Courgettes / Cordial / AftonRSS feed

Posted: Monday 13 July, 2020

by Rosemary at 9:10am in Smallholding 1 comment Comments closed

Monday 6th July

Lovely sunny day, bit of a breeze – perfect drying weather. Mucked out the barn this morning, then poo picked. Office work after that, then post office with the comfrey orders.

Hung out a washing in the brisk breeze – and the clothes pole snapped. We put in four round wooden poles when we moved here and one has obviously rotted. My clothes line is now reduced by 50%. Dan thinks we have a spare one somewhere. I need a new line anyway, so the drying green will be refurbished.

lineCollapsed clothes line.

Tuesday 7th July

Nice day, warm and sunny. Kate, Tara and I all rode together for the first time today - Kate on Ave, Tara on Euro and me on the Smokester. Apparently our neighbour across the road has been complaining about horse dung on the road; Smokey almost always poops as soon as he gets out our gate and on to said road. He did it today.

Took some oatcakes out for the sheep – managed to get two BFL to come for a nibble. Astrid, Niamh’s lamb, is a right wee pet.

Dan made another Gouda – if I don’t take the calves off, that’ll be the last one, I think. Only getting about 3l a day now.

Wednesday 8th July

Oops, he did it again.

Another nice day, so rode round the ponds at the golf course. After lunch it was back down to earth with a bang and pulling ragwort in Laing’s Field. I’m a bit disappointed at how the new grass we had sown has taken. I guess it was just sprouting when we had the dry spell. Should have sowed it in September. Heyho, just need to keep on with the topping and the harrowing and hope for a dry winter.

Went for hay this morning – looks like two big, braw bales.

Thursday 9thJuly

Nice morning but becoming overcast and drizzly in the afternoon and evening. This scuppered my plans to cut the grass in the vegetable garden.

We decided to get fish and chips from the visiting chip van for dinner. That meant a slight (to me) change to the cows’ routine. How much milk? About half a cup.

Dan topped Home paddock and round the caravan.

Instead of buying bedding plants, I sowed some seed in the containers at the. I wouldn’t say they’ve done well – lots of green but not much in the way of flowers, apart from the Night Scented Stock, which is just amazing. One of my very favourites – such an unassuming wee flower, yet that glorious scent.

stockBeautiful Night-scented Stock.

Friday 10th July

Cool and cloudy, rain overnight but sun out by 10am. Took Bertie to the vet for his scale and polish. All went well – no extractions needed and his blood tests for liver and kidney function were spot on. He’s 11 now, so not in the first flush. I’ve made an appointment for Penfold – he’s got quite thin and seems to mooching food all the time. Wondering if there’s a wee thyroid issue going on. We don’t know how old he is – he’s a shelter cat; we’ve always assumed the same age as Bertie because we got him after Harry was killed, but he might be older. Bertie came home with four sachets of “special food” in case his tummy was upset by the anaesthetic; he went out and caught a mouse, Penfold ate the “special food”.

Rode with Kate and Tara. Got shouted at by two Lycra clad cyclists. Shouted back. We won. Just as we got to the level crossing (which was down, of course) the heavens opened and we were soaked in seconds. Then the sun came out and we steamed gently. And that was the pattern for the rest of the day.

Didn’t jag the calves – didn’t milk, but the cattle came in by themselves, ate hay and went back out.

Saturday 11th July

Lovely day; dry, sunny, light breeze. Checked the steers at East Pitkerro – looking good. After lunch, Dan went off to collect elderflowers and started elderflower cordial, elderflower & gooseberry cordial and gooseberry & ginger. We have a surplus of gooseberries and courgettes so will have to start selling them.

cordialCordial making in progress.

We have round courgettes, yellow courgettes and ordinary green cylindrical courgettes. We’re having two of the round ones stuffed, for dinner tomorrow.


After lunch, I pulled more ragwort. One dumpy bag filled and started the second. It’s mainly round the perimeter of the field, so Dan’s going to start topping the rushes – maybe tomorrow.

Brought the cows in; got about 2 litres. Jagged the calves with Bravoxin 10; second dose in four weeks. Used the Bravoxin to give Kit’s lamb a second anti-clostridial vaccination; dosed the three lambs with Albex 10% at the fluke dose. They all have nice clean bums, so we’ll just keep an eye on things. The two tup lambs were sparring this morning.

Looks like Rosie’s in season; I thought she was flirting a few weeks ago but didn’t see Ace interested. He is now.

Sunday 12th July

Glorious summer’s day. Rosie’s definitely in season – not standing yet, but Ace is on the case. This is good – neither cow will now come in season when he’s isolated, so he’ll be more content.

I decided to make pancakes and milky coffee for breakfast – nice start to the day. We should have been going on holiday to Orkney at the start of August; we received an email from Northlink Ferries last week saying travel arrangements were now normal, and the same day, the hotel emailed us to say they aren’t reopening this year. So we’re going to have a staycation. Today’s breakfast was a practice.

When I took down the electric fence making the walkway form Laing'sField to the bar, I wrapped up the tape very tidily and tied it securely to the fence for future use. Ace thought I'd made him a plaything. So I spent half an hour untangling this muddle. Thanks, Ace; hope it was fun.

tapeAce's plaything.

Dan topped about ¼ Laing’s Field, the got the strimmer out for an hour. I cut the vegetable garden grass – well, half of it. We’ve left some to grow and it’s rather pretty and full of insects.

prairieOur wee prairie.

stripUnmown strip in vegetable garden.

After lunch, we visited with Lorna, our daughter then rounded off with a trip to the skip with a pile of cardboard. Living the dream! I was going to ride but it’s hot and Smokey’s a bit wheezy.

After a bit of a chat tonight, we’ve decided to stop milking. We’ve plenty cheese made and Blizzard calves at the end of October. We don’t want to take the calves off and yields are so low now, it’s not worth the chemicals and water to wash down the machine. Big wash up tomorrow then.

AftonAfton, just because.



Monday 13 July, 2020 at 10:13am

Love your blogs Rosie xx

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