Cake / Cash / LambsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 20 April, 2020

by Rosemary at 3:41pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 13th April

Fox took all the meat chicks overnight. Dan and I feel utterly awful – him because he should have repaired the run properly and me because I should have kept them in the box until the repair was done. So cross with ourselves. Don’t know if we’re going to get more this year – but if we don’t we’ll not be eating chicken.

Cooler and overcast, so we did the housework – well, vacuuming and washing the kitchen floor.  Dan did some knitting – my waistcoat is fairly coming on – then he went up to the orchard for an hour.

Steven came down with the loader and put all the cut rushes over the fences. We had a chat about reseeding and he knows a contractor who will be able to stitch in, rather than broadcast, grass seed. He’s going to give him a call. I need to get grass seed. And clear it with the landlord.

Pigs were out and about today and much more confident.

pigsPigs, out and about.

Tuesday 14th April

Frosty and windy.  Dan’s been curing pork – we don’t eat an awful lot of pork, so he’s taken some of the joints and cured it for gammon and bacon. We had the first gammon for dinner tonight – it was delicious. We’re just keeping a half pig for us this year, so I think most of it will be cured.

I made a fruit cake, topped with almonds. It’s Delia’s Christmas cake recipe. Dan's mum and dad got half and we're rationing ourselves to one slice with our bedtime cuppa, or it would be gone in a couple of days.

cake"Not really Christmas" cake.

Dan and I are not big drinkers. We rarely drink spirits, preferring wine or beer. However, we do have a wee drinks cabinet in the dresser so, for the cake, I was looking for brandy. I ended up turning out all the bottles – where did we get some of this stuff? Anyway, next time we go shopping we’ll go to Sainsbury’s – the only place that does lemonade made with sugar not sweeteners – and start finishing bottles. Whether we want to or not.

And I sowed runner beans and courgettes.

Wednesday 15th April

Sunny, warm and breezy.  Picked up hay. Tom lay in the sun.

tomThomas, sunbathing.


This morning, I contacted the local seed merchant and bought grass seed – 150kg of what’s called screenings. This is what comes out of the machines as they change mixtures – so they can’t say it’s 15% perennial ryegrass or whatever. Nothing wrong with the seed itself though. It’s the cheap and cheerful option.  It will have small amounts of clover, but if we decide to spray for weeds, we’ll just have to sacrifice that and maybe stitch in more clover later. The contractor’s price was very reasonable so we’re agreed on that – I just need to get the field gate key from the landowner.

Amazingly, I finished the fourth quarter VAT return and and the year ends and sent them off to the accountant. Counted the two week’s egg money – washed it first. Is this money laundering?

cashMoney laundering?

Demand for eggs is strong – just wondering if it will be sustained after the Covid-19 situation resolves and if I should get more hens.

Thursday 16th April

Dry, cool, overcast. Dan planted some potatoes.  Andy’s designing a solar wax melter so that the beeswax can be processed into something useable. They seem to be planning to expand the comfrey empire from plants to comfrey based products like salves and balms.

I gave thirty minutes to weeding strawberries. They’ll have to do this year but will all come out after fruiting and be replaced. It annoys me that I don't know what variety they are. In weeding mode, I weeded the beds in front of the house, ready for flower seeds.

We’ve got some nice salad greens in the polytunnel – rocket, claytonia and lambs lettuce.

Brushed Ave this morning and nearly had a heart attack when I noticed her mane was, well, missing Messaged Tara – apparently it’s always been like that. Zero points for observation.

Diesel caught a bunny – it’s that time of year. He ate the front end and Gwenna ate the back end. Not at the same time.

Dan went shopping – to Sainbury’s and got lemonade so I’ve finished the advocaat. Dan had Noilly Prat and lemonade – I think we won that in a raffle.  I’m moving on to Pimms No1 next.

Friday 17th April

Sunny, cool wind. Dan’s been getting on with the harrowing, with me clearing up the rubbish. And he’s been grass cutting. All looks much more kempt! I cleaned out the hens.

thatchThatch, after harrowing.

Smokey was lame this morning – big stone in his hoof, so hopefully, he’ll be better in a day or two. He’s bound to be bruised a bit.

Landlord came down – we have to move the rushes that we put over the fence. I hate doing a job twice but heyho.

We’ve decided to turn our guest bedroom – kept for non-existent guests – into a craft room. Dan’s finding knitting with cats quite challenging. And I’ll be able to do a bit more card making. Or even some card making.

Saturday 18th April

Cool and cloudy, windy but warming up. Dan did a bit more harrowing; just Sheepfold to do in the second pass then into Laing’s Field again. Then he got the chainsaw out and dismembered some pallets for kindling.

I went off to spread out the piles of rushes dumped on the ditch side of the field; the railway side will have to wait until the flat trailer is empty – probably Tuesday.

Did some weeding – the little patio – and refreshed the pots at the back door with fresh compost. I think I’ll just stick some seeds in.

Sunday 19th April

Another lovely day – almost still and full sun. Hate to to say it, but we could do with some rain – but none forecast for the foreseeable. Grass seed man coming Wednesday, probably.

And here's a photo of some lambs. No8 is a triplet. Doing well, all three of them. The ewe's thin but I'm putting plenty feed into them until the lambs are about a month old and eating grass. There must BE grass out there because they aren't touching the hay.

lambsLambs. Just because.


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