Ponies / Polytunnel / Marmalade spongeRSS feed

Posted: Monday 28 November, 2022

by Rosemary at 11:40am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 21st November

Three  of our four cats have their annual check ups in late November, reflecting when the Christmas spirit moves us and we rescue another one. Today was Penfold’s turn. He’s been with us ten years, so we estimate he’s probably mid-teens. Since he had a bit of a kidney issue a few years ago, and because he’s become a terrible mooch for food, we decided to have some bloods taken and his blood pressure checked. Results tomorrow.

We had a frost this morning.

frostIt's frosty.

Tuesday 22nd November

Penfold’s results are pretty sound – BP is fine, thyroid is fine, kidneys not perfect but not particularly concerning, cholesterol a bit high – so no more cheese, cream or sausage.

The ponies are doing a fine job in the front garden.

poniesWinter lawnmowers.

Wednesday 23rd November

I started winter preparations today. The first year we were here, we had three months of snow and ice, so I always like to make sure we have plenty food in. First up is bird food, so seed, peanuts, fat balls ordered plus linseed oil for Smokey. I’ll have a trip to Harbro next week for other feed.

Thursday 24th November

I had Gwenna at the vet today; we’re starting to wean her off the Gabapentin. She’s on four a day so we’ll go to three for five days and so on. If she starts to look uncomfortable, we’ll maintain the level or put it up.

Dan bought new dried cat food – so many types are just rubbish. This one is 85% meat and fish and no grain. The cats seem to like it. It’s not cheap but then no type of pet food is. And they’re worth it.

Friday 25th November

I sorted through my Winterfest recipes today. I have a nice recipe for lemon truffles made with lemon curd and white chocolate; I’m going to try it with dark chocolate and raspberry conserve. Can’t believe it’s December next week. Two frosts so far.

Saturday 26th November

So mild today. Dan and Andy split logs and chopped kindling.

AndyAndy hard at work.

DanDan hard at work too.

I tidied out the feed store. Dan filled the two chook feeders completely full this morning so I can work out the consumption. Usually I buy layer pellets by the tonne, but I won’t be doing that anymore, having far fewer hens and in decreasing numbers. It was good to get it all swept out. We’ve plainly had a minor rodent incursion but I could see no recent evidence. Then Dan saw a mouse. So one of our feline taskforce, probably Bertie, will be deployed.

feedstoreTidying up the feedstore.

I’ve put one fleece down in the gateway at the field shelter; Smokey just walked over it but Gracie wasn’t so sure. I’ll put another down tomorrow.

fleeceFleece to help stabalise the mud!

Finally got round to cleaning out the empty henhouse. The perches have been put on the bonfire. If we ever repopulate the house, we'll build new perches. It was pretty horrible. I’ve had to leave the nest box cover open to let some rain in to soften the bedding. There’s a leak in the roof that will have to be fixed, or it will rot. I think it will need new Onduline. Even though we probably won’t use it again, I don’t want it to be ruined by neglect.


While in a cleaning mood, I scrubbed one of my two pairs of work boots in preparation for waterproofing, although I think we’ll have to buy new product. The stuff we have in the plant room moved with us twelve years ago and is pretty solid. Once I’ve done the first pair, I’ll do the second.

cleaningIn cleaning mode.

And I cleaned the birdseed feeders. Hopefully Dan will be able to reconstruct them tomorrow.


Sunday 27th November

Lovely day – lot of rain overnight but dry, sunny and mild this morning. I finished the hen house, and closed the nest box cover then Dan and I cleared out the jungle that was in the polytunnel. We salvaged as many tomatoes – mainly green – that we could. There were hidden nettles – my fingers are still tingling. Took it all to the recycling centre. Job done.

tunnelPolytunnel before.

tunnelPolytunnel after.

Made a marmalade steamed sponge pudding and started the dark chocolate and raspberry truffles.

spongeMarmalade steamed sponge.

And I started to bring the Winterfest decorations boxes down. Yay!

Bertie has been deployed to the feed store.



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