Ragwort / Dahlias / PearsRSS feed

Posted: Monday 27 July, 2020

by Rosemary at 8:34pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 20th July

Strange day, weather-wise – sunny with very heavy showers. Still will help the grass grow. Finally got round to picking blackcurrants – put some out for sale and planning to do a bush a day for five days. Any that don’t sell, I’ll freeze. Plenty courgettes coming – and selling a few. Hope to get enough income to pay for this year’s seeds, new strawberries and raspberries.

Tuesday 21st July

Rebecca’s home so we rode this morning to Barry; Smokey was coughing a lot so I got off and walked for a bit, then remounted (with the help of some steps). I’m going to get the vet to have a look at him next week when she’s here anyway.

It’s been showery again but not as heavy as yesterday. Picked more blackcurrants and courgettes and spent a happy hour pulling ragwort in Laing’s Field. Still a lot to do though. Some of the field is actually starting to look like a meadow of sorts. Dan took the strimmer out and tidied up round the edges of some of the paddocks and the field shelter – I won’t have to brave the nettles to fill Ace’s water tomorrow.

The dahlias are flowering, and the celendula and the cornflowers. The Cosmos is just starting.

orangeDahlias and calendula.

dahliasDahlias, cornflowers and cosmos.

Early night tonight. So tired.

Wednesday 22nd July

Rain, rain and more rain so didn’t ride. The dogs actually went back to bed – not asleep under the dining room table but actually upstairs in their beanbags. I did some Smallholding Scotland, Festival and Shetland Cattle stuff since it was too wet to work outdoors, apart from the essentials.

Thursday 23rd July

Rained this morning, but took the ponies along the cycle track towards Carnoustie. Smokey’s really coughing; the pollen count is high. He coughed up a huge lump of phlegm and seemed much better. The flies are terrible just now, too. I did the cows, Ace and Smokey with Spotinor – I think it helps a bit. Looking forward to winter.

Lost a hen to Foxy first thing – Dan let the hens out at 5.30am; was filling the cows’ water when he heard a commotion and there was a hen being royally chewed. Dogs took off after the fox, which dropped the hen. Dan had to despatch her, poor old bird.

Sun came out at lunchtime, so A & J came over for a socially distanced cup of tea outside. Good to catch up.

Dan finished knitting Astrid’s lamb. It’s pretty cute; her Dad thought it resembled an Imperial Walker so it’s called BaAT-AT


Friday 24th July

Sunny, warm and still. Didn’t ride today but Tara and Rebecca did. I’ve been transferring tasks from one day’s list to the next but it really was time to catch up.

Harvested courgettes; took the cover off the peas – oh my, they look great – and weeded them. Bruce the Chimney arrived to finish the stove in the classroom – so Winter, bring it on! But not too soon.

The birds have stripped every gooseberry off the bushes. I don’t mind (because I’m not a big fan) but if we want to sell them next year, we’ll have to net them. I picked some blackcurrants.

Penfold has a bladder infection so he’s to start a four week (!!!) course of antibiotics on Monday. He’s loving his special diet – he gets a sachet morning and night, but still eats ordinary food in between.

Carol was here doing the biodiversity and tree survey. I did a pile of weeding in the veg garden (I think I might have accidentally weeded the parsnips), popped to Conchies to buy a new Ragfork, the weeded some more.

Dan replaced the broken pole in the drying green and strung the new washing line. Fair braw!

washingNew washing line.

Saturday 25th July

Well, woke this morning to biblical rain – but not the thunder and lightening forecast. By lunchtime, the sun was out, although tempered by a stiff breeze.

Got soaked to the skin bringing the ponies in and poo picking, but there’s only so wet you can get so Dan and I took the new Ragfork and did another hour in Laing’s Field. We’re getting there. Cattle and sheep are going out there on Tuesday after the vet’s been. The new Ragfork isn’t as good as the old one – why?

Since Bruce the Chimney swept the living room stove and put in the new liner, I thought I should clean the room. So that was this afternoon’s task. It wasn’t as bad as I expected – we don’t use it much – but all the furniture was pulled out, vacuumed, polished and put back. Looks fair braw. Meanwhile, Dan was rearranging the office for film watching and Lego-ing, now the nights are drawing in.

Went to hang out the washing and heard the cattle bawling; a quick investigation showed that Annie is in season.  Served today, she’d be due to calve 4th May, so we decided just to let Ace out now and just have Rosie jagged on Tuesday. It was like an episode of “Love Island” (or what I imagine “Love Island” to be like, since I’ve never seen it) with Annie jumping Ace and Blizzard, Blizzard jumping Annie, Ace jumping Annie and the calves running around with their tails in the air.

Sunday 26th July

Lovely morning; as the nights are getting a wee bit longer, my alarm is now set for 6am rather than 5.30am – and that seems to make a huge difference psychologically. Or maybe it’s just half an hour’s more sleep. I had a late night last night – not planned but Gwenna moved the chair that stops her getting out the cat flap and took herself off for a late night excursion. Still, up at 6am, pigs, hens and ponies done; washing out; courgettes picked and priced and on the stand with some eggs.

Rode out with Rebecca and Kate; Smokey’s breathing was better. Farrier coming a week tomorrow. Hope he’s got strong nippers  - Smokey’s feet have immense hoof walls! Spending time with Smokey always energises me – even when we’re not doing anything much or well.

So loads of wee jobs done this afternoon then back to ragwort. I’ll be so happy to see the end of it. Probably three more hour-long sessions left to do.

Dan pruned the espalier pear trees.

pearsThree of our four espalier pear trees.

Planted out the five Brussels Sprout seedlings I’ve manage to nurture – brassicas and me don’t seem to gel. Watered the polytunnel then it was time for dinner and feet up.

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