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Posted: Monday 14 December, 2020

by Rosemary at 5:59pm in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 7th December

Dave the Spark started on the feed store today, taking out the old cables and dropping in the new ones. Tara started pressure washing the feed store shelves.

I made a gift tag.

tagHomemade gift tag.

Tuesday 8th December

Today didn’t start well. I took a bag of pellets up to the greed henhouse in a wheelbarrow. The barrow hit an underwater grass tussock and in my (successful) attempt to stop the barrow tipping, I fell in the water – about a foot deep. The only dry article of clothing I was then wearing was my bra. Thankfully, it wasn’t cold so I just cracked on, did the cattle and the ponies then cleaned the cover of the polytunnel – I was wet and filthy anyway. Hot shower then off to get my hair cut for the first time since, maybe, February.


Wednesday 9th December

With the exception of a couple of glimpses of sunshine, it’s been pretty dreich. Not cold though. The hens seem to like their new accommodation – they’d better make the best of it until the weekend.

Popped down to EP to check the steers and Afton; Afton had taken herself into the other field, through the wee sheep gate. To be honest, I think they could all get through it. Anyway, went to “rescue” her and she followed me back to the gate and popped through. What a good girl. One of the sheep grazing there was on its back; I thought it was dead but no, as soon as I turned it, it was up and away. Probably needed a good burp and fart though.

Graham the Joiner has started in the feed store. So exciting!

Thursday 10th December

Progress in the feed store. Just wondering if it’s premature to buy a Christmas tree for it yet.

doorNew door and window panel.

storeFirst wall framed.

Made mini Christmas cakes for gifting. Nice – not Delia’s, but nice.

Friday 11th December

Still grey outside. Still not finished the decs – but I did finish the tree last night and this morning, I hung the picture that’s been lying propped against the living room wall for a month. Went shopping – bought cranberries which I wanted for something in particular but I can’t remember what it was. I’ll freeze them until I remember.  Made little gingerbread biscuits for gifting – I bought roasted ground hazelnuts and used them. Smell fantastic.

Bought tickets for the Highland Show in June – limited numbers and you have to buy your parking at the same time. Oh, the stress.

Rosie and Smokey were sharing today.

ponySmokey and Rosie.

That little beggar, Gwenna, can get in the hole in the cats’ cupboard door. She must have just worked it out. Hmm, Dan had made a modification that will put HER gas on a peep.

Saturday 12th December

Grey, mild – 8C – with little of the forecast rain. Dan went off for hay first thing then after breakfast, we took ourselves to East Pitkerro to bring the steers in for the winter. As usual, they were very obliging; they’ve plenty space, a good straw bed, hay, water and a licky bucket, so they seemed quite settled. I’ll check them every couple of days (the landowner checks them daily for me).  After lunch, Dan made a start on fox proofing the polytunnel. It was dark when we finished – 5pm – but we were both knackered. The hens are now in the polytunnel – we’ll see how they are tomorrow. While waiting for Dan to need my help with the polytunnel, I weeded the cabbages. The soil is amazing.

tunnelThe hens' new accommodation.

hensHens settled in.

I put a couple of coats of preservative on the new door for the feed store. It’s coming along well; we’ll only move the minimum in until we can get the floor painted.

We’ve decided we’re going to run down the laying hens, to eventually just half a dozen for our own use. And we‘re thinking about putting a large pond in Home and planting trees around it. The flooding stresses me out, so we’re going to work with nature. It might help the drainage in the orchard too. The ponds at the golf course were created eight years ago and you’d think they had always been there. Our only concern, and it’s a small one, is that if the pond / planting doesn’t count as eligible land, we may fall below the area for agricultural support.

Sunday 13th December

There was a blink of sunshine, then more grey. Brisk wind too. Hens seem quite happy in the polytunnel – lots of dust bathing going on. And all the fallen tomatoes have gone. The gazebo is up at the caravan but the hens will be confined to the caravan until we get some deer netting. Probably Tuesday.

Painted the other side of the door. Dan and Andy put backs on the bird boxes, ready to go up.

Then the rain came on and the wind got up. Not nice – and just n time for the evening. Made a shopping list for the “big shop” on Tuesday – store cupboard stuff. Dan and I will do some leisurely food shopping at the end of the week – and not in the supermarket.


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