Open Farm Sunday / Soup / Yurt / Bees / A birthdayRSS feed

Posted: Monday 8 May, 2017

by Rosemary at 10:54am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 24th April

Sunny, windy and dry today; the promised rain didn’t materialize and it’s cold – 3°C – tonight.

Ace was very frisky this morning – and that gets the girls going – and Bryn “herding” them didn’t help.

Finally completed the papers for OSCR to register “Smallholding Scotland” as a Scottish Incorporated Charitable Organisation – fingers crossed that we’re accepted. It’s taken far longer than I thought it would.

Also finished and submitted my next article for “Smallholding” magazine, finished the update of the Festival website and did a pile of other wee bits of paperwork.

Made “Red Lentil Mulligatawny Soup” and chicken curry.

Tuesday 25th April

Woke up this morning to a thin covering of snow on the ground, snowy showers and a stiff breeze. And it’s pretty chilly. 

Walked the paddock that the cows are in and there’s not much grass, so might give them a access to Home tomorrow. However, they haven’t started eating the rushes yet, so they can’t be that hungry.

Ace has had a growth spurt – he’s still skinny but has grown about three inches at the shoulder.

Ordered resources for “Open Farm Sunday”.

Made treacle oat soda bread. Had it with the Mulligatawny soup which was nice but a bit bland so will up the spices next time.

Wednesday 26th April

Lovely day – full sun and less windy.

Checked the cattle at Astwood and the sheep at Ravensby.

Let the cows into Home paddock, not that there’s much grass in there yet.

Made Roasted Squash and Garlic soup – it was delicious. Glad I’ve sown squash seeds this year.

Thursday 27th April

Moved the cattle at Astwood on to fresh grass, so they were happy.

Got a call to say the sheep at Ravensby were across the burn again, so popped up, called them back and secured the gate. They CAN gross the burn but my guess is that they won’t want to do that. There’s plenty grass on their side of the burn anyway.

Dug all the old hay and straw out of the cattle’s feeding area. Kept the clean stuff for future bedding and bagged up the rest for disposal.

Small eggs are now plentiful so made a smoked haddock and spring onion quiche; I always shy away from making pastry but I followed Delia’s instructions to the letter and I have to say it was very good indeed. I think quiche will become a regular item although it doesn’t use as many eggs as I hoped.

Friday 28th April

Let the cows into Near Ditch today. It was grazed hard last year – probably overgrazed - but it’s coming back well. The regular harrowing makes such a difference. But we could sure do with some rain.

Started to have the “no grass” anxiety dream again.

Planted the main crop potatoes – each one with a little bed of comfrey leaves. We’ve used Desiree this year, as we have in many previous years and find it to be a good solid performer.

Sowed the runner beans and dwarf French beans in pots – the hardest bit was finding room in the greenhouse. We really must get the other one up for next spring.

All the seeds I sowed two weeks ago are showing apart from the celery. I might presoak some seeds and try again.

Our friends Paul and Gemma are building a yurt in our wee wood, the base was completed today and there's lots of industrious woodworking and sewing going on.

Yurt baseYurt base.

Paul made a firepit in the yurt area and tested it by cooking chilli on it.

Outdoor cookingOutdoor cooking.

There's something about cooking and eating outside beside the fire, I can see it getting a lot of use over the summer.  

Saturday 29th April

Today is Bryn’s second birthday! He’s just a great dog to have around and, if the “meeting” between his mum and dad this week bears fruit, then there might be a wee sister for Bryn in the not too distant future.

Bryn's second birthdayBryn relaxing on his second birthday.

Had a baking morning and filled up the tins with Flapjack and coconutties and Chelsea Buns.

Sunday 30th April

Dan and Paul checked the two bee hives today. Both are doing well and are very calm in temperament (the bee hives). There were some queen cups and a queen cell in the best hive, so something will need to be done in the next week or so to prevent swarming.

We had a bit of a celebration dinner for John’s birthday and Paul’s return home – roast rib of Shetland beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatoes, and veggies followed by a chocolate almond cake.

Very yum indeed.

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