Yesterdays post was about the first three weeks in December but in the last week it was as busy as all three put together apart from the boat trips I had to Portree. The weather had been poor, no surprise there at this time but with an odd weather window it was imperative to get over stores, mail and sheep feed before Christmas.
I mentioned our trip to Portree for shopping, we were also selling too. We tried to get our Rona Venison onto Skye Free Adds/FB page but they would not allow it stating it went against the rules. We searched but could not find any rule to say you could not. But hey ho, we’ll get on with it and thank goodness for Dan’s Chip shop who has sold hundreds of Rona Venison Burgers in his chip shop this year.
Here’s a wee selection of what we do, I’ll have more photos up on the Rona Food page soon. All four freezers are full too.
Back to the day job and it was more issues with the power. This time Dry Harbour.
On checking the Sg readings of every cell on the batteries, I found two dying cells on the Rolls batteries at Big Harbour, this was part of the problem there. Regular checking of all the cells of the Rolls batteries (three cells per unit) would have shown this but we were only checking the middle cell, Doh! So once I had found that I decided to check the Dry Harbour batteries. Fortunately I had old batteries from BH stored there when the Rolls ones had arrived three years ago and despite sitting there off charge some of them were still good. So after quite a few checks I found three duds and replaced them. Equalised them and now we are running well. With proper checks now all should do well. Fingers crossed.
Ewen was busy at the Fish Farm so I decided I’d go myself to Portree on the Wednesday before Christmas, but the forecast was not looking good on the day. I was in the middle of butchering two hinds, so, I called Dan in the morning arranged Mike to gather stuff and would he come over.
He kindly obliged and unbeknown to me a delivery of wine had arrived at Skye Express, so 44 cases x 6 later we had a Wine lake!! There was much mail and food but the most important thing was the two replacement Rolls batteries.
I was as pleased to see them as I was the wine and they are now fitted, working well.
It was kind of Dan to step in but I was not too sure about Campbell’s Drone which arrived too. But after a quick demonstration and a few aerial photos taken I was impressed with this quiet drone, not like the ‘wasps’ I have seen and heard here. But they are not good for the wildlife having seen birds abandon nests due to Drone disturbance by a certain ‘Yachtie’!!!
Before they had come I had minced up 24 kg of venison, I mixed it and chilled it down so that next day (Christmas Eve) myself and Lorraine would be making 257 burgers, half for Dan’s Chippy, the other for sale. The Lodge kitchen works as a ‘factory’ just now but next years plan is to build onto the larder.
We are particular with our burgers and we have quite a lot of trimmings from the butchering. Rhona Campbell our Vet has kindly promoted our trimmings (minced) for dogs who have problems with manufactured (especially dry) foods. We have a few customers and keep them going with our Venison Trimmings minced. Zero waste. In fact I have been asked if it is good enough to eat, yes but no, just leave it with the dogs!!!!
The burgers are individually frozen then packaged the next day, quite an operation but after 1000 burgers made at least this year, not a problem. They are here now ready to go off to Dan’s Chippy as soon as the weather allows.
So we are up to date, as far as can be, Christmas Day, Wind Down. But on Rona you cannot 100% do that. The sheep need fed and when we woke up on Christmas morning it was foul, it was the first time that the sheep (hoggs) had taken shelter in the shelter. I fed them and was just on my way back to the house when I saw an escapee Ewe. Being Christmas Day I wasted no time catching it then this time back to the house.
The mail bags had been pretty full so with great excitement the presents were opened, many lovely things and too much as always. Dinner prepared then a pre-dinner walk was in order. As we walked down to the Lodge I spotted another three sheep out of the fenced area. It never ends. So instead of chasing them as they took off into the forest. We had our walk and thought we would try on the way back. As it happened we found a gate that had blown open up top so that was their escape route. I tied the gate and we walked down the path to find the three Ewes by the bottom gate again. This time they were kind and ran into a corner. I sorted out some gates and quickly got them in. Panic over, now we could enjoy our Turkey. Merry Christmas.