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Winnie; Royal Highland Show; Cheese cave

Sunday 26 June, 2016

by Rosemary at 9:52am in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own


Been another glorious day here but windy – a good drying day! We’ve been working on the “cheese cave” – the old fridge out of the caravan. I’ve given it a good clean and Dan’s been setting up the temperature gauge. It looks good – hope it works.

My pony, Smokey, has a cough, so the vet’s coming out tomorrow. Other than that, it’s been paperwork day, as Monday always is.

The trailer is booked in to the dealer’s for repair a week tomorrow. Hope they can fix it in time to take cow and calf to the Game Fair.

Rain, cheese and weeds

Monday 20 June, 2016

by Rosemary at 11:08am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own


We actually got some sun today – came out about noon until about 4pm. Really warm too. Either side of that it’s been overcast, with rain this morning.

Dan started to make some beer – bitter, I think.

The poorly pig seems to be OK and has been reunited with his brothers.

The milking routine is falling into place but I need to get another cleaner – an alkaline one this time. The hypochlorite seems to be coming via South America. Having a bit of a problem with the legs of the cluster touching the ground when I’m putting it on – don’t know if there is a problem with the machine, a problem with the operator or if it’s just due to my cows having short legs. We need a resolution though.

Land of milk and honey

Sunday 12 June, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 5:48pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own


Sneaked off to the cinema to see “Love and Friendship” with Tara. Nice to get a break and relatively dressed up.

Winter and Wallace are now on three feeds – 6am, 2pm and 10pm and glugging down a full 1/2 litre at each feed.

Pedro and Paulo are doing well. Annie has a terrific udder on her – hope she’s prepared to share.


Getting myself in a bit of a brain freeze about cleaning the milking machine. I have two sets of instructions – and, of course, they are different. Just need to think it through logically – first stage is a cold rinse, so that’s a start.

Calving under way

Monday 6 June, 2016

by Rosemary at 9:38am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

So we’re into flaming June and the weather continues dry, with some warm days. We still have a fairly persistent easterly wind, which is keeping it cool a lot of the time. We’ve had to start putting the sprinkler on in the vegetable garden – Dan puts it on at 6am for an hour or so. I hate to say it but we could do with some rain.  :-)

We planted out the sweetcorn, some squashes and the rest of the peas and beans. The celery failed sadly, and I fear over rigorous weeding means we need to resow the parsnips. My excuse is that the rows weren’t marked and parsnips are slow to germinate, so when I resow this week, I’ll mix the parsnip seeds with radish or lettuce seeds.

Calving approaches

Monday 30 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 2:35pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

It’s been another decent week, weather-wise – not hugely warm as we’ve had a northerly or easterly wind most days, but it’s been dry with a good deal on sunshine. When the wind has dropped it’s been rather nice indeed.

The grass is growing now – although not as fast as I’d like, but then that’s par for the course. However, all the stock looks well – so they must be eating something.

Tatties are through the soil; peas and beans are in; carrots, parsnips, beetroot and spring onions are sown. The veg garden is starting to look a treat. And we have some asparagus through too.

Tough decisions

Monday 23 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 9:41am in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

The weather this week has been pretty good. We’ve had some rain, which has been welcome, but the ground is dry and it disappears almost immediately. Dan’s topped the rushes in all the paddocks bar one – after that, the harrow will go back on. I need to source some grass seed to oversow the remaining bare patches.

The fruit trees are in magnificent full bloom – they are just beautiful. And the veg garden is starting to look better as the peas and brassicas are planted and the sown crops, like beetroot, start to sprout. Felling the big cedar last week has let an amazing amount of sunlight into both the veg garden, in the morning, and the back lawn, in the afternoon.

Holiday time and beavers

Monday 16 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 1:54pm in Smallholding 3 comments Add your own

We've had two visits this week from our local Beaver group - one on Monday and one on Friday. The boys seemed to enjoy feeding the hens and picking up eggs, seeing the cattle (especially the pooping) and bottlefeeding the lambs.

Beaver feeding lambA beaver feeding a lamb.

We've got a school visit on Friday and I think we might have the Scouts visiting soon. We enjoy these visits but  we should get earplugs. Bryn was made a honorory Beaver - we have a photo of him in woggle and cap :-)

Rosedean Ryeland Yarn

Monday 9 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 5:34pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

Well, Pixie’s teenies are doing fine. They’re quite happy having a bottle and sleeping with their mum. We had a wee scare on the Tuesday or Wednesday after they were born – when we went out to do the 10pm feed, the ewe lambs was bleeding from her back end. Phoned the vet and he said it was probably a wee membrane that had ripped as she passed faeces. She has a Hibiscrub bath and was fine by the 2am feed. They’re in at night and out during the day – the weather has been pretty good; dry, sunny but windy. Good lamb growing weather J


Monday 2 May, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 7:30pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

And 2016 lambing is over. It didn’t exactly finish on a high though. Pixie had her triplets this afternoon – two ewes and a tup, all pretty tiny – but one of the ewe lambs was dead when I went out to the field. I don’t know if she was born dead or suffocated, but the caul was over her face, poor wee thing. Anyway, might be for the best because Pixie has no milk in one quarter and a smidgen in the other L The lambs seem perky enough, so I’ve given them both some colostrum and we’ll see how we go. I’ll certainly leave the lambs with the ewe but I’m pretty certain we’ll be at least topping up. She’s been a good ewe but this will be her last year.

Nearly done

Monday 25 April, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 1:13pm in Smallholding 0 comments Add your own

We've truly had four seasons in one day here - snow, hail and rain,wind interspersed with lovely warm sunshine. I guess that's Scotland in April :-)

Lambing is almost over now. Usha lambed on Friday – two nice ewe lambs, and she’s a very attentive mum. The first one needed a bit of a pull and isn’t quite so lovely as her sister, but she’s improving every day. So that just leaves poor Pixie, who is the size of a small white elephant. You can see the lambs roiling about inside her. We moved the empty Ulrika and Teddy the Wether up to Astwood, with the six ewe hoggs and brought the two oldies, Jinx and Juno, home to keep Pixie company. Pixie is Juno’s daughter from her third lambing in 2011 (her twin from that year, Poppy, also had triplets this year).

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