Friday 26 November 2010


Since moving to our farm, Andy has been dabbeling in the black art of homebrew using a mixture of equipment and recipes. Our results so far
  1. Pumpkin wine - Reasonable success, a tasty dry wine but required a lot of effort and generated a lot of mess. Storing for a year was a definite requirement
  2. Rose-hip and hibiscus wine - Terrible! The teabags weren't strong enough and there was a dominant yeast taste from too much Marmite!
  3. Ginger wine - Overall Good! A strong wine can be made cheaply from household ingredients and is comparable to Have had one bad batch
  4. Green walnut liquer - Nocino - Recipe from here. Dark and bitter and mellowing - Next year we will make as many liters of this as possible!
  5. Cherry vodka - Cherrys, vodka sugar- sweet, simple and very yummy
  6. Potato wine - This should have been terrible but atm is brewing and is very very nice!
  7. Home-brew Bitter - This came from a kit from the UK and is AMAZING! A taste of England in Hungary
  8. Home-brew Cider Kit - Not so good, too weak and not an amazing flavour - Homemade cider should be better :)

Monday 22 November 2010

Proper farm one week later

A week later, the excitement of having animals has slightly worn off and we are getting into a routine with feeding and egg hunting (No more tweets/facebooks posts about finding an egg)
Crunchy dog has calmed down a bit but whenever she sees the animals, she goes crazy. At the moment, the chickens are in a big barn and the pigs are out of sight.
We are are hoping that if we move the animals out of her sight and keep two fences between her and the animals, everyone should be happy. If that fails, we might have to find her a new home :(

Sunday 14 November 2010

Proper Farm

Months of hard work has finally paid off with the arrival of Piggy and Pinky.
We with guest helper Swedish Erik meet Zolibacsi and eventually found a trailer and cage to move the piggies form Szatymaz (local viallage) to our farm. Their new accommodation has been constructed from wood from our own trees and under the masterful guidedance of Zoli turned into a a beautiful home for the two new piggies. Within two hours, it looked a mess!!!

When Zoli arrived (with Laci), he also had 11 chickens and a cockerel for us which we moved into an empty room(we've lots of these) so hopefully we should get some eggs this week!
The worrying thing is that the dogs seems a bit stressed about the new arrivals, hopefully they will calm down with our new additions

Sunday 19 September 2010


The weather this year has been awful. It feels like the neighbouring fields have been under water for all the year. At the moment, the rain is pouring and doesn't look like stopping for a while :(
Anyway, this current weather has been rather good for relocating our acacia sprouting bits which are too close to the new fence.
Also, We've have various mushrooms of sizes, colour and shape appearing in the garden and field The picture below shows some of the various forms - are any edible? I'm not going to take any chances but if you can identify any, it would be appreciated - It might be easy to browse the folder here

A whole blog post with a cheap mushroom pun, maybe i'm just a fungi or there wasn't mushroom for any humour!

Sunday 5 September 2010

I quit

I, Andy, this week quit my job working in the physics department. The very undramatic moment is due to me getting another job within the University's chemistry department all of 500m away from the current office.
the New Job will be for 4 years( and more I hope) looking at me making carbon nanotubes.
The old work is cool with me going and have even asked me back to do some lecturing in English. We will have to see what materializes!
I'm also taking a month off between the two jobs, to do some computer work; do some hard work on the farm and to entertain some lovely guests.
Roll on November!

Wednesday 18 August 2010

Brief Catch-up

It was 2:30 am and Andy couldn't sleep so he thought he would drop a line or two about whats been going on in our world. So in no particular order and rather briefly

Farm works
We are currently having a fence built so that the dogs can run about freely outside with more space without the fear that they will escape. This has turned into a big job with an friend from church doing the work. Will post photos when complete

We are going to get piggies and Chickens!

We are also trying to keep the farm a bit (more) organised. September is the time when trees are pruned(I've an extendable tree trimmer from lidl which is awesome) and planned to plant some berry bushes(blackberry/raspberry) and new trees. We also need to service and get our irrigation system online.

Our Farm life has been revolutionized by the appearance of a sit-down lawnmower. This device dramatically changes Andy's life as he can now cut the majority of the grass on the farm in under 2 hours instead of the 3 weeks that the old method took. Please come and have a go!!!!

They seem to be doing ok, they have more and more energy and daily chase each other round the garden at a seeming faster and faster pace. Crunchy had to have a major surgery to remove her uterus as it was infected due to a hormone imbalance and since then she has become a different dog! Before the op, she seemed lethargic and tired and now she is a slimmer Duracell bunny of a dog! She still could at for England though she would have to wait a few years to qualify for Hungary under residency rules ;)

New Term
University restarted at the beginning of Sept and the new academic year means more teaching for Samm and some more Hungarian lesson for me! Also, we restart ICF (International Christian fellowship) in Szeged for all students. This is an group of school and uni students and extras who meet together to journey together deeper into the Christian faith using English. We are first get together of the term last Friday and it was really lovely to see everyone and catch up with each other :)
Andy is also returing to rugby training after 9 months of resting. the pain will come!

