Went to a birthday lunch on the 17th, most enjoyable. Arrived home laden with leftovers of cake and trifle. The weather was dry and bright, so we got outside afterwards and spent an hour or so tidying the greenhouse, preparing seed trays and looking out the vegetable seeds.
After the fog cleared away on the 18th, most of the outdoor time was spent trying to clear up the aftermath of the mole-duck-hen wars. Then I managed to rescue a sole survivor, in the shape of a lonesome lettuce, from the big, covered tub by the back door. (Except it was no longer covered - ducks had demolished it!) It got emptied, refilled, more seeds sown and moved into the greenhouse. It was surprisingly warm in the sunshine! 18C in the greenhouse!
There were no parsnips planted here in 2009, so I was down to the last of the leeks, turnips and carrots in the winter veg beds. Aiming for more leeks, onions, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, and beetroot in 2010. The garlic has already sprouted through the frozen soil!
Bailey, the pheasant, was still with us, perfectly happy to eat, drink and socialise with the hens alongside. He got a newly revamped run with solid brick base that shouldn't let anything burrow in or out - Bailey bird seems to think he's a chicken!
By the 20th, it was pouring rain again, but there was a bit of excitement. People were starting to view the empty property next door! It'll be nice to see some life about the place, I only hope they've done their homework properly and can embrace frugal life by bartering with the neighbours.
Progress in revamping the kitchen was slow. I wanted to create a mini-farmhouse kitchen, complete with pot belly stove, but what I had was a shambles that sent a chill through your bones in the winter mornings.
Laundry detergent getting low, so had to make another batch of that:
1 cup washing soda
1 bar of soap (or equivalent)
22nd January - dragged a big wooden workbench frame from the garage, cleaned it up, then added an old piece of kitchen worktop. Re-jigging of the Frugaldon kitchen was now in progress. The charity shop bought stand was looking quite good once it was cleaned up and filled. Meanwhile, H had to do emergency repairs outside after last night's storm - replacing collapsed fencing, mending and pinning everything down with the surplus bricks from next door's messy corner. Share and share alike in Frugaldom, that's the number one rule of living here.
23rd January - Hens and ducks fed & watered, paths swept, new kitchen space admired and breakfast made. Attempted to make some 'elixir' for adding to the poultry water feeders: surely that would help encourage more egg laying.
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup honey
8 cloves garlic
Blend for 60 seconds, pour mixture into a glass container, seal and leave in the frige for five days. Normal dosage is 1 to 2 teaspoonsful in a glass of water or fruit juice before breakfast for humans. Guess a tablespoonful will be enough in each hen water feeder. Hoped the duck eggs wouldn't taste of garlic!
6 x drops tea tree or lime or lavender essential oil (or just use lemon or lime juice!)
1 x heaped tablespoon soap flakes
1 x heaped tablespoon of soda crystals
1 x tablespoon white vinegar
Tea tree - already in the soap flakes
Lavender - already in the soap flakes
Soda crystals - 16p (8 heaped tablespoons)
Vinegar - 8p (8 tablespoons)
TOTAL = £0.57 for 24 litres
Can you believe that? I couldn't! Homemade, own variety eco-friendly washing up liquid for less than 3p per litre when shop bought stuff costs about 98p per litre! Awesome frugalicious find! I will never again buy W.U.L.! (Or so I thought!)
Pickles & chutney
Washing up liquid
Kindling for the fire
The longer the list grows, the less I need to spend. The less I need to spend, the more I can afford. Every penny saved is a penny earned and put in the bank for the longterm. 'Project logburner' was well and truly underway with every penny (and £2 coin) counted.
paper - shredded for paper bricks & nesting material for hens
cardboard - for kindling
toilet roll & similar inner tubes - stuffed with paper for kindling
tins - to the recycling
glass - mostly for storing preserves or else sent to recycling
clothing & material - sewing projects & recycling
egg shells - washed, dried & crushed for hens
duck egg shells - going to attempt blowing them for decorating
tea bags - making plant food then composting
all fruit & veg peelings etc - hen feeding and composting
breadcrumbs - frozen for future use
hen bedding - recycled into compost
wood ash - dug into garden or used as dust bath material for hens
fallen cones & sticks - for kindling
dry leaves & wood chips - for hen runs
seeds from peppers & tomatoes - for growing the following year
candle ends - for kindling
soap ends - for making laundry gloop & WUL
Plastic containers & tubs for storage & planting
Tomato puree tubes - make excellent embellishments & decorations
More info and photos HERE