Day tripping!!

We originally made a pledge to go out and learn something new about our local area or visit somewhere each month…. well we missed a few, time got away from us, jobs came up, regular chores took over…. and oh yes we had a beautiful new baby!!

So we have made up for it recently with a few trips!! All disguised as plant or poultry sales!!!

A day trip to Aberaeron for the plant and craft show!!! Maybe I’ll be a stall holder next year!!

We came away with some lovely plants!! An acer, some heathers, and a few more bee friendly plants!!

An afternoon out to the smallholders boot sale and poultry sale just past Llandysul!! Where I tried to persuade James we need bunnies and ducks as pets for the boys!!! Starting him small!!! Maybe then I’ll move onto pestering for horses of our own!!!

Finally I took the boys to the Welsh Wildlife centre in Cilgerran to explore a little, have a picnic and Oo yes another plant sale!! So as I had gone solo…. no we have another fab collection of wildlife and bee friendly plants to add to the beds and banks!!

Three marvellous outings, lots of new plants meaning lots more work for us prior to getting them in!! And a few more ideas for what I want to get done around the place….

Willow maze anyone?!

A few updates!!

Things are starting to grow in the Polytunnel and the fruit cage has a heap of green strawberries!!

James has built the majority of the first long raised beds!! Just awaiting delivery of the blocks for the rest of this bed and the second now!! But we could wait and started to plant!!! Beans this end…. ran out of canes but had a heap of branches!!! So for now we use those!!! Broccoli, cauliflower (any suggestions for deterring cabbage whites gratefully received!!) celeriac, some pumpkins and courgette so far!!!

The hay meadows are looking glorious following the spell of hot weather we have had!

The hedgerows are growing amazingly now!! Fingers crossed that they’ll now be a bit more Wanda proof!!! But I’ll still check on her each day to make sure!!!

We have had some seeds sent from the seed share project from @croydongardener on Instagram!! Some really unusual squashes etc all heirlooms too!! Can’t wait to get those planted!!

Last week was half term so my sister and the children came to visit. They enjoyed meeting the tenants in the field currently!! Such beautiful little foals and their gorgeous mamas!!

They had fun building some of their own toys for bits from the barn and building dens!!

My niece turned ten also so I made a cake and she helped me ice it!!! Mmmmm chocolate orange cake!!! Yum!!!

I cant remember whether I included the bee hive in the last update or not but James has built a bee hive and we are now awaiting our first bees once he has it sited!! So exciting!!! We shall have our own honey next year!!!’

Lots of things happen here each week it seems…. time flies and it won’t be long before we will be looking to get our hay cut and baled up!!

Piggies!!!

Last week we spent a huge amount of time building an enclosure and hut for some pigs!!!

All the elements of their housing other than the electric fencing have been repurposed from things we had in the barns, leftovers from other building projects or reclaimed items like a collection of doors that a neighbour was throwing out!!

It was all a bit Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall with his first River Cottage piglets as James collected them in a dog crate in a fiesta!!

James has set up a solar powered electric fence and they are such good piglets and have learnt the fencing very fast thankfully!!

They have already made themselves a wallow into the cool earth and have been happily rooting through the earth in areas for roots etc!!

Building play areas!

So in order to get anything done with Mr Whirlwind around he has to have things to occupy him!!! So gradually using and repurposing things around the farm and planting and making etc I am building a play area…. or lots of bits of play area

Inadvertently with some of the digger work that has been done we have created areas he enjoys playing in already… like the one wet muddy ditch!!!

Anyway what we’ve managed so far!!

A water play wall…

Car ramps and the dry ditch!!

We’ve made space for some outdoors toys…. started planting willow to make some structures….

A teepee, a tunnel etc etc…. maybe eventually a maze given time after seeing the small maze at the Welsh Wildlife centre! They will all be made from a range of basketry willows so hopefully will all provide an additional crop for the farm for an income eventually or raw materials for me to make things with!!

