Toscana / Camembarry / StrawberriesRSS feed

Posted: Monday 29 June, 2020

by Rosemary at 8:28am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 22nd June

The forecast said, “light cloud”, which I guess, on average, was what we had although it panned out as heavy showers and full sun.

Dan’s wine soaked Toscana is now wine soaked.

toscanaToscana cheese, soaking in wine,

The cattle came in fine at milking, so he’ll be able to make more on Wednesday. Afton has terrible scoots; she seems fine in herself so I’m hoping it’s just the effect of the new grass both directly and indirectly through her mother’s milk. Jings, hope it doesn’t have the same effect on us!

Tuesday 23rd June

Showers this morning, and warm and muggy. Shot out at 5.30am – dreamed about dead calves, but Afton was quietly chewing her cud then got up and had a good stretch.

Tara called off taking out the ponies, so I took Smokey out by himself. He was good in parts, but we (I) sang “The 59th Street Bridge Song” and felt groovy. A nice man at the works compound at the golf course gave Smokey an apple, which was very sweet of him.

I started baking after breakfast, made coconut mounds then got distracted by one of our regular customers – we always like to put the world to rights. Then I made the Malty, Sticky Date Loaf, which has fast become a favourite.

Andy was here doing firewood; Dan did some thinning in the orchard – the pigs get the thinnings and love them. I sowed some salad and we finally got round to netting the peas. It was dead easy – we should have done it ages ago. Poor peas. I have guilt.

thinningsFour trees worth of thinnings.

Cattle were fine tonight and Afton seems to be back to normal. She’s a right bonny calf. Yield wasn’t high but there should be enough for Dan to make cheese tomorrow.

Wednesday 24thJune

Very hot today. Took the ponies out this morning in hand but planning to ride on Friday.

Dan was working in the office most of the day, but did his comfrey orders, which I took to the post office. Since we have our filmmaker coming tomorrow, I had a bit of a tidy up round the barn.

Thursday 25th June

Another hot day. I went for hay at 9am and when I returned we had our first visitor of the day - the rodent control man. I’ve seen one rat twice this week – and I think it’s the same one. He’s recommended keeping bait boxes down all the time.

Then we had a Zoom call with our architect, so it’s my job to contact the planning authority on Monday.

Ed, our filmmaker, arrived at about 6pm. We crowd funded a film about Shetland cattle and Ed is our filmmaker. He was here to film the girls being house cows. For normally very placid animals, they were incredibly stirred up by this weird human with a funny shaped head. He stood at the gate between Laing’s Field and the first of ours and they wouldn’t go past him; then they went past at a gallop, which isn’t braw, big bags swinging.

Once in the shed, they were fine and I think he got some decent footage. Just need to get more hosts lined up.

I think I’ve managed to get a second steer calf, from the people from whom we bought Whyte and Mackay. And they’re going to take Afton as a swap. I hope Blizzard has a heifer, but if not, I might try and sell her calf as a bull.

Friday 26th June

Wee bit sun but haar rolled in. Finally, got out riding – just along the railway, but it was so good to be back in the saddle. Kate had a lesson on Ave, which went well.

Dan did more thinning of apples then went into the bees to unite two hives and take some frames off.

Saturday 27th June

Misty, but warm and muggy. Spent most of the day weeding in veg garden and fruit garden. The now netted peas are doing great but now I feel bad that we didn’t spend half an hour (or less) protecting them earlier. Must do better next year.

The paths between the veg beds have had a lot of manure kicked on to them by birds, so I started to rake them but the long grass made it impossible; so Dan strimmed them and that made the raking much more effective (and easier). I did some today and will just work away at it.

I picked probably the last of the rhubarb for this year; we’re going to lift and split the plants this year and move them all together in one place. We can give the bed a good weed at the same time. Picked some strawberries - I think the thick couch is hiding the berries form the birds. New strawberries for next year though.


Dan started making Camembert cheese – or as he calls it, camembarry. And he ordered rat bait boxes and a new mattress for our spare bed, so on the nights one of us needs a night of sleep unbroken by cats and dogs, we can get one on a comfortable mattress.

I did lots of things today but only scored three off my list. Poor list making indeed.

Sunday 28th June

It’s Gwenna’s third birthday today, so Dan cooked a chicken – for us, but the pets will get a celebratory dinner too.

danChicken for dinner.

It’s been pretty windy; overcast with showers and sunny spells. Warm though, if you can get out of the wind. Rode this morning – flags were down, so we went down the Buddon.

The honey is set in the frames Dan took off on Friday. There’s probably some oilseed rape in it.  He put some of the frames in the Bain Marie, but I’m not sure how successful that’s been.

I did more weeding and raking. The veg garden doesn’t look so bad now. If you like courgettes.

And finally, a photo of Tom and Diesel. A bromance. Just because.

catsTom and Diesel - a fine bromance.


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