Update w/e 17th MayRSS feed

Posted: Sunday 17 May, 2009

by Rosemary at 7:58am in Anything goes Comments closed

Well, the changeable weather has persisted this week but in the garden, things are growing – especially the weeds. Dan's dad has put new nets over the brassica bed so we'll be able to get our cabbages out this week. I've gone mad with about 4 varieties plus calabrese and three varieties of purple sprouting broccoli. The broad beans look well but I've sown some poached egg plant to help deter black fly. In the greenhouse, the sweetcorn is almost ready to go out as are the runner beans “White Lady�. The runner beans Czar have failed completely so I've resown them, as a second batch.

The main feature this week, though, has been our visit to the Smallholder and Garden Festival at the Royal Welsh Showground at Builth Wells. With a group of friends from Central Scotland Smallholders' Association www.smallholders.info, we traveled down to Wales on Friday for the two day show. I'm a regular at some of the local agricultural shows and, of course, the Royal Highland Show, but this was better, much better. The Highland is geared towards the big farmer; this weekend's event is for folk like us with a few livestock and small acreage. For the first time, having three sheep was normal!

As well as showing classes for sheep, pigs, poultry, rabbits and hamsters (?), there were trade stands selling not £500,000 combine harvesters, but incubators and poultry “stuffâ€?, books, craft materials (I bought a peg loom, so watch this space!), local food and crafts.

There was an auction of vintage farm equipment - another man's junk etc etc – where I hankered after horse-drawn potato harrows that really only needed a wee coat of paint to make them like new. There was loads of stuff completely unrecognisable to us including two “Wufflers�, which we worked out were for “wuffling� the hay to help it dry. If we're wrong, I'm sure someone will let us know! We were intrigued to see that the folk next to us on the campsite had bought a two furrow plough and had somehow managed to get it on the roof of their Nissan X Trail for the journey home!

The best thing about the show, though, was the people. Everyone on the stands was happy to chat with us and discuss their livestock or their food or craft and to offer help and advice. I wish we had taken the two days as there is too much to see in one but we're already planning a return visit next year – so maybe see you there!

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