And the tractor tyres we acquired are positioned… now I just need to fill them and make some mini play zones!! For example a dinosaur swamp…. a digger/construction site… the possibilities are endless for the small world play!!

I have so many more ideas and I have created a Pinterest board or two of ideas which I plan to use about the place…. some close to the vegetable and fruit gardens some near to the flower gardens and orchard and some maybe for the wetter areas!! I plan to try to have something at all points to occupy and entertain and inspire the boys to explore, play and create!!

Here’s the links to the Pinterest boards if you want to look!!

Forest school board

Kids toys board

Gardening board

All around the holding….

So….. deep breath and here goes…..

Back at the end of April…. the Polytunnel finally had its skin put on!!

We almost immediately started planting and moving some of the seed across that we had started in the house off into the tunnel….

Spring finally arrived after the seemingly relentless winter!!

The small boy found more vehicles to sit on and press all the buttons….

The fruit cage planting was finished and now it’s just a case of weeding, watering, mowing and mulching at regular intervals…

The chicks, born on the first of March, got new digs and moved in!!

With the advent of spring the endless grass and weed management begins!! We are fortunate in that we have been gifted a field and brush mower in previous years and that mower chimps through long grass, brambles, weeds etc like they are butter!! And then to get the lawn effect in certain areas I am using the little old electric mower from the old town house!! (I am going to start saving for a normal Petrol lawnmower just so I don’t have to run an extension lead out each time!

Look at the little faces!!! Grandad bought the boys a new toy!!! Look!!!! It’s a fabulous tractor!!!!

There is a plethora of blossom in our orchard!! So we are hoping for plenty of apples this year!!!

The one and only flower bed needs a darn good weeding and I need to start making more flower beds and tackling the weeds on the banks cutting them right back and digging out where I can so I can start designing and planting garden areas!! I harbour a small dream that one day our garden will become one of the yellow book gardens that open for the national gardens scheme!!

I have planted some more willow whips and have more rooting!! I am making a willow tunnel, a willow teepee and I plan to maybe try a few more willow structures around the place! I am using a combination of osier willow and basketry willow so eventually as well as winter colour the structures and other willows will become another saleable crop in both cut willow and baskets or willow creations!!

Can you spot them?! Clue- they are yellow basketry ones here!!

The Polytunnel has started to green up slowly!! We have a multitude of different vegetables starting to grow!!!

And James has been out practising using a topper attached to his tractor to cut the grass!! We have now also been out to see a topper for sale nearby and James’ offer was accepted… we have trailer to borrow and now are awaiting a collection date!!! Exciting!!!

Finally James has had opportunity to start the raised bed walls!! So we will have even more growing space for our vegetables!! (Lucky as we have loads in seed trays starting to need to be planted out!! And we have more seeds to sow for more autumnal and winter crops!!)

Phew!! Lots of work!! Lots of plans and always loads more to do!!!

Sheepy shenanigans

So…. back in February a Beulah speckled face sheep appeared on our yard…. we tried everything to find its owner, contacted ALL the agencies had animal health out, and the animal health lady checked her databases for us to try to trace the owner…. no avail… so we advertised on the gate post…. and fourteen days later she became ours…..

So we have a Wanda!!

Now Wanda is an amazing escapologist…. she has tested all and I mean ALL of our boundaries…. shown us EVERY possible spot that is even the slightest bit weak and gappy!!!

So we have had MANY trips to other fields coaxing her back with the bucket into the field we want her in and also trips further afield to neighbours’s land and the lane and the walking path to the next village even!!!!

We have used bit of baling twine, logs, old posts, brash, bits of old gates, everything to try and keep her in the one field…..

Then a neighbour struck on a fabulous idea…. poor beast is in need of a friend… ah ha!!! She only started to try and escape once the rental sheep went home…. so the neighbours gave us Baabara!!

And a few days later!!! And a little more baking twine and brash… (she had one last hoorah into the next door field thankfully of ours!!) Wanda and Baabara are happily in the one field!!

With their neighbours…. the rental ponies and their utterly gorgeous foals!!!