Monday, May 27, 2013

We planned to have a nice easy weekend. Its been nice and relaxed and not too hectic. But a lot has been achieved.

Mum and I have spent many hours gardening. The borders are looking great and very colourful. All i seem to do is weed! The vegetable garden is coming along nicely, we have planted beetroot, packchoi,peas and beans. Mum has set loads more seeds. I attended the compost collection at the local Council offices on saturday and have three dustbins of free compost and a new free compost bin!

Whilst out i purchased sone reduced seed potatoes which Maurice has planted. We have loads of spuds on the go!

We have moved the pigs into the wood. They are filthy and very tired piggies! Its great to see them out enjoying themselves

Four ewes and lambs have moved to summer grazing. Its very quiet here now , much less BAA BAA.

We are taking our last three lambs from last year to the abattoir on thursday. So butchery next weekend.

The dexters have gone on holiday to Hockley. So Tilly can be serviced by the bull. Dennis is a quarter of the size of the bull.

The beehives have been sterilised ready for our bees to arrive.

The meat birds have been enjoying the sun!

And i have managed to spin a skein of jacob wool!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sad News

I'm sorry for the lack of updates. Its been a hard few weeks for us on the Smallholding. The week before last we lost Pearl our dear bottle fed lamb. I arrived home from work and she didn't run to the fence. She was laying under the trailer with a very blotted belly. After a fantastic instruction from Sara at Westpoint on Mums Iphone on loudspeaker laid on a bale of straw. Mum managed to insert a needle into the stomach to release the gas. However it wasn't enough and Pearl died ten minutes before the vet arrived.

It was so hard to loose her, we had put so much work into getting her going when she was born. She had spent three weeks in Mums bedroom at night and was a real part of the family. RIP Pearl.

However we have to focus on the 12 other lambs we have, touch wood they all seem to be doing well.

We them moved onto Tilly the Dexter being scanned the following day, she was most put out that an unfamiliar man was going to scan her. She thought she was going to have a scan, she didn't realise he was going to stick his arm inside her up to his shoulder. It made her eyes bulge and she mooed! The verdict was Tilly wasn't in calve. We are all so disappointed, we had hoped she was as she hadn't been Bulling (In Season/Calling for the Bull) Since having her ovaries tickled by a fine looking vet, the day after she was bullying for Britain. So next week she is to return to the Bull in Hockley and she is even taking Dennis to keep her company.

No sooner had the vet left, the Singing Shearer arrived! with a rather lovely Wensleydale Fleece for me from a farm up north. Its so soft. But that's a tale for another night.

Whilist Philip was shearing Mum took the opportuniy to trim feet. So it was a one stop shop beauty salon. hair and nails.

I'm not sure my feet touched the ground much, we had such a lot on the shearer left and them Operation Trustlink started. We helped to give a demonstration at their May Fayre along with some other smallholders. A great day was had by all of us. As well as some bargain 20p seeds.We do love a packet of seeds. However i am banned from Shake and Rake!

Following on from the vets visit. He took some samples away and did a worm egg count. So we wormed all the sheep on Sunday. The start of our new worming programme as per our vets instruction.

We have spent plenty of time in the garden. the Potatoes are doing very well. We have planted Carrots, parsnips, beetroot, Cabbage, Broccoli and Cauliflower. Maurice has also put a lovely wooden edge to the vegetable plot to help making strimming the edge easier.

On Friday, I collected five, four week old meat chickens to raise for the freezer.

Today we moved 4 ewes and lambs to some new pasture. They have plenty grass that should hopefully keep them fed all summer.

I popped off to the Young Farmers show to see one of our friends win the championship prize with his British Lop Pigs today. It was a great to have a walk round the show.

Well off to bed to start a fresh week. No rest for us!
Bee Keeping Monday and Wednesday Night, Smallholders Meeting on Tuesday. The weeks is going to fly by!

Night Night

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Three day weekend

It seems that we don't get five minutes to ourselves at the moment. Its a busy time of year!

I had friday off work, so I could collect domino from the abattoir. I was shocked as to how lean the meat was, i was expecting huge amounts of fat.

So Saturday morning Gareth and dad started the huge task of butchering the 128kg carcass. I then started mincing and mixing the sausage seasoning.

On Sunday our friends Toni and Georgina, helped us continue making sausages. We reckon we have made over 60kg of sausages.

Breakfast Sausage
Leek sausage
Vinces Dragon

To name a few, we have also cured the loin and belly for bacon.

Whilst we were making sausages, Maurice and Gareth have had an order for muck from our neighbour Mr Anderson who had dropped a dumper off for them to fill. So they thought they would make use of it and muck the cows out.

I had cured a piece of salt beef, so we enjoyed a well deserved lunch in the garden with Fred and Dude the sheep.

Keeping livestock isn't always easy. After battling for three days to get 8 turkeys poults out of their shells, we lost three today. We were so pleased to have hatched from our own stock it was awful to loose them. We hope the rest pull through.

Our first bee keeping practical

To night we went to our first practical bee course. Its the first time i have been around bees, it wasn't to bad! Very interesting! I can't wait. To get ours!

We also had our first ever turkey chick hatch and more are pipping.