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Posted: Monday 9 November, 2020

by Rosemary at 11:56am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 2nd November

Rain overnight but a nice morning – colder than it’s been, but bright and dry. Fed the cattle this morning then let them out. If the weather’s OK, I’d rather they were out – and the wee one can get better exercise.

Fed the steers at East Pitkerro, did a bit of shopping and picked up flukicide for the sheep from the vet in Dundee.  I bought myself a watch - £6 reduced to £3. Much easier to check the time than getting my phone out.

watchMy new watch

We’ve decided to use the Ryeland tup lamb we have on the two Shetlands and to take up Alistair’s offer of his BFL tup for our three BFL gimmers. I’m just going to put them in for three weeks from the 19th November.

Tuesday 3rd November

Piddling rain this morning – but the cattle are choosing to be out. Brought them in and fed them, so that’s them in now, unless it dries up and we get some crisp, sunny days. I need to get a track up for the ponies or they scatter over the paddocks and cut them up.

Tidied up the Byre; took Smokey for a walk; cooked a batch of apples. While I was out, Dan vacuumed and washed the kitchen and boot room floors. IT was like coming back to a different house!

Did some prep for the SCBA Committee meeting – my first as Secretary. Bit nervous. Our office is so welcoming when the stove is lit.

officeOur office.

Wednesday 4th November

Woke up in a funk about the American election. Decided the best thing was to keep busy, so typed up the minutes of last night’s meeting and did some of my “actions” (the easy ones); put up the electric fence in the Ditch paddocks to stop the ponies galloping all over the paddocks – they now have a “race” from Laing’s Field to the yard; planted garlic and onions (Radar); cleaned the boiler and sink in the Feed store ready for milking, which will start shortly.

Festival debrief meeting this evening and some SCBA stuff to do. Not thinking about the evil orange man.

Thursday 5th November

Oh, my goodness, it’s been the most glorious day! Dry, bright sunshine, a brisk breeze and 16C on the thermometer. Cooler in the breeze, obviously.

It was such a nice day, I decided to let the cattle into Sheepfold. There’s no grass but they can get some exercise, pretend to graze and enjoy the sun. Sheepfold is our driest field – using it also means I don’t have to keep putting the ponies’ race up and down.

Planted the shallots – Eschalote Grise and Jermor. And finally cleaned the milking machine ready for morning. Dan hasn’t got time to make cheese and we’ve no pigs, so it might be a short milking period.

Highly pathogenic Avian Flu in Cheshire and we’re a vulnerable area, due to our proximity to the coast and estuary. We’re planning to cull the oldest hens at the weekend and move the 2019 hens into the caravan, which is the biggest house. If we need to bring the others in, we’ll put them in the polytunnel – so that’s this weekend’s jobs list sorted.

Friday 6th November

Milked for the first time – not much given. Maybe once we get into a routine, it will improve. Cattle out in Sheepfold but in this evening.

Beautiful autumn day, but cooler than of late. Braw run to Forfar for feed and some bits and pieces.

Saturday 7th November

Dreich, but quite mild. The day started badly when I dropped the litre of milk I got from Blizz yesterday on the kitchen floor. Oh my, how far it went. Milked her for the second time and got about the same, so I’m not going to bother. Got all the milking stuff cleaned up and put away for next year.

Took Smokey for a walk with Dan and the dogs. We all enjoyed it but my foot was sore by the time we got back.

Cattle out during the day but in at night.

Dan had company this evening.

danDan's lapful.

Sunday 8th November

Eeewww. Horrible outside; started murky and progressed to heavy rain. Very mild though.

Fluked the sheep. Cattle out for a wee while, but shouted them in at lunchtime.

sheepOur sheep.

Sowed sweet peas; tidied up the byre. Dan and Andy shovelled manure preparing a new comfrey bed.

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