Frost / Rats / ByreRSS feed

Posted: Monday 28 September, 2020

by Rosemary at 10:53am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 21st September

Cool and damp this morning, but turning sunny and breezy later. Robbie got two rats last night but a big one evaded him. Nightmare stuff.

Most of the stuff I listed yesterday is sold – yay! – so a good part of today was spent arranging collection. In between times, I popped to the Post Office and did my paperwork. It’s also time to start publicising the Scottish Smallholder Festival, so I was working on that too.

We had a delivery for the joiner but the door didn’t arrive, which is annoying because it needs to be painted before the door furniture goes on. Oops, Dan checked his emails and the door’s being delivered tomorrow.

Annie’s back is pretty much fully repaired, for which I am very grateful. Sorted out the steers going away; they’re going to Perth abattoir this year so less travelling and it has a good reputation.

Tuesday 22nd September

Today is the Autumn Equinox. I always feel it gets darker quicker in autumn than it gets lighter in spring. Overcast and still; then the wind got up again making it feel colder than the 12C on the thermometer; starting to see leaves on the lawn. It’s also bringing apples down so first job this morning was to go and lift windfalls. The sheep and cattle love them – as do the pigs, hens and ponies. Then it was off to pick up two bales of straw for East Pitkerro and two bales of hay for here.

applesOur sheep enjoying some apples.

Graham the Joiner was here, so progress being made. The new outside door was delivered too, so I put a couple of coats of Sadolin on one side, then treated the office doors as well. Then cleaned the fridge. Simple but rewarding.

doorNew door.

Committee meeting this evening; went on late and then I had papers to revise, so thought I’d do them before bed, to get them out of the way. Heid buzzin’ and couldna sleep.

Wednesday 23rd September

Cool, clear and still this morning. Not much wood stain left and we’ve had to buy it on-line so I baked instead – gingernuts and a date malt loaf.

gingernutsHomemade Gingernuts.

Feeling a bit weary after the late night last night, so had an afternoon nap before a Festival progress meeting. Still, made time to put a thin coat of stain on the other side of the door – the side with the bracing, so a bit fiddly. It’ll get finished on Friday, I guess, when the new wood-stain is delivered.

Early night! Sleep tight!

Thursday 24th September

Had a terrible night’s sleep – bad decision to let Bryn on the bed. Gwenna just curls up in the corner, but he wriggles and wanders about. Back in his own bed tonight for sure.

dogsWhose bed IS this?.

Built an arena in Sheepfold. Nothing fancy but it will let us do a bit of schooling.

Friday 25th September

Didn’t sleep well last night either. Up at 4am, back to bed at 5am and sound asleep at 6.30am when the alarm went off. Woolly headed now. Working on Festival publicity this morning mainly.

Saturday 26th September

Well, full steam ahead today – long list of jobs to be done. Lovely day for it – bright and sunny, if a tad breezy. Early doors, Dan went off to empty the muck out of the flat trailer, while I cleared out the byre; then we put all the rubbish in the flat trailer and headed off to the skip. It’s a booking system now, if you have a trailer, so our slot was 10am. Took us about an hour, there and back. Bought Lottery tickets – somebody’s got to win it and we’ve no had a turn yet.

Finished the door for the byre; second coat, sanded and a third coat on. Dan went off with the strimmer; he did under the electric fence in Laing’s Field first, while picking up all the tree prunings and throwing them back into the gardens they had come from. What are folk thinking? One house that backs on to the filed has taken the fence down – I hope the electric fence doesn’t fail, or they might have Ace looking in the kitchen window.

After lunch, I put the finishing touches, such as they are, to the arena, while Dan stimmed the nettles along the wall. The ponies will eat them once they’ve wilted a bit. After that, I got into the veg garden and pulled more spent peas and courgettes – the pigs love them. They’ll get the last tomorrow.

Dan started clearing the overgrown ivy from the front of the West range. I must do something about the flower beds in front – they are depressingly dismal. Sheep got the ivy.

ivyNeatly trimmed ivy.

Last job was to wash Smokey’s mane – he got a bit wetter that I planned but at least the water was warm.

And relax – bath and a wee sherry to round off the day, and we’ll start again tomorrow.

Sunday 27th September

First frost this morning so the dahlias and courgettes are over. Couple from Monifieth arrived to collect manure for their new garden – nice young folk. I was baking – malt loaf, coconut mounds and prepped scones for morning.

Dan made syrup for the bees – they’ll need to be fed now; he was in the bees doing varroa treatment this morning and will put food in tonight.

Andy came over so they took down some of the bird next boxes – all had nests in them, which was good, but three were rotten so are in the burning pile. The others, Dan cleaned, dusted with DE and put back up along with some of the new ones for the ScotFWAG project.

nestboxesCleaning out old nestboxes.

newboxesNew nestboxes.

I was back in the veg garden, finishing pulling out the peas and courgettes – a feast for the pigs, along with some apples. I must order raspberries and strawberries this week. And start getting manure on the beds.

Replace mePiggy feast.

Smokey tried his new boots; he seems to be comfortable in them. We had a half hour walk – they’re very noisy, like tackety boots. He’s still pretty wheezy – vet’s coming back to see him on Tuesday.

bootsSmokey's new boots.

Dan killed a HUGE rat in the muck heaps. He hit it with a big stone. He’s my hero. Robbie's coming tonight with his gun. We’re getting there.

ratOne fewer rat.

Roast pork, peas, carrots, runner beans and roast potatoes for dinner – all home produced. That’s why we do it. That and the money. Haha!


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