Swallows; poorly lamb; lots of produce!RSS feed

Posted: Tuesday 12 July, 2016

by Rosemary at 9:13am in Smallholding 1 comment Add your own


Wallace has finished his course of Pen&Strep and is a right as rain. He was sound after 24 hours but we completed the course of ABs as recommended by the vet.

Dan strained and jarred our honey – twelve jars looking lovely.

Jarring honeyJarring honey.

He moved the new colony of bees into a full sized hive – they’re looking good – and he gave the newly moved ones and the weak hive a feed of syrup.

He also thinned the fruit on the apple trees and weeded some of the trees.


Still no progress on cutting the neighbouring field.

Applied Spot-on to the steers and bull today. The flies are horrible just now – feel really sorry for them. I did the cows and calves on Sunday.

John put the whiteboard up in the milking parlour so I can put up notes and the procedure. Dan started more Camembert.

Bryn was at the vet for his annual check – he weighed 15.1kg and the vet said he was in perfect condition.


We had the first taste of Dan’s first batch of Camembert today and it was really delicious. So proud of him. Looking forward to more types – and more Camembert, which is a favourite of mine anyway.

Camembert tastingCamembert tasting.

Had to take Wallace to the vet this afternoon – he was a wee touch lame in a back leg last night but was almost off both back legs this afternoon. Vet diagnosed a spinal abscess so he’s had a long-acting antibiotic and more Metacam. He was fine in himself and was running about this evening when he came for his bottle. It may be that the lack of colostrum has predisposed him to this bacterial infection. Should he relapse again, we’ll probably have to have him put to sleep, which would be really sad, as he’s a real character.

Dan’s been working in the orchard, trying to catch up with all the jobs there, and started a batch of elderflower cordial - we use this elderflower cordial recipe.

Making elderflower cordialMaking elderflower cordial.

Had a nice lady buy some yarn today – she has an etsy shop called SewMoira so we’re looking forward to seeing Rosedean Ryeland hand warmers for sale on there.


It’s been hot today – 24C this afternoon. Dan’s topped some of the paddocks and I cut the front “lawn”, while it stayed dry. We need a new lawnmower.

Cows behaved beautifully at milking today – we got just over 10 litres, so the cheddar cheese will be starting tomorrow.

John stripped down the secondhand meat slicer today and I stuck all the bits through the dishwasher. It’s looking a whole lot better – now it just has to go back together.

Wallace is hanging in there. He’s fine in himself – feeding well and getting stuck into his cake now. I hope he makes it – his sister will be lost without him.


Had to get the vet out to Smokey today. He’s had a cough for a week or so, sometimes worse than others – but his breathing seemed a bit labored today. She thinks it’s an allergy, so we’ll try to manage it.

While she was here she gave Wallace another antibiotic injection and more Metacam. He’ll be the world’s most expensive lamb soon.

Dan started his cheddar cheese today – the timings mean that he’ll have to get up at 2am to turn it. He also bottled 12 litres of elderflower cordial, made with flowers from our black elder. It is the most beautiful colour. These will go straight into the freezer and will give us a taste of summer during the winter months.

Bottled elderflower cordialBottled elderflower cordial.

Bentley, Bryn’s Labrador BFF, arrived today for his week’s holiday.

Bentley and BrynBentley and Bryn.

They surely can’t keep up this pace of play for a week.


Pretty rainy today so I made fruit scones and cheese scones for the freezer and mincemeat cookies. While making the cheese scones, I managed to inhale chili powder – gave me a very runny nose.

This wee guy and his siblings caused us some hassle today.

Fledgling swallowFledgling swallow.

Found him in Blizzard's trough just before I ladled in the sugar beet before milking.

Dan got a ladder, then a longer ladder, climbed up into the roof of the milking parlour, over the roof trusses to put him back. He said the nest was bunged with wee birds.

Ten minutes later there was another one out, so we did the same thing again. And then just after milking, there was another one out.

So Dan made a "nest" out of a spreadable carton lined with hay, screwed to to the roof joist next to the real nest and put the wanderer and one of his siblings into the "extension". They're almost fully feathered so hopefully they'll be safely on their way soon.

I’ve lost the bung for the milking machine – it’s the wee rubber stopper that lets you milk just three quarters. I had it. Now it’s gone. So annoying.

The field next door has been cut. Yay!


The first cheddar yielded 760g cheese from 7.6l of milk. It’s now drying and will be waxed in the next couple of days.

First Cheddar cheeseFirst Cheddar cheese.

The second cheddar is started. We need a bigger kitchen or we need to get moving on the food room.

Decided we’re going to run a small scale dairying course next spring. We’re not experts but we’re doing it – and I know how helpful seeing Simon Fairlie’s set up was to me. Our vet will do a cattle health and welfare session as part of it.

While Dan was making cheese, I made honey cinnamon biscuits and iced them. Most of the icing ran on to the worktop – possibly because the kitchen was boiling. Don’t think I’ll make them again. Also made Bramley lemon curd from the River Cottage “Preserves” book – tastes delicious but not sure if it’s going to set. Quiche for dinner as we have a glut of pullet eggs; I’ve set some aside for pickling and for Scotch eggs, as we’ve got pork mince in the freezer.



Tuesday 19 July, 2016 at 3:40pm

Just to say we often make elderflower cordial and never bother to freeze just pop in a few camdon tabs and bottle when still hot. Ours lasts easily a year and has never gone of or started to ferment...

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