Got up early and made elk stew (goulash style) which I stuck in the slow cooker. Then we spent most of the morning moving furniture in the farmhouse. It was over 20C when we sat down for lunch on the deck again... Peter spent the afternoon in shorts removing two fallen pine trees from the Rosendal forest.
The boys made a fish trap. At least I think that's what it is...
We spent most of the day visiting family in Pargas and then up in Säkylä. It was a warm, sunny day and the temperature reached well over 20C inside the polytunnel and almost 20C outside the polytunnel!
When we got back, Thomas had prepared all the raised beds in the vegetable garden. Super.
So, we planted the onion sets and protected them with fleece.
It was still warm and sunny when we got back so we wokked up some chicken and veggies and had our meal on the deck. That might sound like nothing special to you... but this time last year we still had snow and the lake was frozen.
Peter got us up really early because it was wind still and he was determined to get the plastic over the polytunnel. By 10:30 it was all done so we stopped for coffee before anchoring it down (which takes several hours) and a light gust of wind blew half of it off the frame while we watched. We had a dodgy half hour with us all clinging on to guy ropes before we finally managed to get it back in place. Now it won't budge as T & P spent all day securing it tightly. In fact I think it looks better than last year (if a polytunnel can ever look anything other than ugly).
I did some weeding around the strawberries and planned the raised beds for the kitchen garden. Also weeded the roses in front of the cabin. Stef and I went into Karis to buy some seed potatoes but could only find Timo (I was looking for Annabellas). I bought a few and put them in sand (chitting) - will deal with them when I get back from the UK.
This evening we had a leg of lamb, cooked in the Weber, It was really really good. And I brought a cake from Espoo: Caraway and Orange cake - one of Hugh FW's recipes - it was made from locally grown Finnish caraway. Finland is probably the largest producer of caraway seeds in the world.
...only ours is from the freezer, the only way to eat Finnish lamb at Easter is to keep one back from the previous summer. our lambs grazed outdoors from May through until the end of October.
We cooked it very slow in the Weber, with rosemary, cracked pepper, salt and olive oil.
... and the veggies are also from last autumn, but not from the freezer. They have been clamped in sand through the winter in the root cellar.
Beautiful weather. Warm, dry, sunny. And the nicest thing is that T,S & F are all here too.
It was a semi-lazy day. All the farmers are busy in their fields, but we just needed a break before we could get started. It was too breezy to put the plastic over the polytunnel today so we didn't even try. I walked up to Rosendal to fetch some carrots and some parsnips from the root cellar. Found a lonely teabag in the kitchen up there so P & I had a cup of tea in the sunshine.
Tom hammered all the fence posts in for us: when the ground freezes the fence posts are pushed upwards so in the spring they all need to be hammered in again and the best time to do it is in the spring when the ground is still soft.
We saw some HUGE spring hares in the birch wood, they were enormous and not bothered at all by us. Good news. it means the lynx must've moved away. We've also seen plenty of cranes, two large flocks flew over in the evening. Also whooper swans, Canada geese and mallards (on the pond). Not as tame as our resident couple in Espoo - Mrs Mallard actually knocked on the kitchen window on Thursday night while we were all having dinner and waited while we hunted for some bread- Stef sat on the deck feeding her and she was still there over half an hour later when I was clearing up.
Along the ditches the willow is in full bloom and covered in bees. We also have butterflies.
In the evening we had a really nice sauna and then I fell asleep... a combination of anti-histamine and too much fresh air!
We're heading out to the farm for the weekend. The weather forecast is so good we are going to try and get some work done in the new, extended vegetable garden.
I need to buy seed potatoes and chit them asap, because I think they could go in the ground already, under fleece. I can't find Annabellas anywhere though and they are my favourites.
The boys will all be home for the long weekend so we'll have plenty of help.
Peter and the boys got the plastic doors done on the southern end of the polytunnel. Now we are just waiting for a windstill day so we can haul the rest of the plastic over the frame.
Peter harrowed the front field next to the tunnel where we are planning to plant clover for the bees and the sheep.
He also dug some sand into the very heavy clay soil that will be in the extension to the vegetable garden.