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Thursday 6 July, 2017

by Rosemary at 10:34am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own

Monday 26th June

The fox woke us at 4am this morning. Bryn was going daft and had to be released to do whatever he does – runs around barking, I guess.

Couldn’t get back to sleep, so baked some almond biscuits and coconut cookies to fill the tins.

Milking machine still broken, but Dan is working on it :-(

Mini milker pumpMilking machine repair, looks complicated.

Tuesday 27th June

Horrible day today – cold and wet.

However, thanks to the combined efforts of Dan and Tim Gibson, the milking machine now working fine.

I drove down to Lanark to have a look at the Festival venue, meet with the folk there and have lunch with a friend. Also had a meeting with the folk who will be bringing the logging horse.

Good day (apart from the weather).

Wednesday 28th June

Much nicer day today – dry and some sun. John got the last paddock topped, in the first round.

Since we’ve got so much milk, and so many strawberries, we’ve taken to making strawberry and banana milkshakes, very tasty.

MilshakeMilkshake, yum.

Dan did the first gooseberry harvest – about 7lb from the two big red bushes.

Hinnomaki Red gooseberriesOur Hinnomaki Red goosberries.

That's about half the crop so far, the rest need to ripen a bit more.

Last year we reduced the number of plants as they were overcrowded and transplanted some to the hen pens – we don’t get a crop of those but the hens love them.

I had a meeting in Edinburgh about the Small Farm Grant Scheme, then off to the Scottish Parliament for the cross party working group on crofting.

Thursday 29th June

A return to wet and windy weather.

Dan made a cheddar cheese, which looks fab.

Home-made Cheddar CheeseFirst Cheddar of 2017 drying.

We got word that Bryn’s mum has given birth to nine puppies – one black bitch, four red bitches and four red dogs. All well. We’ve reserved a red bitch.

The rain must have had an impact on insects because the steading is full of swallows – dozens of them, swooping around. It’s quite lovely.

Spent a lot of the day on Festival and Smallholding Scotland stuff.

Friday 30th June

Finally got the CPH number for Ravensby sorted out. Just waiting on the flock number to come through now.

Good news received regarding Smallholding Scotland – our application for charitable status has been approved.

Went to the feed merchants for a tonne of layer pellets and a few bits and bobs.

Walked to Barry Mill and Ravensby with Dan and Bryn.

Made a small quantity of butter – just because I could – but it won’t be a regular thing.

Home-made butterHome-made butter, the Scotch hands belonged to my gran.

Saturday 1st July

Warm, sunny and windy today.

Dan’s been busy strimming hen paddocks and around boundaries. He thinned the apple trees – some were absolutely smothered in fruit and while it’s tempting to try and leave them tall on, we’ll get a better quality and size of crop by thinning them.

Thinned apple treeA Discovery post-thinning.

The pigs will get the bucket of tiny apples as a treat over the next couple of days.

He’s also made blackcurrant cordial with the almost-last of last year’s blackcurrants out the freezer, picked gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries. We’ve got the best crop of strawberries ever.

I took the calves off their mums today for a four hours to try and increase our milk yield. This is earlier than I did it last time, two years ago, with Paddy only being three weeks old. He was much less settled than Panda, at five weeks – she just lay down and went to sleep.

Sadly with small numbers, it’s a compromise – I couldn’t bring her in on her own.

Not the best milking, but they’ll soon get used to the routine and the noise levels will drop.

Sunday 2nd July

Nice day again, but windy. Much better milking today. Calves knew where the pen was and settled better.

When I let the cows in, they were more interested in where their sugar beet was, and didn’t head for the calves.

Yield back up to about 10 litres, so Dan’s going to make another cheddar.

Good, productive Smallholding Scotland meeting in the afternoon – almost cracked Skype.

Still no sign of Rosie calving.

Comments

PK

Friday 7 July, 2017 at 8:26am

There is a reported butter shortage with an expectation of higher prices later in the year. You might end up making your own more often!

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