February 2016RSS feed

The beginning of Spring

Monday 1 February, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 11:42am in Smallholding Comments closed

So today, 1st February, is the pagan festival of Imbolc, give or take twenty four hours. According to Wikipedia, Imbolc falls equidistant between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox and is traditionally hailed as the beginning of Spring; it is associated with St Bride or St Brigid in her role as fertility goddess. The holiday was a festival of the hearth and home, and a celebration of the lengthening days and the early signs of spring. The lighting of candles and fires represented the return of warmth and the increasing power of the Sun over the coming months.[4] A spring cleaning was also customary. Well, all that’s as maybe, but Storm Henry is blowing a hoolie and we have intermittent sunshine and seriously heavy showers, so spring cleaning might have to wait but lighting the fire might be on the agenda.

Lucy arrives

Monday 8 February, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 7:54pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Well, I don’t seem to have got any of the things on “The List”, or at least from last week’s diary entry, done but I’ve been busy.

We planned to vaccinate, dose and split the sheep yesterday but I wrenched my shoulder, so we’re doing them tomorrow.

Dan was at the Scotland v England rugby match on Saturday, which he really enjoyed even if Scotland didn’t win. I produced 32 rolls on Lorne sausage for the “Big Dig” at Carnoustie’s Community Garden. Dan took round a trailer load of manure before he got ready for the match. It’s a big plot and there’s a lot of work to do but there were 40 volunteers there on Saturday, making a start.

Pruning weeding and fedging

Sunday 14 February, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 8:09pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Well, not surprisingly for February, the weather’s been a bit changeable. We haven’t had any snow but we did have heavy rain Thursday into Friday and the fields are very wet again. We’ve had a few really nice days though, that make you just want to get out and about. Like today – it was 10C in the sun, but where the sun didn’t hit, the ice never melted. Forecast isn’t bad for the next few days, thank fully.

Finally vaccinated, dosed and split the sheep on Wednesday. The ewe hoggs, Jinx and Juno are at Barry Mill; the four expecting singles are at Astwood with Taylor and Ted, while the twins and triplets are in two groups here. There’s plenty grass at Astwood and BM, so it’s saving a bit on hay. I’ll start feeding the triplets a bit of bagged feed tomorrow and the twins from next Monday. The vaccinating was fine except I scratched my finger with the needle – before injecting anyone – but it still swelled up and was pretty tender for a couple of days. Given the wet summer and winter, fluke is likely to be an issue so I was glad to get them all dosed.

Short and sweet

Monday 22 February, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 8:52am in Smallholding Comments closed

Well, in the run up to the Smallholding Scotland conference last Friday (19th) not a lot was done outside. The event went really well so we’ve got the venue and catering booked for next year and now we start working on the Festival for September.

Felix, our elderly cat, was at the vet for his regular checkup, because he’s on longterm medication. He also got a long acting antibiotic injection, which seems to have helped his snuffles.

My chum Janet and I went to see the film “Rams”. If you go, take tissues.

Catching up and stumbling on

Monday 29 February, 2016

by Rosemary Champion at 10:23am in Smallholding Comments closed

It’s been a short week for me – because it included two days travelling to and from the nano-dairying course and two days at the course itself. And since I came back on Saturday evening, I’ve been catching up with a few chores that didn’t get done while I was away.

The bags have arrived for the fleeces, so I’m off to pack them up just as soon as I’ve finished this. I’m quite excited and a bit apprehensive as it’s a big financial investment. I just hope we’ll be able to recoup it.

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