Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Getting ready for Winter!

   We have been so busy here, preserving things for over the winter months, that time seems to have flown by! After making four batches of jam / jelly, I feel totally jammed out and ready for the end of the world ( should it come). All of our jam has been made from free, foraged fruit this year. We have made blackberry jam, apple jam, wild plum jam and crab apple jelly all without adding any extra pectin,  we added a couple of apples to the blackberry jam to provide the extra pectin instead. Some of the  jam colours are very vibrant.

    We also have wine this year made from free, foraged fruit, we have several demi johns on the go containing blackberry wine and wild plum wine. They smell very nice and very strong, which I confirmed by tasting a little...YUM. As you can probably tell we found a lot of wild fruit, we ended up with about 14 pounds of blackberries, 12 pounds of wild plums, 8 pounds of crab apples and 22 pounds of normal apples, amazingly this was all free, wild and being unused by anyone. The children have really enjoyed all the preserving, freezing and extra baking that has been going on, and we have been learning about how people have been preparing for the winter months in this way for centuries. Well, until recently as the supermarket is open all year round, but we won't be needing to buy any jam and we have a freezer full of apples ready for pies.

    We have also been drying our own herbs in our dehydrator for use in the winter, as you can see in the above picture they have been a little rampant this year. All the herbs which die back in the winter have already been dried, we also have jars full of bay, sage, parsley and chive. If you want to investigate our wine, jam or dehydrator antics further you could see my husbands blog here.

    My son has been continuing with his football coaching as he loves it, my daughter also enjoys him going to sports club as she gets extra playtimes with all the other younger brothers and sisters of the home educated children. We have also been on many nature walks in woodland and meadows, as Autumn is a good time of year to look for nuts (husband has collected hazel nuts already) and my children love to go fungi spotting.

Monday, 6 September 2010

A new challenge

  Today we went to our local home education group's sports club. "What's unusual about that?" I hear you say... well 6 months ago my son (then aged 5) had surgery on both of his feet and was in casts for 3 weeks. I find that amazing and fully intend to update you all soon with a post just covering his journey...but today he played football.

   He did not show any interest in playing football at all until he watched the world cup over this summer, and when we heard there maybe some free spaces at the sports club he jumped at the chance to try. Today was the free trial session to see how things went. Luckily, he loved playing and he suffered no pain in his feet. It was quite unusual for us to see him playing football as his previous sporting interests were more sedate like golf. We were more likely to find him to talking about dinosaurs, pokemon or falling asleep with a book.

   He is definitely planning on going again and we are happy he has the chance to.