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Monday 23 October, 2017

by Rosemary at 10:12am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 2nd October

Wet and windy today. Spent the day in the office with routine paperwork but also had the foreword for a new book on smallholding to write.

Met with Martin and Dan to discuss future plans for the Festival.

Started feeding some straw to the cattle.

With the wind, we’ve a lot of windfall apples and pears so Dan juiced some of the apples. It’s lovely juice.

Dan, Paul and I had a look at the barn and firmed up on the plans for that. It will be top priority after we get back from holiday. Time wears on and I really want the cattle in by 1st November.

Tuesday 3rd October

What a change from yesterday – it’s been dry and sunny, and really warm.

Spent some time in the polytunnel harvesting tomatoes then roasting them with garlic and basic, for freezing.

Got the steers booked in for slaughter at the end of the month – one will be just a few days short of 30 months. 

I started a Christmas cake – weighed out the ingredients but I need to get some oranges.

Wednesday 4th October

Took Teddy and Urquhart up to Astwood, giving them their fluke drench on the trailer, then brought the 15 breeding ewes back to Dalmore and gave them a fluke drench and vaccinated them with Toxovax and Enzovax.  Two didn’t get done as I had a problem with the vaccinator, but I’ll catch them next year.

I’ve sprayed their tag numbers on their backs with marker so that I can record who’s tupped when.

They’re now out in Sheepfold, the ponies’ usual field, eating off the grass the ponies don’t eat.

The ponies are in Home paddock; it’s a strange field. The pH is over 7 for reasons we don’t understand so I’m putting the ponies in there and we won’t lift dung – the hens will spread it over winter and we’ll harrow in spring – and hopefully this will drop the pH. I’m also planning to pen the meat birds in there next year.

Dan pressed all the remaining windfall apples and started some cider.

Had a visit from the local RHET coordinator and the teacher whose class will be visiting on Friday.

I cleaned out the three hen houses.

Thursday 5th October

Spent a bit of time sorting out freezers – stocktaking, emptying, defrosting and refilling. Once the beef comes back, all the freezers will be packed.

Cleaned out the trailer – fifteen sheep, four miles, how much shit can they produce?

Went for horse feed – can’t have them starving wile we’re away.

Finished this month’s article for “Smallholding” magazine and baked a Christmas cake.

Friday 6th October

Hosted a RHET visit for a local primary school today – 22 Primary 3 children. Always enjoy these visits.

Scooted down to the butcher to pick up pork and sausages – bacon and gammon to follow – and stuck it all in the newly cleaned out freezer.

Saturday 7th October

Off to Bute!! Case packed, dogs packed, instructions written.

Sunday 8th October to Saturday 14th October

Had a good break on Bute.

On the boat to ButeOn the ferry to Bute.

There’s not much to do on Bute in October, so a good excuse to do very little.

If you go, I can recommend the Kingarth Hotel. Very nice food indeed.

Rothesay is a lovely Victorian town with more than a hint of faded grandeur . The 1938 Pavilion is closed for refurbishment, reopening 2019.

Rothesay PavillionRothesay Pavillion.

I’d like to go back and see it in its glory.

Watched loads of old “Bake-off” so was itching to get back and “bake!”

Nothing much happened at home while we were away – which is just how we like it.

Sunday 15th October

Baked mini Madeira cakes this morning.

Dan’s been trimming the beech hedges and mowing the grass – front, back and vegetable garden. I wonder if this will be the last cut of the year????

After stowing his equipment, he and Paul set off round the farm to survey the trees and decide what’s coming down this winter and what planting we’ll do thereafter.

We have a lot of mature trees that are now crowding each other and other smaller trees – so the wood store might be filled sooner than expected.

I pot roasted the last beef joint for dinner – it was a huge silverside, so I only cooked one half. I’ll roast the other half for dinner tomorrow night – Dan’s curling so a moveable feast will be good.

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