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Peas / Tomatoes / FencingRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 28 March, 2021

by Rosemary at 7:05pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 22nd March

Frosty this morning, but lovely once the sun came up, but still a cold wind.

Once the chores were done, I addressed envelopes for the first comfrey orders going out this week because Royal Mail are rubbish. After lunch, I had a pile of election leaflets to put out – very good for getting my daily steps up and seeing bits of the town I haven’t seen before.

envelopesOoh, writing with a pen. What a novelty!

While poo picking – Sheepfold is almost clean – I did a recce of the electric fence posts. Most are fine i.e. not rotten, but most are wobbly and will need banging in again. Then down to East Pitkerro with hay – probably be the last inside, but we will put one in the field when we turn them out.

Tuesday 23rd March

Had a bit of an epiphany today and it wasn’t very comfortable – in fact, it was a day of tears and snotters. An increase in the price of hay made me look at the costs of keeping the cattle and I’ve decided to sell them.  I think if you can make your own winter feed, and don’t include the capital costs or the labour costs of doing so, or if you have very extensive grazing that requires not much bought in feed, they are very economical – but with our system that’s not the case. Dan says it doesn’t matter if they don't make money, but I still have my pride. I knew I’d have to sell the cattle sometime – we’ll want to retire sometime – but I think it’s better to sell them while they can do a good job for someone else – as they have done for me. Twenty five calves so far. I’ll not sell them until the autumn – Annie and Rosie are due to calve early May, so I plan to sell them in calf with calves at foot. Blizzard will be sold in calf, as she’s not due until early October. And Rora. If I can’t sell Ace, we’ll put him in the freezer – well, several freezers. Feel a bit flat; need to find another dream.

Wednesday 24th March

Cold wind, but dry and sunny until teatime, when there was a heavy shower of rain and strong winds. Didn’t last long but it was enough to send the sheep scurrying for the field shelter. I’m going to use the field shelter for lambing, so I’ll need it mucked out before mid April.

The first comfrey orders went out today.

We measured up for the electric fence in Sheepfold; I drove down to Auchterarder to pick up posts and Dan ordered the other bits. Planning to get it done over the weekend – rotten posts in the perimeter fence replaced, a new electric fence along the wall and the track electric fence back up. Maybe harrowed, if we have time and some grass seed down on the bare bits.

I checked my lambing box and made a list of what I need – not much really, couple of bottles and teats, since I’ll almost certainly be topping up the triplets. I have enough ear tags though. No cattle ones left so ordered three for this year.

I’ve almost stopped crying.

Thursday 25th March

I’ve had two folk express interest in the cattle.

Tomatoes and peas coming on in the greenhouse.

peasEarly pea Douce Provence.

tomsTomatoes.

Friday 26th March

More of the bits for the fence in Sheepfold have arrived, so work starts tomorrow. A new outbreak of Avian Flu reported in Cheshire. I really, really hope it doesn’t stop the lifting of the lockdown this week. I got a text message from our poultry supplier that our meat chicks and POL are due for collection 2nd April and I don’t have anywhere to keep them inside.

Saturday 27th March

We made a start on the fencing in Sheepfold, putting up the track fence. Tara filled on all the old postholes. We’ve just got one line on so that the sheep can get around without damaging the rope. There’s a lower set of insulators – just in case we were to get a wee pony at some point. Most of the poop has now been picked, but there’s a bit of fencing repair still to be done then harrowing and reseeding the bare bits. By June it should look almost back to normal.

trackNew track fence going up.

Sunday 28th March

Forgot the clocks changed and couldn’t work out why it was still dark when my alarm went off this morning.  Missing that hour’s sleep all day.

Dan’s first job was to finish the painting in the new WC, and then I got in to give it a final clean. Just got to get a hook for the back of the door and a toilet roll holder.

Next, Dan was in Sheepfold finishing the electric fence along the wall. Great job. Just the loose posts on the perimeter to be done now.

fenceFence to protect the wall from itchy and greedy ponies going up.

I tidied up round the back of the field shelter – raked up ivy and spread the muck I’d dumped there a while back.

Since Dan was in Sheepfold, I was too and I ended up cleaning out the bottom tray of the hayrack. It was gross. I used a glove. Still, good job done.

hayrackGross. But done.

I did some weeding in the veg garden. Not one single strawberry plant has come – these were new last autumn. I’ll be contacting the suppliers. Finally, before the evening round, I cleaned out the green hen house, to where the hens in the polytunnel will be returning on Wednesday night, and dusted the brown hen house with Diatom, because the new ones will be going in there on Friday. I need to sort the holes in the fence this week and get the box down for the meat chicks.  S’all go.

We had roast turkey for dinner – we froze the surplus from Christmas. It was absolutely beautiful. Would definitely do that again.

Early night tonight. And a photie o' the dugs. Jist because.

dugsBryn and Gwenna.

 

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