Thursday 23 February, 2017
Saturday 11th February
Not much of a blog this week as we’ve been away for a few days with our daughter. All seemed to go fine while we were away.
Paul started preparations for the “classroom” today. We need a better name for it. I call it the Man Cave but that’s no good either.
Dan moved the caravan hens this morning. The good news is that the Avian Flu “lock down” is being relaxed from 28th February so the hens should get back out then.
Sunday 12th February
Started the early potatoes chitting and put all the black plastic back on the veg beds – only for them to blow off again about an hour later. I need a better system.
Weeded the plum, pear and gage trees in the veg garden and applied lime and what was left of the “Growmore”. I’d rather use something more natural but I’m not quite sure what. I use “Growmore” because the Hessayon fruit and veg book, which is my bible, tells me to.
Dan took some rubbish hay to the recycling centre and picked up two good bales.
I made pancakes (drop scones) – they were my best yet. Just need to keep practicing.
Monday 13th Feb
Suffering from a bout of vertigo. Feeling very dizzy. Did manage to make fresh baked beans and they’re rather nice so will make them again. I’d like to substitute homemade for bought if I can.
Work started on the classroom today – very exciting.
Downside is that we overlooked applying for a building warrant, so that’s now in hand although there will be a financial penalty because we’ve started work.
Tuesday 14th Feb
I’ve been letting Ace out of his pen and in with cows but I think (know) that they bully him, so he’s taken to climbing through into the hay rack to sleep.
He’s fine to halter and “encourage” out but it can’t go on, so he’s back in his pen. He’s got two hay racks now – one on the side wall and one on the bars. He likes the company that the one of the bars brings, even if he gets less hay to eat.
Went up to Astwood today to feed the steers; car making funny noise (peculiar not ha-ha) and water coming out below. RAC came and it was towed to the garage – new water pump and timing belt required.
Wednesday 15th Feb
No big car today and needed to put a bale of straw out for the steers, so our brilliant neighbours, John and Mandy, volunteered to help. It was really muddy round the ring feeder but thankfully (sort of), it was me who lost a wellie and stood in the shitty mud.
I was told by email today that my query relating to limited companies and the Small Farm Grant Scheme has been referred to the RPID Legal team.
I ordered some organic fertilizer today for top-dressing the trees.
Meg’s memorial stone arrived today from Rustic Stone.
Very pleased with it even though it made me shed a tear or two.
Thursday 16th Feb
Vertigo not going away so I’ve made an appointment with the doc for next week.
We’ve been making the final plans for the Smallholding Scotland conference – last minute panic because I had deleted one of the presentations by mistake. Think it’s sorted now.
Friday 17th Feb
At the Smallholding Scotland Conference today. All went smoothly and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was nice to see some old faces and some new ones.
The presentations are available to download from the conference website if you'd like to get a flavour of the day.
Saturday 18th Feb
Nice day today so I cleaned out four hen houses – the two that are currently occupied and the two that are currently vacated. The hens that are currently in the byre will go back into the green henhouse once the restrictions are lifted next week, but the ones in the caravan will stay there. The brown henhouse will be used for the new POL that we’ll be getting in April.
I’ve been throwing some turfs from the new patio in for the byre hens for a few days. They love ‘em and it’s getting rid of the pile – so good on two fronts.
Dan started work on the new fence in the pig pen.
Following the poultry talk by Dr. Oluyinka Olukosi at the conference yesterday about poultry health (well worth a read), I am soaking the afternoon corn with turmeric.
Apparently soaking the corn makes it easier for the chooks' digestive systems to break down the cell walls and access the protein.
Sunday 19th Feb
I attended the RBST Caledonian AGM, while Dan picked up hay, straw and finished the pig pen fence apart from the rails.
Spent some time having a look at the adaptations to be done to the byre to make it more hen-friendly for next winter. The two windows are coming out and being replaced with weld mesh and there’s going to be a good weld mesh panel on the door into the looseboxes and the entrance door. We’re going to put a rack of perches between the two stone upstands, a hook in the beams for the water drinker and we won’t have those stinky pallets.
I put them in a temporary roosts and they’ll be going straight on the bonfire when they come out.