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Posted: Monday 23 May, 2022

by Rosemary at 8:47am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 16th May

What a change from the weekend!  Heavy rain most of the day – and much cooler as a result. But it’s to be nice the rest of the week, so hopefully that’ll make the grass grow.

Deskwork today; Festival stuff and other bits and pieces that have been hanging around.

I don’t think the cattle are planning to come in again. Ever. Oh, was that a bucket? Yes, they are.

Tuesday 17th May

Better day than yesterday, some rain, some sun. Grey is getting better at getting tied up – but I think he’s worried he’ll be left behind, because he’s last to get untied.

Dan got half the potatoes in – it’s a variety called Caledonian Rose. Never heard of it but it was a substitute for Rooster, which was unavailable.

Lorna and I went to Easthaven for a walk, and then for a wee scone at Scryne. It was a bit chilly.

easthavenEasthaven.

Wednesday 18th May

Took ourselves down to Pittenweem for lunch with John and Linda and their pals, Mo and John. The East Neuk is so lovely – we drove through St Andrews and down the coast through Anstruther. The sun was out, but still breezy. After lunch, had a wander round the village and had a macaroon bar ice-cream cone. Braw.

Once home, sowed six rows of carrots – Amsterdam Forcing and Autumn King – and a row of coriander. Not convinced by the impact of coriander on carrot fly, so I’ll put barriers up later. Dan finished planting the maincrop potatoes while I did a bit of weeding, and then planted out my dahlias. Some aren’t showing green yet but all had robust roots, so it’s just patience. For which I am famous. Not. The sunflowers sown last week are sprouting and I sowed four rows of mixed calendula for the bees and for a splash of colour.

tattiesTattie bed.

Advertised Bean for sale. I know he only has one ball but it clearly works; I don’t really want to put him in the freezer because he’s a fine looking tup.

BeanBean.

Thursday 19th May

Another sunny day with a brisk breeze. Planted out the leeks – they look really pathetic, but fingers crossed – and sowed a couple of rows of swede seeds. The peas desperately need weeded. Started but still have about 17m to go – well, 34m because it’s up one side and down the other.

And Bean has a new flock. He’ll be going first week in July, I think. Delighted.

Friday 20th May

Sun, showers, perfect. Quick run to the feed store in Forfar and a wee bit shopping then spent the afternoon preparing for tomorrow’s tour.

Saturday 21st May

What a lovely day and what a lovely family! It was a 1st birthday celebration – a nice mix of kids, parents and grandparents. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and apart from possibly a couple of school tours, that’s our final tour.

Then it was a bit of prep for the shearer coming tomorrow at 8.30am; we’ll be dosing the lambs with white wormer against Nematodirus and giving them their first anti-clostridial vaccine.

Sunday 22nd May

Cooler and overcast today; perfect for shearing, at least for the humans. We brought the sheep in last night, in case it rained and to get the ewes empty. Set up pens before breakfast and Alistair was here about 9am. Good shearing – couple of wee nicks treated with blue spray and two ewes with fly eggs in the wool. And we’re shearing a week early this year. We gave Alistair a bottle of 12 year old Dalmore malt whisky as a thank you for shearing for us since 2013. He’s such a nice bloke and I hope we’ve been good clients. We gave the same to our scanner in 2021 because we thought it would be our last year scanning – so we didn’t repeat it this year. But this is definitely de-sheeping year.

sheepSheep before shearing.

While Alistair was setting up, I dosed the lambs with white wormer as a protection against Nematodirus then after we finished shearing, we gave the lambs their first Covexin 10 dose. And that, hopefully, will be them for four weeks, until they get their second dose. The youngest lambs will be six weeks on Thursday, so I’ll be stopping the hard feed this week, although they’ll still have a licky bucket.

Dan and Andy went off after morning teatime to take our old log splitter to a friend of Andy’s then on to East Pitkerro to pick up the last of our kit and drop off the keys. I’ll get the gates on Facebook and sell them.

While they were away, I cleaned the caravan – it’s not great (I would be really disappointed if I was going my holidays in it) but at least it looks less abandoned. I got one side of the peas weeded – but the onions and the brassicas need done too, so the list hasn’t got any less.

caravanCaravan, before.

caravanCaravan, after.

Dan did some more work in the polytunnel – the sprinkler was on for ages but it’s still really dry. He planted out twelve Ailsa Craig tomatoes and two cucumber plants (one of the three that sprouted died).

And some aquilegia, because it's pretty

aquilegiaAquilegia.

aquilegiaMore Aquilegia.

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