November 2008RSS feed

Baloo, the great lover!

Saturday 1 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 8:44pm in Sheep Comments closed

Because we only have three sheep, it's not worth keeping a tup, so today our girls went back to the holding where they were born to run with an unrelated tup for a few weeks. We loaded them up and took them the six miles or so back to Sheriffyards. When we left, they were moving tentatively towards the other five ewes, while the tup made his way over to the fence. He'll be out there now - I do hope he's gentle with them!

We picked up another Ryeland tup from Sheriffyards to take to our chum, Carol's. She's using the Ryeland on her Shetland ewes, as she did last year. The tup's called Baloo, short for Hullabaloo. Jane, his owner, was just finishing trimming his feet when we arrived. After we turned out our girls, we loaded Baloo. I lead him on to the trailer using a dog collar and lead - I couldn't believe how tame he was! I wish my horse loaded that easily. We repeated the exercise at the other end, and turned him out with the ewes. He was certainly in the mood for love - but they were playing a bit hard to get. Still, he's such a nice tup, I'm sure he'll wear them down before long!

Urban redneck

Saturday 1 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 8:54pm in Anything goes 1 comment Comments closed

When we were in the States last month, I bought a work shirt. It's quickly become my very favourite piece of clothing, displacing my charity shop fleecy sweatshirt. The new shirt is quilted with a check flannel outer, but it has a grey sweatshirt inset with a zip and hood. Dan has described this particular fashion style as "urban redneck"! I suppose I will eventually have to wash it - I wish I'd bought two now...

New strawberry patch

Monday 3 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 9:04pm in Growing 1 comment Comments closed

Dan planted out the new strawberry patch today. The plants were delivered this morning - a special offer from "Grow your own" magazine, I think. There are six each of three varieties - Amelia, Mae and Marshmello. We've planted them in the patio bed on the east side of the house. I hope to plant lettuce between the rows, as they are quite well spaced.

Our existing strawberry patch, Florence and Pegasus, has done well but it's three years old now, so we're moving it to fresh ground with new varieties. The existing patch will crop next year, then be removed. I intend to move the rhubarb into that area, since it will need split - I might invest in some new varieties - then plant new raspberry canes in the current rhubarb patch. The redcurrant, white currant and blueberry will then go where the raspberries currently are, beside the gooseberries and blackcurrants. I might have room for a couple of extra blueberry bushes.

A poem from my sister

Thursday 6 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 8:48pm in Anything goes 3 comments Comments closed


I could not kill a chicken

With feathers, blood and stuff,

‘Cause I would just remember,

Those balls of yellow fluff.

I could not kill a rabbit,

I know they are a pest,

We had a white one and a grey one.

I loved the grey one best.

I simply could not kill a pig

And listen to it wail,

It used to be so soft and pink

With tiny curly tail.

I'd never ever kill a sheep;

Scotch Rose Hedge planting

Saturday 8 November, 2008

by Dan at 8:38pm in Gardening Comments closed

When we first moved to our house, it was sat in the middle of a one acre field. There were no paths and no boundaries, just an acre of grass with the odd rickety fence. Over the 8 1/2 years we've been here we've gradually added more structure: hard paths, fencing for the house, vegetable garden and kitchen garden, and about 600ft of native and beech hedging.

Today we put another piece in place - a Scotch Rose hedge running alond the front of the pig pens. Although we love our pigs, we felt we needed a boundary (other than the fence!) between them and the more formal grassed area (we aren't shameless enough to call it a lawn) which sits at the back of the house. So earlier in the year we had some kerbing put in to create beds along the pens, and a cobble path leading down to the gate into one of the pens.

World currant shortage

Saturday 8 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 10:19pm in Recipes 1 comment Comments closed

I decided to make our Christmas puddings this weekend. I already had some dried fruit but needed more currants. Alas, when I got to the supermarket - no currants! There were none last week either; in fact, the whole dried fruit area was pretty empty. Everybody must be making cakes, puddings and mincemeat this year.

I'm going to go in tomorrow on my way to the stables at 7am and see if I can catch them out...


Sunday 23 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 10:03am in Anything goes Comments closed

We've got snow this morning. It's cold but clear so maybe that's it all for now.

The hens wouldn't come out this morning until bribed with corn. The Legbars, who haven't seen snow before, were sitting on top of their run. They're quite different to the other hens - quite flighty, quite small and delicate looking. They also act a bit "refined", compared to the roughty toughty Black Rocks.

Felix went out but would only walk on the clear area where the car had been parked.

I'm off to make a Creole Christmas Cake now - the fruit has been soaking in rum, port, brandy, cherry brandy for a week. I won't inhale as I have to drive later!


Sunday 23 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 10:03am in Anything goes 2 comments Comments closed

We've surely got snow now. We've had a wee bit since Friday last but last night, about 6" fell. Fortunately, John has done a fabulous job keeping the outside water running. So far we've plenty hay but I need to get some straw for bedding the calves and for the field shelter, where the ewes are.

The ponies and sheep are now eating hay good style. The sheep can have it adlib but the ponies need to be restricted or they'll get fat - it's happened before! This morning, Smokey and Bugsy had lumps of ice on their backs and in their manes. I suppose this means that they are well enough insulated that their body heat doesn't melt it, but I can't help but feel sorry for them.

The Clackmannanshire Bridge

Wednesday 26 November, 2008

by Rosemary at 8:39pm in Anything goes Comments closed

The new upper Forth crossing, the Clackmannanshire Bridge, opened last week. Our local Council had campaigned to have the Bridge named after the County, to put us on the map.

On Sunday (this is kind of sad), Dan, Lorna and I drove down to see the bridge and drive across it. The views of Clackmannanshire on the dive in over the bridge are just lovely - Clackmannan Parish Church and Clackmannan Tower silhouetted against the Ochil Hills.

Today I had the opportunity to use the bridge for real. Carol and I met with a representative of Oatridge College in West Lothian to try to set up some training opportunities ofr members of the smallholders' association. We were very happy to find that the College were very keen to help. Our first venture will be a lambing course in January, followed by a grassland management event in March. I'm sure if these are supported, further events will follow.

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