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Posted: Monday 18 February, 2019

by Rosemary at 12:58pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 11th February

Back from holiday today – no disasters, except for Gwenna’s escapology, which is an annoyance rather than a disaster. Emptied the car, opened the mail then off to East PItkerro to put hay in for the steers. Their bedding is standing up much better now that there's a deep layer. We might not muck it out this summer for that reason.

Tara took delivery of her new on-loan horse. She’s called Ave and is a teenaged grey Irish Draft. The boys seem to like her.

Tuesday 12th February

Lovely Spring day – sunny, dry and windy. Moved the ewes and ewe hoggs into Near Ditch and Triangle with a bale of hay, bringing the sheep Haybell from Laing’s Field and putting the pony one out there. When the ponies have finished the remains of the current bale, they’re on reduced rations. At thsi rate, it won't take long.

Replace meGreedy ponies.

Milked Blizz for one minute; will dry her off this week. Cleaned out hens.

Dan emptied the manure trailer on the pile for the orchard.

Wednesday 13th February

Various off farm appointments this morning, then a pre-visit for a RHET school visit next week, followed by a Smallholding Scotland board meeting.

Thursday 14th February

Milking is now officially over for this season. Buying milk is going to come hard, but Rosie is due to calve at the end of April, so it’s not for long. Annie has declared “bed UDI”.

annieBed and breakfast.

Put up the rug rack for the ponies’ rugs – it’s not quite high enough for Ave’s rugs but it’s an improvement.

rackNew rug rack.

The three ponies are getting on fine.

amigosThe three amigos.

Dan was in Edinburgh all day for a business meeting and I was guest speaker at Lundie SWI. I think I had the better deal.

Friday 15th February

Frosty this morning. Should have been at the Smallholding Scotland conference but we had to cancel it due to poor ticket sales.

Did some baking for the course tomorrow – coconut cookies, almond biscuits, scones, fruit loaf and individual Victoria sponges.

Tara brought Bentley along today – I think Gwenna’s in love.

gwennaGwenna and Bentley love-in.

Saturday 16th February

Fixed heddle loom weaving course here today with the brilliant Carole Storm. Don’t know what was going on but there was much laughter – and some lovely results.

Had a walk round Sheepfold and was dismayed to see how much moss there was. We need to get the harrow on.

Set out the Maris Bard to chit.

spudsMaris Bard.

Sunday 17th February

Cool and breezy this morning but sunny this afternoon. Dogs got me up at 3.30am and I couldn’t get back to sleep – well, until about 5.30am. Just anxious about how much needs doing at this time of year and whether we’ll have Laing’s Field soon – the landlord wants to discuss rent. Dan let me sleep in, bless ‘im.

Dan set about alleviating the anxiety by putting the harrow on the tractor and harrowed Sheepfold. Lots of moss removed! He then pruned the gooseberries – one of the year’s worst jobs. I weeded the pear, gage and plum trees and Dan dug some manure to top dress them. Looking braw. Top dressed the blueberries, too.

treeBlack gold.

Given the state of the grass and the ??? over Laing’s Field, I’m thinking that I’ll reduce the number of sheep. Not sure how I’ll do it though – I could sell the five ewe hoggs but four are white and I want the fleeces, so I’d have to wait until end of May. If I did that, I could keep Urquhart. Or I could sell some ewes with lambs at foot – then Urquhart has to go, one way or another. No decisions until after lambing, anyway.

Lots of spring bulbs coming through now. Forecast says 20C this week but I bet it’s not.


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