Rats / Waistcoat / PeasRSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 26 May, 2020

by Rosemary at 7:56pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 18th May

We’ve had very welcome rain overnight and it’s a bit cooler. Dan carried on topping Laing’s Field. I started to plant out tomatoes in the polytunnel but didn’t get it finished. Then we sat in the sun and drank wine. Because it's Monday.

Tuesday 19th May

I have become “Envelope writer in chief”. Dan sells comfrey root and crowns via Dalmore Coft and my job is to address the envelopes, using my best handwriting. One customer, who phoned with a query, said how neat it was. I felt very pleased; it was like being six years old again.

We’re having a sausage sale; that’s basically all we have left to sell. Then I can get the big freezer turned off.

Took the ponies for a walk across the golf course.

Wednesday 20th May

Wow! Hot! Dan made another cheddar; he said the milk was better this time – and he baked bread. It’s SO good. He uses a variety of flours, but mostly from Scotland the Bread.

I started to plant out the courgettes and Dan started to prepare the pea bed and plant them out.

peasPea bed.

I ordered a third fleece bag form the Natural Fibre Company, so I can keep the three types of fleece – Ryeland, BFL and Shetland separate. I took a bit of time cleaning them up – I’ll use the dirty bits as a mulch for the pear trees, I think. My hands were so soft afterwards. Dirty, but soft.

fleeceBluefaced Leicester fleece.

Thursday 21st May

Took the ponies out; it clouded up and there was a wee smirr of ran but it didn’t come to anything. Still very hot though. Noticed a lump on Smokey’s belly so had a bit of a meltdown – vet says its probably insect bites. What a relief.

Started planting peas and continued with the courgettes – I don’t even like courgettes much, but we’ll sell any surplus. Baked gingernuts, a fruit cake – loving this boiled fruit cake recipe but struggling to get condensed milk – and chocolate and coconut mounds.

The calves are pretty chilled at milking time.

calvesRelaxing, waiting for their mums.

Friday 22nd May

Boy, oh boy. Not nice out there. Warm, but heavy rain and strong, strong winds. Dan managed to get Laing’s Field topped before it hit though, so that’s great.

Albie's discovered hay.

albieAlbie, in the hay.

After doing my outside jobs, I retired to the office to clear a backlog of emails and to do some work on a couple of projects I’ve got going on.

Saturday 23rd May

No rain today – just very windy. Dan topped all our paddocks – die, rushes! Then he made an extension to the gate where the hen caravan is to try and stop the hens coming over and getting into the garden.

gateHen deterrant. Hopefully.

I had a quick recce round the freezers; we’ve almost nothing left to sell, but Dan wants to cure more pork, so I need to get into that freezer and see what’s there. It’s like painting the Forth Road Bridge; get to the end, go straight back to the beginning.

Sunday 24th May

Much less windy today – only a fair breeze, as opposed to gales – and sunny. Finished planting out the courgettes, peas and runner beans and started pulling up the bolted brassicas. The cows get them and love them.

First thing, Dan put the electric fence up in Laing’s Field, giving the cows access to about 15 / 20 metres in but including the line of trees and hedging, under which is loads of grass. I let them out after milking; Ace was very excited and the calves were racing around. The cows were eating.

cattleCattle on new grass.

annieAnnie, getting stuck in.

rosieRosie, browsing.

One of Dan’s bees stung me – not fair, I didn’t go into their hive and mess about, but I pay the price.  I have a completely over the top, hysterical reaction – it hurt but wasn’t THAT bad. Dan got the stinger out, so that helped. One hive is doing really well – the one he demareed a week or so ago; the other is producing a new queen and the nuc has a lovely queen cell, so things seem to be looking up.

Dan pulled rhubarb and cooked it with some of my reject strawberry jam / syrup – I’m glad we’ve found a use for it as it would be no good on bread. And he finished knitting my  waistcoat with our yarn - I LOVE IT!

waistcoatBlocked waistcoat.

Saw THE RAT in the feed store. I nearly had a bloody heart attack. I thought I’d got it with the bait but apparently not, so the humane trap is out baited with peanut butter. Fingers crossed.



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