Farm wise, this has been a mixed year for us. Animal wise, We lost a piggy(escaped through the fence) and one of the sheep was getting weaker and weaker and recently(December) the poor thing just died. A very sad day :( .The poor sheep was cremated Darth Vader style ably assisted by petrol. We also lost our cat who walked into the dog compound. We are looking to expand our animals next spring with Chickens, rabbits, pigs and a barn cat. So hopefully, this time next year we should have lots of fresh meat and eggs and maybe some smoked hams in the pantry. The one thing which Hungary lacks is decent affordable cheese and Andy has been recently taken with the idea of making cheese. We are NOT getting cows to milk but we might try to make some nice cheese in exile!
The farm itself is quite amazing, we've found fruit trees (apples, Cherry, pear, apricots , mulberry) all growing organically without much help. However, the farm hasn't been well maintained for the last few years, and we are slowly putting things back together. this seems a long and daunting challenge but I am thinking we are slowly getting there. The Vegetable patch has a few trees growing in! We are hoping to plant pumpkins, peppers, butternut squash, sweet potatoes. We also are hoping to get some raspberries/blackberries established in the orchard as well as a few more trees.
For some reason, one corner of the garden is literally filled with rubbish. Andy has removed over 200 glass bottles from this area and there is still more! We have filled a garage with scrap metal excavated and we are only touching the surface! The interior and exterior fences are also not in good shape, so Andy with his cool American friend Matt, have been slowly lining the existing fence with pig wire and it seems to be holding well. The fence situation is always improved by old trees blowing over in the wind and taking out large sections! The stihl chainsaw has been used extensively and we have a nice pile of wood for heating the house and the kitchen. We hope to get a new external fence in the spring and then plant thorns close to the fence so eventually we will have a thorny hedgerow which should keep our dogs in and other animals out. Talking of other animals, we regularly have deer walk past our garden, these are beautiful animals which are so graceful and delicate. Andy will in the next year, hopefully join the local hunting club and then we can have fresh Bambi!
Out kitchen is unfortunately falling apart as the building is made from mud bricks, covered with mud and straw. This traditional method of building is rather easy for mice to burrow into and the building is just crumbling away. This is forcing our hand to act soon as we might not have a safe kitchen in 2011! There is a 220kg wood burning aga lovingly moved from the UK which we use when it is cold to heat the kitchen and for cooking. We will attempt to cook our CHRISTmas goose in there too. Agas are wonderful things except they use a lot of fuel, which isn't problematic when you can grow your own. On the wall in the kitchen, is a beautiful orange stain from making pumpkin wine! We didn't have enough grapes to make proper wine so we bought a large cheap pumpkin and using an Internet recipe are attempting to make pumpkin wine!
These setbacks are bit demoralising and Andy has found these problems wearing, it does seem that we are just fixing but not moving forward. We are hoping that next year we will see some fruits from our labours