Diary

Sheep scanning / Hedge / Cakes / ImbolcRSS feed

Monday 5 February, 2018

by Rosemary at 12:01pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 29th January

Picked up two loads of hay, one for here and one for East Pitkerro.

Caught up with paperwork then made “Mary’s Ginger and treacle spiced tray bake” – and very nice it was too.

Tuesday 30th January

Martin and I had a trip down to Caledonian Market today – it was bitterly cold but stayed dry.

Tom continues to make progress – he’s desperate to be part of the family but is awful scared of the dogs. Which is nuts because he has far better weapons than them – and isn’t afraid to use them.

Tom and DanTom and Dan.

Wednesday 31st January

Nice day – sunny but very windy.

Despite that, I took the trailer to Harbro to get some Flukiver for the sheep and to pick up the new Haybell for the ponies.

Baked a “Fudgy Raspberry Cake” – very delicious but only small slices required.

Fudgy Raspberry CakeFudgy Raspberry Cake - tasted better than it looked!

First snowdrops out today.

First 2018 snowdropsSnowdrops peeking through the leaf litter.

Thursday 1st February

So, Imbolc or St Brigid’s Day – the first day of spring and it was rather lovely.

Dan started planting the hedge in the apiary today. A few bees were flying.

Dan hedge plantingDan planting the apiary hedge.

It's a mixture of blackthorn and hazel, with hornbeam in front of the hives, and a scattering of crab apple, guelder rose and wild privet, about 50 metres in total. We got them from Hopes Grove Nurseries - we've used them for nearly 20 years now and have never been disappointed with the quality, service or price.

Apiary hedge plantsApiary hedge plants, and Gwenna helping digging the trench.

Finally finished tidying out the potting shed – greenhouse next.

Tidy potting shedTidy potting shed.

The sheep scanner came this afternoon. Results are rather disappointing – 18 lambs due from 15 ewes to the tup.

One died at Christmas, three are empty, four singles and seven twins – 14 of the 15 are gimmers (the old girl, Niamh, is carrying twins) so having three empty is pretty gutting.

Still, just need to make sure the eighteen expected make it to adulthood.

Gave them all a fluke dose before turning them out again. We’ll be bringing them home in a fortnight, partly to start feeding prior to lambing but also because Astwood is sold and the new owners don’t want us there, which is a bit sad.

On the plus side, our current landlords have given us all their smallholding bits and bobs – hurdles, troughs, electric fence – in return for a donation to their charity.

Friday 2nd February

Beautiful day today – dry, sunny and perfectly still.

Wrote my sheep plan and timetable for the year.

Fluked Urquhart and Ted before taking them back to Astwood.

Phoned our butcher to see if he wants a couple of hoggets – he’s on holiday, but the manager was pretty sure he would, so I’ll get the three empty sheep booked into the abattoir on Monday.

Since it was a perfect day for a bonfire, Dan started to burn all the waste wood in the pigpen.

Imbolc bonfireImbolc bonfire.

Fantastic Imbolc bonfire!

Saturday 3rd February

Dan finished the apiary hedge, with a very little help from me, barrowing leaf mold and clearing up.

Finished hedgeBryn inspecting the finished apiary hedge.

Just a wee bit of tidying up, and it’ll be finished this stage.

Started to clean out the greenhouse.

Sunday 4th February

Another lovely day, although there must have been rain overnight.

Dan was on his willow-weaving course with Jane Wilkinson down in Ladybank and thoroughly enjoyed it.

He made a terrific fruit basket, a heart and what’s going to be the new topper for the Christmas tree.

I did some housework and made a “Crunchy Coffee Cake” – not sure about it – and Florentines.

Off for a few days holiday tomorrow.

PS. When we went to shut the chooks in, Dan heard voices that he thought were coming from Laing’s Field. He wandered over for a look – and found Bug’s missing boot! Can you believe that? After weeks and lots of searching – the beam of the head torch caught the reflective strips on the boot. Result!

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