We are both getting involved in the local(ish - it in the local big city) Pentecostal church called Sion. Samm is helping run the girls group whilst Andy has become the church's worship leader/coordinator. Church is undergoing a change as the time we used to meet was no longer possible from the people we rented from, so we are now meeting for lunch before church and then doing the "church" bit afterward. It is hoped that the lunch will serve as a means by which we can help to build community with each other and also to invite others in as well.

Overall we are doing fine and are rather healthy. Andy has become more friendly with the Hungarian Hospital system and feels like he has spent the summer on antibiotics firstly because of a foot infection from an embedded piece of grass and also from stabbing his left hand with a sickle. He is all fine now!

Please come and visit - You will be welcome especially if you bring marmite, jellybabies and roobish tea

Samm and Andy

Monday 15 March 2010

Monor Sunday Market

This sunday morning started very early (3:50am) for Andy as travelled with Zsoli from church and a friend and a daughter from the local village

The journey went well as I was asleep for a larger percentage of it and the sun rises about 5:15ish in the morning. We arrived around 7 and then proceed to set up our stall of three cages of pigeons, chickens and a couple of rabbits. (The first Picture in the slideshow). Walking round the market was quite bizarre as there were virtually every kind of bird on sale, I saw Quails (Zoli bought about 15), chicken, cockerels, more breds of pigeons than I thought existed, Geese, Parrots, finches, turkeys, peacocks. There were also puppies (V. cute) and goats!
We wandered round and refuelled on langos and the left the market about 1. Drove home whilst I slept, Jumped into bed and was asleep till 7. All in all a Nice Day trip

Saturday 20 February 2010

Goodbye Winter, hello maintance

For the first few weeks of february, the farm has been coated in a layer of snow. But in the last week the temperature has rocked to 10C and the snow has vanished into the past leaving a farm in need of some love
The evapouration of the white carpet reveals holes under concrete and fences and lots of doggy poo! So, today we pressed onwards clearing up the farm. Today was spent clearin' out the rubbish from under the mulberry, I've dug out most of the metal left by the previous occupant(2 large trailer full) and added it to the garage of scrap metal. Also, we recycled a (literal) carload of glass bottles and other crap which was dug out of the ground. Just before the rain came, I managed to uproot a few massive trees from the Veg patch. Hoepfully, we can plant some peppers, tomatoes, squashes

Sunday 24 January 2010


A while back, Andy saw that Stryper were going on tour to celebrate 25 years! like an excited bunny, I frantically search to see if there was a European tour and after too many emails, i found out that they were going to play Prague our close city.
So, on Thursday the 20th, we (Andy had just assumed that Samm was coming and didn't actually ask her!) left work at 4:00 from Szeged and head to Budapest on the train. Here we spent the night, drank beer and hung out with matt brennar before we left the following morning at 9:30 to prague.

Skipping boring travel details and trying to get tickets, we arrrived, burgered up and then waited for the gig to start. On the way in we were asked if we had guns, knives or drugs! A first for a CHRIStian Band! Samm was dreading the size of the venue, with us being squeezed into an ocean of moshers but when we got inside, we discovered it was a quite small club and we squeezed into the the front row. There were about 5 rows of people and then the rest of the club
The Age demographic was Bizarre 8 - 70! I kid not!
Stryper were damm loud (my ears stopped ringing on sunday) damm good with the all the harmonies and guitars nailed. They also were also rather fit and non fat! They launched into the gig with 6 monster hits non-stop and they rocked hard with numerous rock posses. They did lob the bibles into the crowd!
We crashed at the czechinn hostel( most excellent and highly recommended) and then on saturday we meet Mark and Joanna for pancakage for breakfast and the start of a cool friendship
Tried to sleep on the 9.5 hour journey home, we eventually turned into bed at midnight!
A most excellent event

Sunday 10 January 2010

First Week back to work

On the 4th of Jan, Samm and I started the struggle to get back into a work routine after a couple of weeks off on holiday.
The morning rituals starts at 6:30am with the alarm going off and then two Zombies stagger around in the dark, trying to feed the dogs and get out the door by 7:15ish so that Andy can get to work for 8ish and have a car parking space near the university. This routine is disrupted by snow, fog and general tiredness.

Today We go to the gym, church and come home and bottle ginger beer and rosehip and hibiscus wine

Saturday 2 January 2010


Just about to dive into the kitchen to start making our Home-brew of ginger-beer.
As there are thousands of recipes online all offering different advice, I'm starting with this recipe from


1/2 oz dried yeast
1/2 pint water
ground ginger
juice of 2 lemons

Put the yeast into a jar, add the water, 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ground ginger and mix well. Cover the jar with a lid or cling-film. Each day for 7 days add 1 teaspoon sugar and 1 teaspoon ground ginger. Finally, strain the mixture, add the lemon juice to the liquid and reserve the sediment. The liquid is now ready to use. For future use, keep the sediment and divide equally between 2 jars. To each jar add 1/2 pint water, 2 teaspoons sugar and 2 teaspoons ginger and proceed the process all over again, as previously.

I think that after the first stage of fomenting, the ginger-beer could be transported into a demijohn and we might be able to make some ginger wine!