losing anyone although the sheep, as usual, gave us a bit if a run-around before deciding it was OK to go through the scary gate to a new field with more grass in it!

Ducks!  I forgot the ducks ... probably because they stayed where they are!  Actually I might let them out to free range whilst we have no guests in but we lost one to M. Renard recently, when she got out and didn't come home to be shut in at night, so I am a touch reticent to let them out.  Or I could put them in the front pen where Peardrop was ....

If you would like to come and meet our animals please do head over to our gite page - Eco-Gites of Lenault - where you can book a farm holiday in the beautiful (if currently slightly less than green) Normandy countryside.

ANIMALTALES

Friday, 23 September 2016

Weekly Green Tips - 7 Uses for Old Newspapers

Week 25 - Reusing newspaper


Newspaper is easy to recycle but as with all paper it cannot be recycled indefinitely as the quality reduces too much and there are also the energy costs involved in transporting the paper to be recycled and the process itself.  Not long ago it would wrap your Friday night fish and chips but not any more so finding other uses for your daily read makes good environmental sense.

Image from Pixabay

Thursday, 22 September 2016

As Summer melts into Autumn


As summer slowly melts into autumn, the spiders have once again been busy creating their intricate webs.  Nature's morning breath shows them off at their very best.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

100 ways to reduce your plastic use


Synthetic plastic has only been around since 1907 yet it is now found in almost every aspect of our lives.  Looking at my somewhat chaotic desk I can see plastic in or on all these items - the film covering books, a pack of labels and some chocolate I am trying hard not to eat, my laptop and mouse, my phone, a lamp, my glasses case,  a pen pot, a lighter, a flexi dog lead, sellotape and its holder, a tube of glue, a plastic bag full of loose change, a thermometer, a small pot, pens, scissors, a DVD case, the plastic coating on my spiral notepads ..... OK so I have a messy desk but it makes you realise how all pervading plastic is.  Recently I bought a jar of rollmop herrings.  I thought I was doing OK not buying plastic as they came in a glass jar with a metal lid but when I opened them I saw that the rolled herrings were no longer held together with a small wooden peg as previously but with a PLASTIC one.  Plastic is everywhere and this is not a good thing for us or our environment.

Why is Plastic Bad for the Environment?


1.  Plastic is made from non-renewable petrochemicals and natural gas whose extraction process produces large amounts of toxins that are harmful to wildlife and the workforce involved.
2.  Its manufacture adds to atmospheric CO2 levels leading to global warming.
3.  It is non biodegradable but it will break down to toxic components which can affect wildlife and enter our drinking water thus affecting us.
4. It is difficult to recycle so most ends up in landfill.  That plastic bottle you put in the recycling does not get made into a new bottle but gets down-cycled to polyester which is then not recyclable.
5.  It is a major constituent of litter - this is both unsightly and a danger to wildlife.  Much of this litter ultimately ends up in our oceans causing major problems to the marine ecosystem.  It is estimated that the weight of plastic in the oceans is equal to 50% of the total weight of marine life.


Monday, 19 September 2016

Weekly Green Tips - 7 Tips to help you grow Organic Veg

Week 24 - Organic Vegetable Gardening Tips


Growing organic vegetables ticks so many green boxes - you get to eat the freshest of healthy, seasonal produce without any pesticide residues, there are no food miles and zero packaging ... and it's good for wildlife too.  What's not to like so here are 7 great tips to get you on your way to growing organic vegetables.


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Animal Tales 81

Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening.

This last week it went dog crazy with us.  We look after various dogs when their owners go away and they all decided to go away at the same time and we ended up with 8 dogs here at one time.  So as well as Saari we had Freya, Izzy, Min Pig, Pip, Lucan, Missy and Abigail .... and when they went Charlot arrived!!  Luckily they all got on really well although I have to say feeding time with the cats thrown into the equation as well was a little "challenging" and took ages: I had to do them all in shifts to prevent thieving!  I didn't manage to get a photo of all of them but I think you'll agree that Missy, Abigail and Lucan all look very happy here.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

A Future for Recycling?


Recycling.  We all do it to a lesser or greater degree.  We separate out plastic, glass, paper, cans etc placing them in whichever bin our council says we should and get that slightly warm and fuzzy feeling that we have just done our bit to help the environment.


However is recycling always the best way to deal with much of our our rubbish?

Friday, 9 September 2016

Weekly Green Tips - Keeping Clutter out of Landfill

Week 23 - Ways to keep Clutter out of Landfill


I am currently taking part in a decluttering challenge with members of the forum Downsizer ... although I have to admit to failing miserably, at the moment, to get much done.  However it got me thinking about what all of us should do with the stuff we declutter as simply chucking it in the bin is not at all environmentally friendly.  Here are 7 ways you can sustainably declutter and stop things ending up in landfill.


Sunday, 4 September 2016

Veg, Fruit and Foraged Foods in Season in September

What is seasonal food? 


If you grow your own vegetables the packet will tell you when you can expect to harvest the crop and this is when it is in season.  If you see vegetables for sale outside of this time then they are not in season and may well have been imported or grown under heat in a greenhouse.

Why eat seasonal food?


Food that is in season has many advantages over imported food or that grown under cover:
  • It will have the best and freshest taste.
  • It will have a higher nutritional value.
  • It is good for the environment as it will have low food low miles and less energy will have been used than glass-grown plants to produce it.
  • As a result it will be cheaper.
  • Finally, as a consumer, you will get seasonal variety and the excitement of the first taste of a just in-season food is hard to beat.  A strawberry in winter may look appetising but it has minimal taste compared to a summer one.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Weekly Green Tips - Storing your Garden Produce

Week 22 - Ways to preserve your harvest


Are you having a great year in the garden?  Do you have more produce than you know what to do with?  If friends are refusing your gifts of yet more runner beans and marrows, don't throw them away but read on to see how you can store your produce though the coming months.


Thursday, 1 September 2016

Hints of Autumn


It is September 1st and after a few weeks of hot dry weather everywhere is looking rather parched ... and there are definite signs of autumn around the garden.  Apples on the trees are ripe for picking, although small after the lack of rain, leaves are starting to colour and the sedums are turning red as their tiny flowers unfurl (much to the delight of the bees and butterflies who feast on these late summer/autumn flowers).  Many of my sunflowers are still in full bloom though, with some only just starting to flower.  Hopefully summer is not ready to leave us yet but when she does depart, the garden is full of plenty of autumn and winter vegetables to see us though. 


Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Animal Tales 80


Welcome to Animal Tales, the blog linky that brings together all sorts of animal blog posts from all over the world.  It runs every other Tuesday to the following Thursday evening

I am afraid I have a sad post added this week so to balance things up a bit I thought you might like to see how very happy Moo is these day - one very laid back cat who found herself a new home back at Easter.



Monday, 29 August 2016

The Sad Tale of 2 Lambs who were not meant to be


For a couple of months we have been looking after an old ewe for a friend.  The friend bought her with her 2 ram lambs but as ram lambs can be sexually active from a few months old we needed to separate them as soon as possible.  We thought we had done so soon enough but a few weeks ago I decided she might be pregnant .... well can you imagine our surprise when Ben came running up from the field on Friday to say we had a lamb?   In fact not just one but twins. This, however, was not the good news it should have been as the reason the ewe was sold was because A) she was really too old to breed and B) she was unable to feed her lambs after an attack of mastitus blocked her teats.