Buns / Blues / WaterRSS feed

Posted: Monday 7 December, 2020

by Rosemary at 11:53am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 30th November

Happy St Andrews Day! Started damp but the sun came out late morning, which cheered things up a bit. Mostly in the office, apart from the daily chores. New floor in the feed store being poured on Friday. One of our new-this-year beef customers has come back wanting three more roasting joints. Says it’s the best beef he’s had in years – and he used to be a butcher. Very pleasing.

Second green bum in the BFL today. Just the one he jumped when he arrived – I’m pretty sure it was just a “Hello, I’m here; love me” rather than a genuine service.

Tuesday 1st December

Nice day – dry, sunny and cold. I’ll take this for December for sure. Checked the steers at East Pitkerro – Charlie has a bit of growing to do to catch Archie. Still, he’s got a year to do it.

steersCharlie and Archie.

The sheep are eating the hay, so I refilled the two hayracks, then cleaned out the hen houses. In between, I made Stollen buns – like Chelsea buns but with a core of marzipan. I think I can add these to my Christmas baking repertoire – but next time, I’d use half the marzipan as the core and chop the rest, adding it to the fruit through the dough.

bunsStollen buns.

Dave the Spark came down to see what needs doing electrical wise in the feed store. All parts ordered and I’ll pick them up Thursday when I take Tom to the vet.

SCBA committee meeting this evening.

Wednesday 2nd December

Murray still courting ewe no3 but she’s not entertaining him. Yet. You can’t hurry a Murray. Graham the Joiner here this morning to shutter the feed store for the new floor.

Planted the new raspberries – Joan J and strawberries – Hapil. The soil in bed 6 is lovely, a real sandy loam. Weeded a bit of bed 5, where the peas are going next spring. Weeded until I couldn’t feel my fingertips.

Thursday 3rd December

Ooh, frosty and snow in some parts of Scotland to the West. Of for hay – this will be a weekly job now.

Murray has completed his task and will be returning home at the weekend

Took Tom to the vet for his annual check up; he’s fine but he’ll need some dental work in the not to distant future. Picked up the electrical bits for the feed store. Cleared out the last of the buckets, the sink and the locking cupboard from the feed store – floor being poured tomorrow morning.

Friday 4th December

OMG, not just the floor poured. The rain has been torrential – thankful it hasn’t fallen as snow, as it has in other places, and it does mean the taps weren’t frozen. In fact, it’s been pretty mild – I had to take my jacket off when I was mucking out the cattle. What a change from yesterday when the frost didn’t lift all day. But we are completely back to square one with flooding in the fields. 

ditchFull ditch.

Still, the floor was poured. Dan was ordering floor paint and the advice is to leave it a month before painting. I was hoping to get it finished before Christmas, but that might be a bit of a forlorn hope.

With the break in the weather, that’s the cattle in all the time now. Ponies are in Sheepfold with hay. When Murray goes tomorrow, we’ll reunite the nine ewes in Near Ditch with access to hay and the field shelter. We also need to sort out accommodation for the hens, which have to come indoors from the 14th as an Avian flu preventative measure. The young hens are going in the polytunnel and the old ones in the caravan, but we’ll need to sort out some sort of outdoor access for them albeit covered. All in winter quarters.

I baked a treacle & oat soda bread to have with our roasted cauliflower soup; made fruit scones as well. Wee bit of indulgence to make up for the weather, Covid and Avian Flu.

Saturday 5th December

What a night! Thunder, lightning, heavy rain, strong winds. Just horrible. And now I have the winter blues. Anyway, weaned Afton and Albie to East Pitkerro – they loaded like a dream and unloaded likewise, off into the field. It’s going to be a noisy night.


Vaccinated Aurora with Bravoxin, then loaded Murray; vaccinated him too, then took him home. He’s a lovely tup – a real gent.

With the onset of the winter blues, I’m ready to pack it all in and live in a flat somewhere. It all feels like endings, like waiting for God. For twenty years, I’ve read about smallholding, written about it and done it. I can understand why old farmers don’t retire. This is my work and my hobby. Dan’s excited at the prospect of retiring in a few years; I dread it. I have no idea what I’m going to do with my time. I need to find some beginnings to replace the endings.

Sunday 6th December

Sun’s out and that has dispelled the blues a bit. Started to get the polytunnel ready for the chooks. Did some festive preparations. The drainage ditches are running well, so if it stays dry, water levels will start to fall.

Diesel and Gwenna, spooning

petsDiesel and Gwenna - so cute.


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