We have a friendly farmer who also has an overgrown orchard with various apple and pear trees in it. He welcomes us picking the apples every year.


Apples for cider making

Use a selection of apples




We as a family have a lovely time. It is such a great pastime picking apples, washing and then juicing them. The apple juice only lasts a few days in the fridge and is delicious drunk chilled. The rest of the juice I put in fermenting bin for approximately 8 weeks or until fermentation is complete.



I make cider every year and my tips are to use a mixture of varieties, it improves the flavor. Also I tend to make it in as large a quantity as possible. This year I have got 2 6 galleon drums. 1 is being fermented with natural yeast and the other has had a commercial yeast introduced. When bottling the cider add a small amount of sugar and the cider will go fizzy!


Fresh apple juice!

Nothing quite like fresh apple juice




One of the best parts, of course, is the drinking of the cider! On a summers evening cracking a cold bottle of sparkling cider that you know exactly where it has come from and have made yourself is such a treat.

It has been that time of year when tomatoes are abundant. I love fresh tomatoes and I do like them at the right time of the year because they are sweeter and meant to be eaten when ripe. I decided to see if I could preserve them somehow so that I would be able to eat our home grown tomatoes for a little longer.

Sun dried tomatoes.


Firstly I washed all the tomatoes and left them to dry naturally. I then cut them in half and placed them on a grill, cut side up, to allow the air to circulate. I covered them with a generous amount of rock salt and herbs de provence and then placed them in the oven at its lowest setting so that the tomatoes dried out rather than cooked. I left them in the oven for 6 hours then took them out and checked that they were all done equally. I removed and allowed to cool naturally. They can then be kept by placing them in an air tight container but I decided to put them in oil. I could not help but tuck into them and they are absolutely mouth watering.Home made Sun-dried tomatoes


Field Mushrooms in a trug

As I am a farrier I am pretty much always in the countryside mostly surrounded by mud and horses. As I was leaving a yard I got out to close the gate and saw to my amazement a huge crop of mushrooms just inside a paddock gateway. I figured they were field mushrooms because of their position in the field, shape and smell and (most important) a good field guide told me so when I got home. I picked all the best ones. 

It was the weekend and I got up enthusiastically to cook the mushrooms. I firstly checked the mushrooms very carefully for any maggots as they can crawl up the stems into the head of the mushroom. I then washed  them thoroughly and rough chopped them or you can leave them whole. To cook I heat up a wok, which lives on my pan rack, and then I choose to fry butter and a whole clove of garlic with the mushrooms in it. Pan fried like this and then piled onto hot buttered toast is the best weekend breakfast or brunch at this time of year.

Field Mushrooms in a trug

Nothing beats the taste of fresh Field Mushrooms..


I have very lucky to have a lovely pair of swallows nesting in my forge this year. They were busy as bees feeding their young. Swooping around above my head it was a pleasure to have the company while I was busy myself making utensil racks for some clients.

The pair raised 3 broods and the last of them were very late to leave. Mum and Dad had flown away in the first week of October. I took this picture in the second week of October and it was another week before they had gone. I hope they make it!

It is inspirational to me when such a small bird can travel so far. If you are determined to succeed then anything is possible.

Spring is coming. We are all looking foward to better weather and longer days.
When I am not in the forge I can be found out and about in Suffolk shoeing horses. Its hard work and has to be done in all weathers so when it is raining I long to be back in the warm forge making pan rails etc.

The weather can really affect our lives, even our moods seem to follow it! If you love to watch the weather then you should think about buying a weathervane.
I love to look out of the windowg(next to the woodburner of course!) and see what the weather is up to. The wind can change completley within a few hours so a weathervane can if fact help you to plan your day.

All of our weathervanes are hand forged, even the letters making them the best on the market. We can make a weathervane in many different designs so if you fancy being a weather watcher from the side of the fire like me then look at this page: