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Posted: Monday 8 June, 2020

by Rosemary at 8:37am in Smallholding No comments Add your own

Monday 1st June

Nice and cool at 5.30 am then hot and sunny – rain forecast for tomorrow though. Spent most of the day in the vegetable garden, planting out replacement peas and weeding. I’ve ordered more seeds – not a single carrot germinated from the ones I sowed. That’s poor, even for me.

Moved the cattle to Near Top and Home – plenty long stuff for them to graze off. I didn’t intend to let them into Home, which is where the sheep are supposed to be, but a rail was down on the dividing fence and somehow a lamb always ends up on the wrong side form its mammy. So it was easier (and quieter) to open the gate. Dan’s fixed the rail now.

Did some bits and pieces in the office including some stuff I’ve been putting off for ages, so feeling quite smug. Then I look at the other stuff I’ve been putting off…

Tuesday 2nd June

Hot again, but rain forecast for the afternoon. We so need it. Think I might have overdone the sun yesterday – not feeling 100%. Gwenna thinks a 5am rise is a good thing. Fine for her – she can snooze on the lawn for the afternoon.

Dan made his second Gouda. The first is drying in the pantry. He only made one last season but it was delicious. We’re getting between 7l and 10l of milk each day, so we now have Monday, Cheeseday, Wednesday, Curdsday, Friday

Rain before bedtime and looking like more overnight.

Wednesday 3rd June

Breezy, some cloud, some sunshine and looks like a fair bit overnight. Found the rat that was shot and escaped – really glad it hasn’t died somewhere inaccessible. And Penfold had a dead rat last night – well, 3am actually. He was well pleased with himself and had toted it right upstairs for a play on the landing.

Mucked out the cow shed; weighed Smokey (he’s now 538kg on the weight tape. He hasn’t been that light since he was about 7. (Should I be worried?)

Filled the car with cardboard in anticipation of a trip to the recycling centre. Potting shed looks big now.

Thursday 4th June

Cool at 5.30am, sunny spells but quite breezy. Took the ponies out, up to Barry.  Curdsday was cheddar cheese. I baked gingernuts (our favourite biscuit) and a “Malty, sticky date loaf” from one of the GBBO books. Dan bought malt for making bagels, so I used that. I used too much raising agent, I think, so it went up and down again but it’s delicious.

Finally, a trip to the recycling centre at Monifieth. Never been to the Monifieth one before and very nice it was too. Not too long a queue either.

The calves are a month old now and are very grown up – getting their own hay pile at milking now.

aftonAfton and her hay pile.


Friday 5th June

Cool, breezy, bit of sun and a few light showers. Took the ponies toward the beach but didn’t have time to go all the way. I was running late because I was baking chocolate brownie and it took longer to cook than I expected. Worth it, though.

horsesPicnic time for Ave and Euro.

We sorted through the pony rugs – when I say “we”, I mean Tara. I’ve only got two waterproofs for Smokey and he rarely has a rug on but both need washed and reproofed. Just in case. He’s not getting any younger, although he looks great.

Off to the feed store in the afternoon; the shop’s now open but I liked the lockdown process of phoning in the order, paying by card and collecting.

We got the first sketches of the West Range conversion, so we made time to have a chat about that after dinner. What’s our office would be a living / dining room; the current looseboxes would be kitchen and bathroom and the byre and feed store would be two bedrooms, one with an en-suite shower room. Phase 1 will be the kitchen and bathroom to enhance the facilities for courses and tours. We’ll be speaking with the architect next week.

Dan and I were also chatting about maybe trying to bulk order from Suma, which reminded me of the bags of haricot beans we have in the pantry, so I’m going to make baked beans.

beansHomemade baked beans.

Saturday 6th June

Sunny, with a light breeze. Much, much nicer than the last couple of days. Dan baked bread, then we folded up the weed suppressing fabric – it didn’t feel windy until we started it, then we thought we were going to end up in Monifieth. Then he went off to empty the muck trailer while I took all the non-recyclable rubbish out of the trailer (trailers aren’t allowed at the recycling centre yet) and filled two dumpy bags. I also did a quick recce of the veg garden – partly to see what I might still sow and partly to think about next year.

I sewed the buttons on my waistcoat. I love it, love it, love it. It's knitted in Rosedean Ryeland 2017 4ply yarn. I may have said this before, but Dan’s amazing.

Replace meMy new waistcoat in Rosedean Ryeland yarn.

Just before lunch, I had a shot of the new lawnmower and cut the front lawn – it’s fabby. Easy to start, cuts right to the edge, quiet. Love it too.

After lunch, Dan started making the fox guards for the meat chick pen – the current batch are three weeks old and ready to go out but not without proper protection.

I slipped down to East PItkerro to check the steers. All well.

Dan’s got a super of frames to extract the honey from, so I cleaned the extractor and he did that this afternoon. I like it creamed best.

Heavy rain tonight. Just the job.

Sunday 7th June

Dry, sunny and a bit of a breeze. Took the ponies to the beach – they were great and we all thoroughly enjoyed it. There was only one other couple on the beach – the wind was pretty cold.

The Sunset apples have set fruit well. There are a couple of diseased trees (not Sunset) that have to come out.

applesSunset apples.

Dan did some strimming; I potted on the zinnia and cosmos. While I was at the beach, Dan started the baked beans; he asked me how many grams in a tablespoon; “30”, I said confidently. Turns out it’s 15 so we have excess “bean sauce”. IT tastes lovely but the beans are still a bit crunchy, even though we soaked them for 36 hours and simmered them for an hour and a half.

It looks like the honey might be naturally creamed. Yum.




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