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Samhain / Cattle / RainRSS feed

Posted: Monday 4 November, 2019

by Rosemary at 4:11pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 28th October

Glorious day - calm, frosty and sunny but we’re on Festival clear down, so mostly seeing it out the window. Still, managed to take Smokey and the dogs for an hour’s walk to the golf course.

Tuesday 29th October

Another lovely morning, but clouding up to grey later. Finally got Diesel to the vet – third attempt. He’s fit and well, as we expected.

Gave in and put Urquhart in with the ewes – a few days either way won’t make any difference come spring. Of course, this meant separating off the ewe lambs – which haven’t been weaned, except by their mammies. Been a bit of shouting this afternoon.

Took Smokey and the dogs to the golf course again.

Wednesday 30th October

Damp, grey and cold to start, but the sun pushed through mid morning. No8 has a yellow bum.

Rebecca, Tara and I made a start on the barn tidy-up. The cattle will come in this week, so the ponies are going out into Laing’s Field – 10 acres of rough – but they need a space to tie up. Plus we need a space for hay storage. We relocated shelves, mats,boxes and bedding. Girl power – and it’s looking good.

barnTara in action.

We've been using the track as a loafing area for the ponies but that's been cleared now for winter. By Spring thsi area will have had a makeover!

trackTrack cleared for winter.

Still doing Festival stuff – because I’m doing the communications remit, there’s work to do after the event on social media and in the press, plus reporting to Scottish Government, which is our biggest financial support.

Thursday 31st October

Samhain - the end of the growing year and the Celtic year.

The time to reflect on the harvest of the year's labours and to give thanks for the harvest.
The time to connect with those who have passed in the last year, and our ancestors, to remember that we are but custodians of their legacy and we have a responsibility to care for that of which we have stewardship - land, people, resources and time.
The time to celebrate achievements, family and friendships.

And then it is the time, between now and Yule, to prepare for the winter ahead, to work to keep ourselves warm & fed, to make preparations for the next year's crops & projects, and the planning of the next stages of our lives.

Blessed Samhain to you all

Cool and cloudy. Three new yellow bums this morning – Niamh, No15 and No11.

Dan took a load of muck to the allotments – trailer now empty for me to pick up a pallet of Fresh Bed. I’ve ordered twenty bales – I use it for the hens but also for the cattle (one bale a week) so this should do us to the end of January.

Took Penfold to the vet for his annual check up – all well. He’s been with us seven years – we think he’s about ten years old now. A middle aged pussy cat.

Moved a hayrack in for the tup lambs, Timmy and Teddy. They’re on a pretty restricted grazing area, so they can pick away at the hay if they need it.

hayrackFull hayrack for tup lambs.

Friday 1st November

So a new season begins – mild, damp and murky with light rain most of the day. We held our Festival review meeting – very useful and lots of decisions and actions agreed.

Put the last of the yellow raddle on Urquhart – must get more tomorrow. Prepared for tomorrow’s weaving course – I’ve been baking all week, but some things can only be done at the last minute.

Saturday 2nd November

Ooft, heavy rain overnight, mild and murky morning but brightened up bit by lunchtime. Dan was up at 5am making soup for the course – roasted red pepper with smoked paprika, broccoli and stilton and Cullen Skink, plus bread baking. Any left will go in the freezer for our lunches.

Off to Forfar for bedding, raddle for Urquhart and feed for Smokey. Feeling bad that our great start to the week, with two good walks, has faltered. On my return, mucked out the barn, turned the ponies out into Laing’s Field (much joy) and got the barn ready for the cattle – just the brush to go up but that’s a technical job outwith my pay grade.

Gave the pets their wormer and flea treatments – Pen and Bertie didn’t even move; took their pill and spot on no bother. Tommy and Diesel? Not so much. They only get a spot on – but they don’t even tolerate that and hid under the bed. Trying to disguise themselves in the dust bunnies. Note to self : must vacuum.

The weaving course went very well – some lovely work done. This is our last full day course until 23rd January, but we have short crochet and Christmas wreath courses courses up to Christmas. I need to get planning my afternoon tea venture.

Dan and Andy put the brush up and the cattle came in. Who needs fireworks when you have an angle grinder?

grinderNo fireworks here.

It’s always a bit of a watershed moment in the year – as is turning them out in May.

cattleCattle in and settled.

Sunday 3rd November

Bit dreich. The fields are very wet now – but corgis love to play in the puddles. The cattle are settled and we’re getting back into our routine of two feeds a day; this is so I can top up the hay safely. If we put a whole bale in, they waste so much.

breakfastFirst breakfast.

The ponies will start to get used to their new routine too. Took Smokey out for half an hour, with Dan and the dogs.

Cleaned out the hens – it’ll need done every ten days this month, then weekly over December and January. The caravan hens have all but stopped laying – they are on borrowed time now. Put hay in the rack for the ewe lambs and opened up another paddock for the ewes. Winter is coming.

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