Holiday / Piglets / Fencing / Edin Yarn Fest / WashingRSS feed

Posted: Monday 12 February, 2018

by Rosemary at 11:57am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 5th February

Put a new bale of hay in for the steers and gave them a fresh bed. Dosed them with Closamectin pour-on.

The two wee ones have some bare patches but they don’t look inflamed – the Closamectin should take care of any external parasites, if that’s the cause.

Friday 9th February

Phew, ever been on holiday and within an hour of being home, you feel like you’ve never been away?

Just home; been for two loads of hay and straw.

Caught up with emails and messages – including one from one of the producers of “The Archers”!!!

Surprised and not surprised to read in The Scottish Farmer that Dunblane abattoir has closed – the report wasn’t clear if this was a permanent closure or not. It’s a blow to local (and not so local) farmers and smallholders though. Coming on the back of the Orkney abattoir closure, it’s time for ScotGov to intervene.

Ironically, the Farm Advisory Service has been running day events aimed at helping new entrant farmers add value by selling meat boxes. We’ll soon be selling it on the hoof.

Received a reply from the Scottish Government in response to my letter asking for post-Brexit consideration to be given to supporting rare and traditional breeds. RBST asked members to do this, so I did. Does it make a difference? Don’t know, but worth a try.

Saturday 10th February

Braw day! Tidied out the greenhouse in preparation for cleaning.

Dan put up a bit of fencing beside the barn to stop livestock accessing his folks’ garden – I’m going to keep the sheep there when we bring them home next week.

Dan fencingDan finishing off the fencing.

It will also be a “restricted intake” paddock for Bugsy, in the spring and autumn, and we might give the cows access when they are housed in winter – so they can top up their tans on nice days.

There’s a front fence to go in too, but that won’t be done until after lambing.

Ordered our weaner pigs – three this year, Gloucester Old Spot x Tamworth. They’re all from one litter but the variation is astounding.

GOS cross Tamworth - sow and pigletsAmazing array of GOS x Tamworth piglets.

If you think GOS with lop ears, short noses and black spots and Tammies with long noses, prick ears and ginger coats – there’s every permutation in the litter.

Delighted to get an invitation to feature in the ”Meet the Shepherd/ess” event at this year’s Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

I visited a couple of years ago and was blown away by the event – can’t justify a stand, sadly, given our small production  - but really looking forward to this opportunity. It was included in the EYF newsletter, so a few on-line sales trickled in too.

Our seed potatoes, garlis and shallots were delivered while we were away, so set the Anya to chit in the boot room.

Chitting Anya potatoesChitting Anya potatoes.

If the weather is suitable, I’ll get into the veg garden next week.

The Flubenvet layer pellets also arrived, along with two new drinkers for the chooks.

Sunday 11th February

Beautiful day! Did a white wash and got it dried on the line – the sight of white washing n the line is a sight for sore eyes.

Washing out in February!Washing out in February!

Love it! Simple pleasures.

Dan took a load of manure to the allotments, then headed to Astwood to do some bits of fencing and to pick up the equipment gifted to us by our departing landlords. We’ll bring the hurdles, gates and Haybell back when we bring the sheep home next weekend.

Andy was here, so he and Dan did some wood splitting and stacking. The barn is looking pretty tidy!

Washed the glass in the greenhouse and swept it out. I’m sure there are bars there for creating tables in the polytunnel – maybe get them up soon. Ready to start sowing now!

Baked scones and coconut cookies – then went shopping, mainly for fruit and dairy. Baking uses such a lot of butter!

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