Diary

Pickling; The show; Fireblight; Bull comes homeRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 16 August, 2016

by Rosemary at 9:25am in Smallholding 2 comments Add your own

Monday 8th August

Still windy but calmer than yesterday and last night; bright sunshine and warm though. Turned into a nice afternoon and evening but I didn’t see much of it because Monday is paperwork day. Sometimes I try to get ahead by doing it on a Sunday night, but not this week.

I tried to submit my application for the beef calf payment – it’s had a variety of names – but the system was down. Still. It was down last Monday too. And the week before that.

Checked the newly weaned lambs at Astwood and they all seem fine. Winter was pleased to see me until she realized I didn’t have a bottle for her.

Tuesday 9th August

Ooh, cool today. It was chilly overnight when I let the dogs out about 3am and it’s still cool. I donned a fleece when I went out this morning. And the nights are drawing in. Aye, winter is coming J

Started to peel the shallots – doing them in batches in between writing a newsletter for the Festival. Got about half the shallots done and all of the newsletter.

Dan got in the veg garden and did some weeding and strimming after work. John laid the vinyl in the new freezer store, so we should get the freezers in at the weekend.

Wednesday 10th August

Would you believe that there was a slight ground frost overnight? It’s beautifully sunny this morning but there’s a distinctly autumnal feel in the air. By late afternoon, it was raining steadily.

Got the shallots peeled and in salt water. Going to grow more shallots next year – some for storing and some for pickling. But not growing garlic – we never get much of a crop.

Brought the cows and calves in to give the calves their second Bravoxin vaccination and to put Spot-on on them all. Cows were VERY frisky – it wisnae elegant! I think they may be pleased to see the bull in the next few days. In preparation, went to Astwood and moved him and the steers into the paddock next to the loading area. They’re all looking good but probably way too fat for commercial tastes. Planning to bring Mak down on Saturday.

Moved the lambs to a more suitable paddock – Winter didn’t even look at me.

Jimmy the cockerel has had a fight with the sticky fly paper and I think the fly paper won. It had to be removed from his feathers under cover of darkness, amid much squawking and disgruntlement.

Thursday 11th August

Raining this morning and there’s obviously been a fair bit overnight.

Preparation for the flower show going on – although it’s all baking and no flowers. Done Scotch pancakes, fruit scones, a fruit loaf and chocolate brownie. The hard bit (???) is eating the rejects.

Friday 12th August

Must have been some rain overnight, but sunny and breezy this morning.

Gary is here to resurface the drive. It’s never really bothered me (it IS a bit scruffy) but it bugged the life out of Dan.

Got a text this morning from Alan at Astwood to ask if Fraser the steer was meant to be in a field on his own. The answer was “no”. So off to Astwood to return Fraser to the collective bosom of his buddies; set up the livestock trailer and a race to facilitate the loading of Mak tomorrow morning. Gave the four of them some sugar beet and applied some Spot-on.

Our chum, Martin, is the proud “daddy” to 21 OSB piglets after his two sows farrowed last night.

Lifted half the beetroot and cooked it, ready for pickling tomorrow.

Beetroot harvestHalf the beetroot harvest.

Pickled the shallots – got four decent sized jars, three with white wine vinegar and one with red wine vinegar (which looks awfully pretty).

Pickled shallotsPickled shallots.

Did some weeding – the veg garden looks almost respectable. Unlike the fruit garden.

Got second for chocolate brownie, third for fruit loaf and third for bread; scones unplaced (without wanting to appear bitter, the three that WERE placed looked like bricks) and Scotch pancakes unplaced in the Carnoustie show. The vegetable entry numbers were really poor; we are determined to do better next year and get some entries in.

Saturday 13th August

Beautiful morning; warm sunny and much less windy.

Bad news about the orchard – Dan had a look at the trees last night and many of them are affected by fire blight. It looks like we might lose a significant number of them. The orchards IS a lot of work and would be more if all the jobs that should be done were done. I had no idea that it would be so much work. Dan’ll start pruning today.

Brought Mak, our bull, home this morning. Rosie seems to be his companion of choice but he may be a day too late. He loaded lovely, with a bucket of sugar beet to tempt him on the trailer.

Mak meets his calvesMak meets his calves.

Pulled the rest of the beetroot and cooked it. Had fresh, locally caught mackerel for dinner. Dead Sasso tonight. It was fine this morning. Better get them killed next weekend.

Sunday 14th August

Cooler this morning – where’s the heatwave? Mak still with Rosie.

Finished pickling the beetroot – three and a half big jars. Not a huge yield but most of the beets were a good size. Will increase the area sown next year and will definitely thin them properly.

Dan’s been putting in a new gate into Sheepfold and started fencing the Triangle. Again. I am on a final warning – he says he’s not fencing it a third time and we’re not paying anyone to fence it. If the ponies are in there, the electric tape needs to be on, to deflect Smokey’s destructoarse.

Brought all the ewes in because I thought a couple were acting strangely and was I was worried about fly strike but could find nothing on any of them. They might just have been hot (it’s roasting outside) and itchy. No dirty bums, no smell. I took the opportunity to trim Jinx’s feet. She has terrible feet – thankfully, I’ve never kept any of her daughters. She’s nine past, so I’ll put her away this year. Will keep an eye on them and might give them a spray of Crovect tomorrow if I’m still worried.

Comments

SallyintNorth

Tuesday 16 August, 2016 at 3:31pm

I love the way you're doing the diary at the moment. It gives a real flavour of life on your holding.

And I've tasted your scones - pretty close to perfect, I'd say. Dem judges know nuttin'!

Rosemary

Wednesday 17 August, 2016 at 2:00pm

Thank you, ma'am, for the kind words. Mush appreciated.

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