We’ve been making important changes to The Big Garden & Croft and our other websites.
As some of you will already be aware, The Hebridean Woolshed website recently got messed up by an automated plugin update, and was knocked out of action. In any event, the site badly needed an update – of content, aesthetics, structure ; and as we’ve been looking for ways to simplify life, we took the decision not to reinstate it from backup (no simple task, it seems!), but rather to author a completely new, simpler set of pages under the umbrella of The Big Garden & Croft . Which puts the Hebridean Woolshed back where it originally started, fifteen or so years ago. The domain hebrideanwoolshed.scot now redirects to the Woolshed page on this website. So, the Hebridean Woolshed is on the move!
We posted, just a few weeks ago, that we would no longer be making preserves specifically to sell. We have therefore removed the Preserves page from this website. But we’ve also removed the pages for Hatching Eggs and Hebridean Sheep. These, too, are lines of business that we’ve now firmly committed to down-sizing – which we’ll do progressively over the next three years or so.
These are all steps aimed at reducing our workload – to a level appropriate to the dignity of our ages and our rising hopes for an increase in repose. Or to put it another way, to take life a bit easier as we get older. *
We’ll be posting more about these changes – and others – in the coming weeks and months, as decisions made become actions taken.
* D > We could also try reducing the number of words we use, couldn’t we, J, Mr Editor-in-Chief ? Hmmm?
We’ll spare you the tedious to-and-fro of arguments pulling us this way, pushing us that way, and – just when you think a line of reasoning had answered the question, it suddenly seems not to make sense at all, and we’re back where we were. It’s been difficult, but the decision has been made …
We’ve been producing and selling our Big Garden Preserves from home – here at the walled garden – for nearly fifteen years, and it’s been a great success. But we need to reduce our workload, simplify our lives. We also want to rediscover the joy of making preserves and storing them in the pantry in the knowledge that they will be there through the long winter months, to feed us, to cheer us, to sustain us. If you’ve done that yourself, you’ll know what we mean! We want to enjoy the best of our preserves, not make do with the batches we’ve condemned as less-than-perfect. We want to enjoy the freedom to experiment, to be more spontaneous ; not just in the choice of fruit or the ingredients, but also in use of jars and how we label them. We’d really like to make our preserves to please ourselves! So …
2018 will be the last year we’ll be systematically making and selling The Big Garden preserves – jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys, dried herbs. So, when they’re gone, they’re gone!
This is when dehydration is a good thing! Our daughter Becky bought a dehydrator a few years ago and uses it to make all sorts of weird and wonderful foods, made with raw ingredients. We were sceptical : not so much about the merits of raw food (of which we have an abundance) but the effort and cost of the dehydrating ; and especially since the dehydrated food doesn’t keep long. However, we’re always interested in new ways to make the abundance of summer available in the depths of winter, and as I was ambling about the garden one early autumn afternoon, it occurred to me that a hydrator would be ideal means to capture the colour and scents of summer to liven up home in winter (and perhaps our holiday lets, if we have a surplus). And then it occurred to me that we could use it also to make plant dyestuffs available for dyeing in winter – when we have more time for it, than rushing to use it all in summer – when dyestuffs are plentiful but time to use them isn’t. we never have enough time. It’s good to be doing something like this instead of civil engineering and construction !
No completed pot-pourri yet. I started this too late in the year to have much available to dry, but next year I hope to have a plentiful supply to chose from.