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Monday 16 April, 2018

by Rosemary at 11:21am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 9th April

Mild and cloudy, after early morning sun. Turned out No. 5, No. 6 and Winter with their lambs. Still a bit bothered about Winter’s boy, but if he struggles, we’ll bring them back in.

Turning out lambsTurning out the lambs.

Spent most of the day doing paperwork and the year-ends. Be glad to get them finished. Ran off entry forms for the forthcoming poultry sale and horse / tack sale at Forfar – planning a clear out!

Niamh had a pair of smashing twin tups at teatime – one white, one black. The black one was coming head only, but there was plenty room to get the legs round. Both hit the ground running and she’s a super mammy. Four left to go.

Tuesday 10th April

Utterly miserable day; cold, wet with a chilly easterly wind. The lambs outside seem to be holding up fine. I’ve topped up Wally twice but he doesn’t take much and I’ve seen him suckling another ewe, bless him, so he’s not empty. His mammy just doesn’t love him.

Dan opened one of the bandaged cheddars he made last summer that have been maturing in the cheese cave.

Home-made cheddarHome-made Cheddar cheese.

The flavour is much better than the previous year's, and it's a little dry. Tasty though. So more adjustments this year!

Baked Spiced ginger and treacle mini loaves. Note to self – let them cool before popping them out of the tin or the tops come off.

Also made a cheese, walnut and apple loaf – it’s delicious. With red wine.

Wednesday 11th April

Overcast, damp and mild. No. 7 lambed overnight – black girl, white boy. All doing well – in fact, the lambs were springing around the pen this afternoon.

Dan went for hay. Turned Niamh and her twins out.

Took a load of wood from the old veg garden fence to the recycling – what a queue!

Sowed runner beans, chili peppers and leeks. Gave Linda the parsley, basil, spring onions and salad leaves for the polytunnel. She’s got it all weeded and watered, ready for seeds.

Thursday 12th April

Nice morning – cool and sunny, but clouded up after lunch and got drizzly. Turned out No. 7 and her lambs.

Baked Apple and Oat Muffins – I liked them, Dan didn’t.

Sowed more seeds – celery leaf, cabbages and calabrese. The greenhouse is getting full.

Dan managed to get out this afternoon and finish the south side of the new veg garden fence, while I cleared up the old wire and the brash from the hedge, ready for another recycling trip tomorrow.

Posted on FB that I thought I might register Niamh’s black lamb as a tup – called Zebedee; sadly, it’s a Y year, so I’ve bought the wrong ear tags. Never mind, they’ll do for next year.

Opened the flower press to check the flowers I pressed last week - looking good, and definitely going to do some more.

Pressed flowersFirst pressed flowers of the year.

Friday 13th April

Bit dreich this morning. Moved the three in-lamb ewes to the barn, where the ventilation is better.

Ordered more eartags – purple with a Y!

Ordered some fencing materials to finish the veg garden, the pig pen and the barn.

Made “One Crust Apple Pies”.

Gwenna excavated for tasty bites in the lambing shed.

Gwenna foragingGwenna foraging tasty morsels.

She looks like such a wee lady too.

No. 10 lambed a nice white tup lamb about 9.30pm – and she loves him; she’s a very attentive mum.

Saturday 14th April

Lovely day – out in T-shirts in the morning! Dan’s first job was to modify the gate to the hen paddock to stop the brown hens escaping. They are complete pains in the neck.

Dan helped our next doo neighbour to take down some tree branched that were overhanging the ditch.

Dan and chainsawDan dealing with the brash from the tree work.

Then he was back to the fence at the north end of the veg garden.

Old veg fenceOld, run-down veg garden fence.

Took the old fence down and loaded up the trailer.

I cleaned out the byre now the two tailenders are in the barn.

Mucking out the byrePost-lambing mucking out.

I’ve spread it on the old raspberry bed – once it’s all covered, we’ll put some wormy manure on to “seed” it with worms and over it with weed suppressing fabric and let it rot down. The soil is basically sand.

I planted out the raspberries and blackcurrants round where the yurt used to be – I bought the raspberries last year, heeled them in the veg garden and Gwenna ate the labels; I was too scunnered to plant them but got a grip and put them in today.

Planted some bedding plants I bought in the week – Bellis and Wallflower. It’ll give a bit of colour.

Dan found a dead rat under the bed. I wish our cats would just leave the presents on the doorstep. Still, glad they’re killing rats.

Sunday 15th April

Another lovely day, although the wind moved round to the East this afternoon and it got noticeably cooler.

Turned out No. 10 and her boy – pretty sure she can count to one.

Cleaned out the two hen houses. The hen proofing wasn’t entirely successful, so the six brown hens are now in with Nugget and his girls.

Dan finished the veg garden fence and made a bird feeder – I used to feed the birds on top of the old sleepers that made the uprights. It looks really good.

New veg garden fenceNew veg garden fence with bird table.

There’s just the gate and a short stretch outside the office to be done and that’ll be the veg garden all refenced.

Sorted through poultry stuff and identified spare bits and bobs to go to the next local auction. Started on the horse equipment – when did I buy this stuff?

Put some grass seed down in the empty poultry pens at the green hen house – we’ll be getting new birds at the end of the month. Weeded half of the last flowerbed. So much creeping buttercup.

And no weekend would be complete without a trip to the recycling centre with more of the old fence. Brought back the empty trailer and it’s half full again.

Good weekend though – lots done.

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