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Posted: Monday 1 February, 2021

by Rosemary at 7:21pm in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 25th January

Another sunny day – not as cold as yesterday. Took the two tup lambs to the abattoir – the owner said they were almost booked up for autumn so we had a think on the way back and have booked a slot in June 2022; we’ll castrate all the tup lambs and run them on to hogget.

Graham is demolishing the WC. It was a real outside toilet this afternoon.

wcA REAL outside WC.

Dan bought Seville oranges, so I guess I’m making marmalade this week. Monday has become “Virkon Day”. I’m actually getting to quite like the smell. Still be glad when the bird flu lockdown is over. If I miss the smell, I can always just sniff the container.


Tuesday 26th January

Milder and damp; light rain in the evening. Went for hay – we’re into 2020 hay now and it’s lovely.

Dan had help wth his knitting.

knittingExtreme knitting.

Wednesday 27th January

Gillian the sheep scanner came this morning – Kit and her daughter Scoot, the Shetlands that went to the Ryeland tup lamb, both have twins. Two of the BFL have singles and one has triplets. Nine lambs from five is pretty good – the triplets might be chancy, because she’s a first timer, but I’ll take colostrum off the other two, who should lamb before her, and be prepared to top them up with a bottle.

Saturday 30th January

Snow. We have snow. About 1/4inch and it’s almost gone already.  Dan loaded up the box trailer with the waste from the old WC and took it to the skip. The concrete base was to be poured today but it’s too cold.

When he got back from the skip, Dan started putting shelves up in the byre and moved all the boxes of empty apple juice bottles through. It’s getting there. I’ve asked for a set of shelves to put jams and other preserves on. I finally got round to making marmalade – 7 3/4lb jars and a Kilner jar. The recipe said 6lbs yield. I’ve always found the actual yield to be less than the recipe says but I sterilised seven jars anyway, not noticing that they were 3/4lb jars. So the Kilner jar was an emergency. I’ll do another batch of Seville tomorrow - that will do us about two years, since we still have a couple of jars from the batch two years ago. We have jars of chutney that I made years ago, plus pickled eggs and beetroot in the pantry. It would be good to relocate them. I’m actually feeling quite energised about preserving again.

Sunday 31st January

Nice morning – cool but feeling quite spring-like. Sun getting out before lunchtime, just after the cattle. I’m going to put the BFL carrying triplets and Niamh in the wee paddock where the tup lambs were, so that I can feed them. The rest will just have a licky bucket.  I don’t mind feeding Niamh. That’ll not be until the start of March though, six weeks before lambs are due.

Dan took another load of timber form the old WC off to the skip. We’ve kept the best for burning but some was just rotten. He’s going for some shopping so I’ve asked him to get lemons, grapefruit and oranges so I can make a three fruit marmalade.

Second batch of Seville marmalade made - nine jars this time. And I found four jars in the cupboard along with two jars of backcurrant jam, about sseven jars of mincemeat and a Kilner jar of spiced picked pears. I need those shelves.

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