Tuesday 3 April, 2012
Last week, the Met office was forecasting snow for this week. As we sat out in the sun in shirt sleeves, I thought "no way" - but the bods at the Met office were right.
Our first lamb is now 12 days old - hasn't seen rain. Well, he saw it last night. We house our pregnant ewes at night but once ewes have lambed and the lambs are well mothered, we leave them out. Yesterday, just in case the forecast was right, I asked Dan to put the livestock trailer in the nursery field to afford some shelter, if not in it, then around and under it.
Tuesday 13 September, 2011
Well, the forecasters were right - it's been pretty windy. I think we've had it OK, in comparison to many. We've not had much rain and the winds haven't been damaging, so far.
I was surprised and pleased, though, when I was in the vegetable garden last night and noticed that the beech hedge was doing a great job filtering the wind - the runner beans and the sunflowers, at over 8ft tall, were barely moving.
Bodes well for our plum, pear and gage trees, I think.
Monday 22 August, 2011
Since moving here in May 2010, we've been kept pretty busy. As well as the routine jobs in the garden, the house and with the livestock, we've been doing a lot of development - renovated one house, building another, constructing a vegetable garden and a fruit garden, fancing and draining plus a myriad of other small but important jobs. The planning also takes a lot of time - and even though it's not physically demanding, it can be hardwork. Sometimes, we can all get a bit frazzled. I'm probably worst of all at taking time out - eventually, I run into a metaphorical wall, have a hissy fit and sleep for twelve hours :-)
Wednesday 17 August, 2011
A Little Piece of England was first published under the title A Bucket of Nuts and a Herring Net. The nuts were pony nuts and the herring net was what we trapped our small flock of sheep in. We did not have a sheep dog and when we wanted to catch the flock up for inspection, foot trimming or spraying against 'strike' (blow flies laying their eggs in the fleece), Sue, my elder daughter, and I would enter the field together suitably armed.
Sue rattled a plastic bucket half filled with pony nuts and when the sheep, some twenty of them, were gathered round her I would cast a length of herring net I had concealed behind my back over the lot of them. All that was then left to do was to extricate Sue from the flock and deal with the surprisingly docile animals one by one.
Saturday 13 August, 2011
I've just returned from a nice afternoon at Kinross Show with Central Scotland Smallholders' Association. We try and attend a couple of shows a year to recruit new members. The weather was kind - apart from a couple of showers, it stayed fine. We had some silkies and a couple of ferrets (in separate cages) that drew folk in. I think a few folk signed up, which is good.
On my return, I found that Dan and John had hung the new gate at the north entrance - it's a nice wooden one to replace the metal barrier. Now we need a pedestrian gate to complete it. And the joiners have been busy - the roof is felted and two walls are clad with insulation. More progress :-)
Thursday 11 August, 2011
I thinned the beetroot yesterday, roasted it in its skin and peeled it today for pickling in red wine vinegar and spices. I also picked some peas for freezing, so I'm getting through the list Dan made for me.
Off to walk the dogs now - it's not on the list but needs doing anyway and I'd rather go while the sun is out.
Saturday 18 June, 2011
Dan and John bottled the stout this morning. I was given a sherry glass full to taste. It's quite nice, not as nice as the bitter, but it matures in the bottle apparently. The two of them are getting right into the homebrew.
I like beer - in fact, much of the time, I'd choose it over wine (except champagne :-)).
We've found a good stand of elder on the golf course, so well away from traffic fumes. The flowers are almost ready to pick but we'll need a dry, sunny day so that they are fully open and dry. It's raining here just now so it won't be today.
Friday 10 June, 2011
No, not me! Dan and John's home brew. It's from a kit - Woodforde's Wherry, I think, and it's ready - 40 pints of it. And it's lovely.
The method of dispensing is a bit odd, for reasons not known to me. It gets decanted into a saucepan then served up in ladlefuls. It's a bit medieval, with John playing the part of serving wench at dinner tonight, but it's very nice indeed.
The stout is brewing away and I think another couple of kits are lurking somewhere. John was muttering tonight about planting hops, but we sent him back to the kitchen.
Tuesday 17 May, 2011
Thank you to everyone who came on the CSSA Farm Walk on Saturday. I was able to make a donation of Â£60 to FarmAfrica thanks to your generosity.
I hope you all enjoyed it and maybe learned either how to do something or even how not to do it :-)
Maybe we'll repeat the exercise in a couple of years, and we'll see how the place has developed.
Tuesday 10 May, 2011
We're hosting a farm walk here on Saturday, for CSSA members. It is also our first anniversary here. I would recommend hosting a farm walk to all smallholders. Doesn't half make you attend to all those wee jobs you've been putting off for ages, because in the whole scheme of things, they aren't terribly important - the broken rail here, the pile of old bricks there.
It's not that we want it to look like Disneyworld (fat chance) but we do want folk to see it at its best. So it's tidy, tidy, tidy and if that doesn't work, close the door, and if that doesn't work, change the route :-)