Out on the grass

I always feel better when the animals can get right out on the grass – into the air and the dirt. The babies of the farm especially need to be able to lie in the grass on a warm day.
pig in the grass

Yesterday we extended the cattle fence – lower of course – so that we could make a bigger field for the piglets. They spent all afternoon bumping into the wires and squealing when they weren’t rolling in the cow pies. At one point three were running in and out, straight under a wire, one after the other squealing every time their backs hit the current,  back and forth but they soon got tired of that game. Thankfully.  Last night they were all sleeping, burrowed into the hay mountain, in an exhausted pile.

piglets in grass

We have started digging up a few of the Japanese Sweet Potatoes that are so like the NZ kumara that I love.  I just could not wait any longer.  I roasted some last night with a chicken. I will stop digging them now and wait for the leaves to yellow – they get better the longer we wait but after a frost they have to come out of the ground straight away so I won’t be waiting too long. The nights are definitely cooler.

sweet potatoes

Did I tell you that Pania  the oldest peahen is sitting on eggs up high in the loft of the barn? We have surrounded her in bales of hay so she can keep her chicks safe from falling. Hopefully she can raise them this time but she is in an awkward spot as usual.


Today Nick gets to be Kitchen Mama and I am making ice cream and muesli. The team we have put together for September is wonderful. I cannot believe how lucky I have been with my student farmers this summer. A startling group of people have cycled through since April. The barns are looking amazing and the food has been fantastic.  The gardens not so much because of all the rain but we could not help that. There is still food out there though and we are eating it!

I hope you have a lovely day.

Love celi

31 Comments on “Out on the grass

    • Had to laugh at the last detail of the bandicooting link… our local bandicoots wander around our backyard, eat dry cat food and are the loudest chewers ever!

      • Ours merely dig numerous holes in the lawn, enabling me to twist my ankle with monotonous regularity… I’d like to think they were eating those enormous white lawn grubs, but that would be too much to hope for…

        • While I don’t think we have bandicoots in the Northern Hemisphere (I didn’t check the link yet), I learned how to do that to regular potatoes from my Dad. He loved to sneak a couple tiny potatoes from each plant for an early feed of lovely soft skinned white jewels with butter and dill. My love of growing food and of my hands in the soft earth came directly from spending a lot of time in the garden working right beside him. Oh what a lovely memory, thanks to both of you for that.

          Chris S in Canada

          • No bandicoots north of the equator, I’m afraid, but it’s a great umbrella word to cover an activity that otherwise needs lots of explanation. Love your description and memory of early bandicooting!

    • Oh I love learning new words–and new critters. Now I have to find a picture of a bandicoot! Thanks, Kate!

      • They’re cute, long nose, big ears, about the size of a rat but much prettier, with a stripy coat. I like them, I just wish they didn’t dig holes everywhere…

  1. piglets are so funny….Pania to be a mummy ..wow! Fingers crossed. I am happy that you have enjoyed your visitors and have pulled through the rough patches ok  

    Sent: Thursday, September 15, 2016 at 1:01 PM

  2. Animals need outside just like us human 2 legged animals. Unfortunately, in this country, way to many people and animals never spend time outside. I am continually amazed at the number of humans that literally do not go outside except for to and from doors. The sun, air and grass are so very healing in multiple ways. Just wish I could add sand and sea water to that sentence but can’t when you live in the Midwest!! Loved the sweet potatoes picture. If you have time could you tell me where you get that variety from. Don’t think I’ve seen that one in my catalogs. Have 4 varieties planted and hoping for a crop but having a ridiculous time with field mice eating them. Do Not like mice and we seem to be overrun already even with a cat And a, so far, well behaved hawk. He’s well behaved since I haven’t lost a layer yet. This number of mice does not bode well for fall and winter. Have a great day. Don’t think there is rain forecasted for today!

    • They are hard to find – actually my son bought the sweet potato on a californian supermarket and sent it to me. It is very like our ones at home, the skin is so soft you brush it off no peeling. I just put the whole potato in a jar of water, let it sprout, then planted the slips of leaf it produced when the soil was warm. Worked very well, now I hope to have one or two I can keep to the spring to do the same thing again!.. c

  3. You must be so relieved to let those little guys out into the grass. Hopefully you’ll have a long and warm autumn. 😀

  4. Coasting time is good… because somewhere down the road the proverbial $hit will hit the fan! Enjoy basking in these days of sun and gentle movement It’s been lovely down here lately. Cooler temps and a touch of rain. I am so excited about the few sweet potatoes that survived this year. I ended up with about 1/4 of my planted crop. I don’t know what happened but apparently it was a bad year. I put in the white sweet potatoes… I love the flavor and texture!

  5. What great looking sweet potatoes. Just made a sweet potato soup with bacon and blue cheese a few days ago.

  6. Happy piggies and happy tummies; I agree with derrickjknight above, a lovely post. Hope you have a great day too! ~ Mame 🙂

  7. I’m so glad you have such great help. The piglets look like they are loving the grass. We are in Spain now and it’s been very hot, 28C. I’m going to break the rules and jump in the pool in a minute (during siesta)!

  8. Sweet!! The potatoes and oh those piglets, smiling for all their worth. Love the pictures!

  9. What gorgeous sweet potatoes! Both for savoury and sweet . . . but they look white on the ends . . .most kumara I can access are a deep orange: in my part of the world there has been a big changeover from ordinary ‘spuds’ to these much more tasty and healthy ones . . .

  10. Your sweet potatoes look like the ones I grew this year and last. I got the slips from Annie’s Heirloom Seeds and they’re called Beauregard. It can be hard to grow them here because the season isn’t long enough.
    If I had all those little pigs to watch I wouldn’t get a darn thing done!

  11. They look exactly like the kumara we grow here. What a treat for you. I can just imagine being the same in your position, and not being able to resist digging them up. I hope they were yummy.

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