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Posted: Monday 24 June, 2019

by Rosemary at 11:39am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 17th June

So changeable today – warm, cold, sunny, raining. Four seasons in one day and just a few days to the Summer Solstice. Dan topped our neighbours paddocks but it was too long and wet for a good job, so he’ll need to go back. Then he went back to his thistle pulling!! The man’s on a mission.

Moved the sheep to Near Top – they do get excited about it, bless ‘em.

The pears are developig well - looks like a good crop.


Did some Festival and Smallholding Scotland stuff.

Tuesday 18th June

Sunny but breezy, so drying the place up nicely. Got some time in the veg garden, planting out and sowing runner beans, tying up the sweet peas, which are just coming into flower, and weeding. For a change.


beansSweetpeas and salad.

Wednesday 19th June

Sunny and warm, and the wind has dropped. Delivered leaflets about the farm tours to caravan parks and shops in the area. The receptionist at one of the parks was one of our meat customers and she gave some really positive feedback. Always delighted to receive that!

The pots at the back door were lovely in spring but now look a bit dismal, so I cleaned most of them out and will add some bedding plants tomorrow.

oldpotsOld pots.

Brought the sheep in to the field shelter and gave the lambs their second Bravoxin vaccination; Zephyr got hers this morning. Phew, catching lambs is much easier than catching Zeph now. She’s a chunky girl.

After the vaccine, we did all the sheep with Clik. It gives up to 16 weeks protection, so hopefully we won’t have to do them again. We used to use Crovect, for the additional tick protection but we don’t really have a tick problem here so switched to Clik.

Thursday 20th June

Previsit this afternoon for the school visit from Woodlands PS, scheduled for next Thursday.

Bought some bedding plants – trailing white lobelia, dark pink pelargoniums and nemesia  and filled the back door pots. And a hanging basket. Looks a bit better now.

newpotsNew pots.

Planted out some pretty sad  antirrhinums that have been lurking in the greenhouse. Don’t know if they’ll do, but would rather give them the chance. The Brussel Sprouts are through and the squashes and one variety of leek. I don’t know which one.

Friday 21st June

Annual visit to the Royal Highland Show today, with Rebecca and Tara. Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and didn’t break the bank, although trying to stop Tara buying a Clydesdale horse wasn’t easy. I think the highlight was the Celebration of the Clydesdale display in the Main Ring. It was all made better by the lovely weather – dry and sunny, if a wee bit windy.

Didn't take any photos so here's a gratuitous one of Rosie and Zephyr

RosieRosie and Zephyr.

Didn’t get home until 9pm – I’ll pay for it tomorrow.

Saturday 22nd June

Another lovely day. As expected, my eyes refused to open this morning. Still, no choice but to get up and get on – then go back to bed for an hour.

Today was the start of the barn upgrade – actually, we do something of the sort every year. First, the poor old ring feeder was dismantled. It’s going to need some TLC before winter.

playpenDan's playpen.

Then all the mats were lifted and pressure washed; now we need to put down blocks and edgings that will hold the mats in place. When we put them down in the autumn, it was a bit of a rush and while they’ve been great, we want to improve on it. The gaps that appeared between the mats trapped muck, so we hope to elimonate, or at least reduce that.

edgesRetaining edges required.

Lifting the mats highlighted the main problem – there’s a dip in the barn floor. And it smells really bad. And the concrete is  wasting. We had a contractor put it down years ago and it’s never been right – I got him back to sort it but eventually ran out of patience with his efforts (or lack thereof). Since then, we’ve laid the concrete floors ourselves and, frankly, they are much superior. But Dan is a man with a plan, so hopefully, it will be resolved.


We've had a temporary gate tied in place, so that was replaced with a new working gate, although I can't use it until the hardcore is laid outside.

oldgateOld gate.

newgateNew gate going in.

We had these gates put in to allow John and Linda's motorhome in and out, but it's gone now, so these gates are coming out to be replaced by stock fencing. One of the good wooden gates will replace the existing rails.

oldgatesNew stock fence here.

railsRails will become a gate.

There's a new stock fence to enclose this paddock. With the exitsing rails replaced with a gate, we'll be able to move stock safely from the fields into the barn without them absconding along the track to the buildings and garden.

paddockBarn paddock.

It’s quite a big project and isn’t going to be done overnight – but as long as it’s done for 1st November when the cows come it, it will be fine.

Some folk came to see the lambs and have bought a black ewe lamb for their daughter. They bought a barren ewe from us a few years ago, so I know she’s going to a good home.

Dan went off to corn the hens and feed the pigs, the phoned me to come up to the orchard. Without dogs. In one of the pens for the green house, there was a duck with seven tiny ducklings. Aaawww. We’ve put food and water in – she should be pretty safe there – and we hope she stays until the ducklings are fledged.

Sunday 23rd June

Sadly down to five ducklings now. Crows, I think. Hate them.

Strawberries are in full  flow. Jam pan out.


Bright and dry but breezy. We’ve had some volunteers helping Dan in the orchard today. Another pen weeded and mulched, some black elder and pyracantha planted. After lunch, they sowed twelve rows of peas, so Dan will be making pea supports this week.

elderBlack Elder.

Made cheesecakes. Finally. Bought the ingredients last week *rolls eyes*, then into the veg garden to…. Weed. Most of the dahlias and peonies are showing now.

Moved the sheep into Laing's Field. Urqhuhart and Teddy declined to go. They're like two grumpy old men.

tupUrquhart and Teddy, in solitary.

Dan did a bit of cleaning in the cow shed. It was dirty work.

clothesDirty work.

Heavy rain forecast for tonight into tomorrow, so didn’t bother putting the sprinkler on in the garden.

Early night tonight – no Downton Abbey!


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