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Posted: Monday 10 December, 2018

by Rosemary at 1:05pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 3rd December

Lovely day – frosty, sunny and still –perfect apart from the water being frozen.

frostyFrosty morning.

Tuesday 4th December.

Hard frost again this morning changing to rain, grey and miserable.

We had a two and a half hour power cut so Dan spent the time tidying cupboards in the classroom, using the head torch. We’ve identified a pile of stuff that’s now surplus so he’s going to put it on eBay / Amazon / Gumtree.

Took Penfold to the vet for a second post-op check up; he’s better but his gum isn’t completely healed, so he’s to go back next week

Wednesday 5th December

Mild and wet. Dan took a final load of manure to the community garden – pressure now on to complete our new muck bay.

While the trailer was empty, I picked up a tonne of beet pulp pellets at Harbro. With a tonne of layer pellets last week and a tonne of mixed grains the week before, we’re ready for winter. Couldn’t quite get it all in the feed store so there’s about 10 bags in the barn.

We're thinking about putting a wee campsite here. Discussing whether to make it just a pitch or whether to put a tent on it.


Met with our accountant to discuss some business changes we’re planning – none were problematic, so we’ll be pushing ahead with them. It will simplify our arrangements in future and cut costs a wee bit.

Cleaned out the brown henhouse. Attended a Smallholding Scotland Board of Trustees meeting in the evening.

Thursday 6th December

Damp, grey and mild – no frozen water now! Cleaned out the green henhouse – they do need done every week at this time of year. Must get the caravan done too.

Dan spent the afternoon filling in potholes in the drive – he wasn’t feeling the cold, I can assure you. It was pretty awful and it’s very much better now.

Got our nine sheepskins back- six from tup lambs killed in September and three from ewes killed back in February. I’m a wee bit disappointed, to be honest and I need to have a chat with Skyeskins to see if the problem rests with me / the sheep or elsewhere. Each one costs just short of £50 to have tanned so I need to make that back. The colours are lovely though.

We're getting about three and a half cartons of milk a day. I use one day for bottling, one day for cream and discard the third day - even we can't consume 8 litres a day, every day.


Working on catching up with posting diary entries to the website. Getting there!

Friday 7th December

Sunny, windy and showery. Dan worked on the muck bay and I went off to buy our Christmas tree. We weren’t going to have one this year – to save the environment – but in the end we’ve compromised and got a small Nordmann fir in a pot. It’s very nice.

baysNew muck bays.

Saturday 8th December

Lovely day – blue skies, sunshine, still. Dan did some more work on the muck bay – mainly putting Type 1 down as a base. It needs to be finished this weekend as Martin is borrowing the trailer on Monday to go for his Christmas tree, so we have to get it emptied tomorrow!

I went for hay, then we put a bale out in Laing’s Field in the sheep Haybell, brought all the sheep into the Triangle, shedded off Urquhart and Teddy and put the ewes and ewe hoggs into Laing’s Field.

haybellSheep's haybell.

Then I spent an hour or so putting water troughs and mineral licks in for ewes and the boys, a hayrack in for the boys (they’re in the wee paddock by the barn – very convenient) and tidying up where the ewes’ hayrack was. What a mess they make – but the shitty hay makes a good mulch for apple trees, so that’s good.

hayPost-sheep clean up.

tedBatchelor boys again.

Since we had the trailer out in the fields, Dan collected up a pile of brash out of Near Ditch – that will go on the bonfire later in the month.

I tidied up the field shelter; lifted the poo, brought in a hayrack that the ponies had been using and emptied and cleaned out the water trough. It’s now ready for Ace to occupy in April, when we need to take him away from the freshly calved cows.

The ponies took themselves down to Sheepfold, where there’s half a bale of hay in their haybell – so I won’t have to lug a rubble bag of it round twice a day.

Then it was time for our regular trip to the skip – very therapeutic.

Dan made sourdough bagels – naked (the bagels, not Dan), sesame seed and poppy seed. They are fantastic.

George, our detectorist, was here – he’s finding loads of stuff, some really interesting, some not so much. I’ve found a good box to keep the finds that we want to keep in.

Sunday 9th December

Another lovely day – it was a pleasure being outside.

Dan finished the muckheap and emptied the trailer, ready for Martin. He’s a Bowhouse today and is bringing back 16kg of ScotlandtheBread flour for Dan.

Dan gave me a hand to move some stuff in the barn so now I have wee howff for the ponies. Brought them in, gave them a haynet each and a brush.

poniesPonies in their howff.

Andy was here for a wee while, so he and Dan took all the broken pallets from the old muck bays up to the pigpen for the bonfire.

palletsOld pallets

bonfireBonfire in the making.

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