Willow / Sheep / Freezers / Icing / RugbyRSS feed

Posted: Monday 26 February, 2018

by Rosemary at 10:14am in Smallholding Comments closed

Monday 19th February

Grey and damp, but much warmer. Not as much rain as forecast.

Took three barren ewes to the abattoir then brought the remaining eleven plus the tup and wether home. Used the last movement license in the first book of licenses. The new owners of Astwood move in on Thursday.

Split the sheep into two groups – twins in one and the four singles, plus Urquhart and Ted in the other; filled the hay feeders as there’s no grass to speak of.

Single bearing ewes and malesSingle bearing ewes and males.

Dan started to plant his willow – it looks fab with some purple, some red and some black.

Willow bed plantedWillow planting in progress.

There are 11 basketry varieties in total, and we'll see which grow best in our conditions and propagate a lot more next year. The varieties are:

  • Daphnoides Aglaia
  • Purpurea Abbeys
  • Irish Black (Viminalis x)
  • Brittany Blue (Purpurea)
  • Brown Maul (Viminalis x)
  • Noire de Villaine (Triandra)
  • Flanders Red (Alba x Fragilis)
  • Continental Purple (Daphnoides)
  • Blue Stem Willow (Irrorata)
  • Chermesina Yelverton (Alba)
  • Brittany Green (Purpurea)

Tom seems to be making good progress with the dogs, especially when they are outside.

Dan made blackcurrant cordial with some of last year's frozen blackcurrants we found in the freezer. We use the recipe at British Larder and have always had excellent results.

Making blackcurrant cordialMaking blackcurrant cordial.

Tuesday 20th February

Another good day – it was 10°C at lunchtime.

Took a load of manure to the allotments, then on to Astwood to clear out the last of the equipment.

Allotment visitDelivering manure.

Popped up to Forfar – topped up the equipment and bits and bobs in my lambing box and collected half a tonne of 18% ewe pellets.

Started feeding the twin bearing ewes a wee bit of cake this afternoon.

Wednesday 21st February

Another beautiful day – clear sunny and calm.

Dan planted more willow and trimmed the ivy on the West Range and on the side of the house – it made a tasty treat for the ewes.

Ivy for the ewesIvy devoured by the ewes.

I made a ginger treacle sponge and iced it this time.

Emptied, defrosted and cleaned out the upright freezer. Started worming the hens.

Got the weights back for the three ewes – between 32kg and 35kg dw and not looking too fat.

Thursday 22nd February

Refilled the upright freezer and emptied one of the chest freezers.

Our blackboard, which lives at the road end and lists what we have for sale, was due a makeover – sadly, when John started to work on it, it fell apart, so he’s making a new one.

Friday 23rd February

Had coffee with Janet – great to catch up.

Cleaned out the empty freezer. Jane came this afternoon to trim Smokey and Bug’s feet.

Saturday 24th February

Nice day but a bitterly cold wind.

Dan’s started pruning the apple trees. A few had grown squint so they’re being straightened up.

He went off to the rugby at Murrayfield with some friends. Great result. :-)

I cleaned out the green henhouse, then my chum, Carol, popped in for a blether. Later, I made Simnel Chelsea Buns (fab) and started playing around with icing flowers.

Iced roseIcing rose.

My first rose was quite nice – but it was plainly beginners luck, because all subsequent ones were rubbish.

Sunday 25th February

A fine day; bone dry and very cold.

Went for hay, then on to EP to check on the steers. They’ll need hay tomorrow, I think.  While there, we walked the fences with A and they’re in good nick – and there’s loads of grass – so as soon as the new tombstone ring feeder comes, we’ll get them out.

Cleaned out the brown henhouse.

Andy was over cutting wood; Dan gave him a hand then went off to carry on with his pruning. He’s bought new loppers, which are making the cutting (but not the deciding what to cut) much easier.

Bertie ate a deer. Well, a good bit of minced venison.

Started to refill the empty freezer. Putting in all the sausages and burgers.

It’s 7pm and starting to snow.

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