International Honey Customer

Olly's Farm

How cool is this! I got this great picture yesterday from Stuart Trafford, a new international honey customer in London showing how far my honey is travelling around the world  🙂 

Here are two jars of my honey in front of Tower Bridge in London.

International Honey Customer

Where are they going to pop up next?

Cooking on the new stove

Cooking on the new stove is amazing, we can start off a pot roast for example on the cooker then leave it sitting on top of the stove bubbling away slowly all day.

Since we moved in we have spent all our time and effort setting up the smallholding, knowing that everything we done inside the house was pointless as we needed to completely renovate the house. There was one exception, the heating! We took my old log burning stove with back boiler with us and plugged it into the existing heating system but it was only 21.7KW and totally not sufficient to heat the house. It’s rated for 6-8 radiators & domestic hot water and couldnt manage the 36 radiators here. Luckily the house had 3 zones and we were able to shut down one and close down most radiators that were not needed, trying to focus the heat where we were using the most.

But the winters in the house are miserable and damp so we invested in a massive 30KW boiler Heritage Stove because we have tons of our own wood from around the farm. Now its not designed to cook but it does work a treat.

Here is the start of an 8hr Dexter brisket pot roast with some carrots and squashes from the farm. After browning the meat on the gas hob I added a couple of bottle of beer to the pot along with the veg, brought to the boil and then covered and left on top of the stove.

2015-12-27 16.48.11

Chris and Gráinne were visiting for a few days at the time, Gráinne is chilling out with a glass of wine after all the cooking in the kitchen…

2015-12-27 17.57.34

Here it is after cooking 8hrs on top of the stove, melt in your mouth brisket. We served it with some veg and potatoes from the garden. It’s so satisfying to enjoy a meal where everything on the plate was produced here on the smallholding.

2015-12-27 21.40.01

New Seed Propagator

New Seed Propagator

Every year I have the same problem with trying to germinate seed so this was the year I built a new seed propagator. It’s been long overdue! Usually I sow the seed and it germinates very poorly die to too much of a variation of temperature. Continue reading

Homemade butter making

Homemade butter

Last year while milking our cow I collected some cream off the top of some of the milk with the intention of making some homemade butter . I put it into containers and into the freezer, waiting until I had enough collected to match a batch. Unfortunately I forgot all about it in the bottom of the deep freezer.

A couple of weeks ago I took 4.5lts out and decided to give it a go. Continue reading

Heather honey pressing last November

This is a blog post on how I pressed the heather honey last November. The honey was collected by the bees up on the feather bed in the Dublin Mountains. Most of the frames that I gave to the bees to fill used a little starter strip which is basically a small strip of beeswax to help them to get started on the frame. I also used some frames will full sheets of foundation in between to help keep them building the comb nice and even between the frames. Continue reading

Christmas week and the bees in Dalkey are busy

Its hard to believe its Christmas week and the shortest day of the year and it was 14 degrees today in Dalkey. The bees were pretty busy, not as busy as last week but still plenty of them out collecting nectar and pollen.

The Coronilla in Dalkey is in full flower since the end of November and should flower right through until the start of the summer. I’ve discovered that its a great plant for the bees, offering an abundance of pollen and nectar through-out the winter and spring. The pollen is a light yellow color and you can see the pollen baskets on the bees packed with it. Continue reading