Thursday 20 April, 2017
Monday 13th March
Caught up with paperwork and cleaned out the caravan henhouse.
Tuesday 14th March
Pressure washed the trailer after the sheep movement on Sunday.
Received, from my MSP, a copy of a letter from Fergus Ewing assuring us of his support for small farmers and saying that his officials will be looking at the Small Farm Grant Scheme to see where improvements can be made.
I have no doubt that Mr. Ewing means what he says but the proof of the pudding…
Wednesday 15th March
I and another member of the Smallholding Scotland steering group attended the Cross Party Working Group on Crofting, at Holyrood.
We met first with Patrick Krause, the CE of Scottish Crofting Federation and Russell Smith, the chair. SCF would certainly welcome someone else on “their side of the negotiating table”.
We had the chance to meet a couple of the civil servants who work on rural affairs; time will tell how useful it is.
Thursday 16th March
FiL John took the flat trailer to Brechin today for a service. One of the wheels was sticking, but I was also conscious that it hadn’t been serviced in our time. Bit taken aback that the quote was £700 but it needed four new tyres, new jockey wheel, brakes and suspension.
Other than that it was in good nick! Still, that will be it for a while.
Cleaned out the green henhouse. It’s still pretty dry, although we’ve had periods of rain. Very windy today though.
Friday 17th March
Work in the studio is progressing. The ceiling and end wall were plastered on Wednesday.
Dan and Paul bought reclaimed timber today for he walls and floor and tat’s being delivered next Friday.
Another couple of weeks should see it done.
Saturday 18th March
Moved Teddy and Urquhart from Barry Mill to Ravensby – on foot. It’s only a few hundred yards along a track, so we just put a rope round Urquhart’s neck and the two of them walked very nicely to their new field.
I’m a bit anxious about having the tup in with the ewes at this time of year – don’t really want August lambs so I’m going to raddle him. It won’t stop any hanky panky but at least I’ll have a chance to act.
Let Ace out of his pen and in with Annie and Blizzard. He’s growing, the pen wasn’t. He was much calmer than I expected.
He’s a bit ribby so I’ve upped his sugar bet ration and I’ll get a back of cake next time I’m at Harbro.
Sunday 19th March
Wakened at 12.30, wondering if Ace was still in the pen. Went for a look and he was asleep in the feed rack. Doofus.
Moved him out at breakfast and Dan put another rail on, so hopefully he’ll stay put.
He was very good at getting his halter on this afternoon – and he got a brush (as did the girls).
Dan cut down some dead trees and finished pruning the apple trees.
We finally planted out a blueberry we had in a pot – sadly the pot broke – and Dan put on a good manure mulch.
I weeded in the fruit garden and Dan put on more manure – that’ll be this week’s job, finishing that – then we can get the membrane down.
Noticed that the comfrey is sprouting.
Walked the fields but no sign of much growth. If it stays dry this week, we’ll get the harrow out.
Started to price up liming and fertilizing; I’ll only be able to afford to get one holding done this year, sadly.