A few views of the smallholding and buildings from the weekend before last

I took a few photos which didn’t get put into a post over the previous week so…….

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Some more views of the tin hut and the box beside it…. The birds on a wire…. That have nested in our house!!! The gaping hole in what will be our driveway round the back…. James and the hedge cutters…. Sookie lamping about in the fields….

And we have a couple of plants that need identification!!

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Oo and we heard a cuckoo this weekend!

Ironwork

The photos from around the site tell us that we have a LOT of old ironwork around the place….

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Eventually we will start hauling it all out and start loading it into a barn for storage until we decide what we need it for…. Or if indeed we need it…. Some of it is easy to get to, the rest is buried in hedgerows or knee deep in nettles and brambles, there is old fencing…. Wiring…. Gates….. And random bits of farm machinery like the cattle crush and some sort of milling machine outside the tin hut!

The first battle in the war on nettles and brambles

Once the spraying and clearing in slurry pit was done I decided to venture into what will be our orchard with the strimmer and the hedge cutters to find the other side of the bank and the gate at the end of it that leads into the yard or will do once we clear it!!!

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I figure that this will make a better run through to the orchard than the current little windy path past the tin hut!!

Any way back to the brambles and nettles!!!!

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We started with a load of this…..

Then with some strimmer and hedge cutter action we got to….

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And after a bit more I made it to the gate!!! Though we need to take some wire cutters etc to sort it some more before finishing the job!!

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Slurry pit clearance continues!!

Even during the heat of the weekend before the bank holiday here we managed, albeit a little slower with more breaks for drinks and shade etc, to clear a heap more of stuff from the slurry pit!!

We cleared the logs James made last time we were up…

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And now have the startings of our very own log pile in the barn….

We sprayed the bank we cut back and then I went off on a brambles and weed war with the spray…. But more on that in another post!

James cut more trees and branches down…. We hedge cut and strimmered like crazy people….

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Unfortunately we have made a discovery this weekend…. The far end of the pit a small area just in front of barn three and slightly walled for separation and lower that the first part of the pit area is somewhat damp…..

Ok that may be understatement of 2014!!! I decided to investigate…. And carefully step in to find myself floating of a crust of weeds and probably poo…. Floating I tell you the weeds etc are floating on about 6 inches to a foot of water….. We think we have the culprit….

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This drain which takes the rainwater from half of barn two and half of barn three from the guttering….. We think a pipe pops out in the soggy slurry end and there is no further drainage out….. Eeek!!!!! May have to carve bank holes etc…..

Any who…. I have persuaded Dad to bring what we affectionately call his wrong trousers (the waders) next weekend so I can venture in properly and hack away the brambles that hide the place where I think the pipe appears….. To confirm my suspicions and and hopefully clear some of the weeds in the pit!! Any say for now this end of the pit is to be called the bog of eternal stench, partly for the smell and partly for the noises it emits for some while after being stepped on!!

More work on the farm

Well on our arrival, after the dog walk, we decided to check the barns and yard to see what the farmer who has let them from us has been up to!!! Clear barns!!!!!!!

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Hurrah and the yard has cleared somewhat to!!!

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To be fair we did spot that he had used the muck to spread over the fields!!

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But yay!!! Clear barns and a shrinking pile of poo!!! Can’t be bad!!!

Views from the fields!

Last weekend we went to the smallholding again on a Friday after work and decided that the first thing we should do is walk the dogs to wear them out!! I took my camera and took a few shots of the fields!

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It’s one of those views that you just have to give a big relaxing sigh!!

Wildlife in the banks

I found a few lovely specimens of plant-life nestled in the banks of our hedgerows and borders on the May bank holiday!!! Any help identifying the unnamed hoots would be greatly appreciated!! I appear to have left the book on my newly made shelving unit in the hovel!!!

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Borage?

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Bluebells

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Red campion?

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More bluebells and…..

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Oo and bonus point for naming the fungus!

I LOVE power tool gardening!!!!!

Sunday and Monday of the May Bank Holiday James and I spent the time using our wonderful gifts from both sets of our parents!!! POWER TOOLS!!!!!!!! And what a difference they have made!!!! We started with this….. Where we left off at Easter…..

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Then we used the hedge cutters and the strimmer and the chain saw and a lot of elbow grease and ….. Well I’ll let the pictures tell the tale!!

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We are now ready for phase two digging and rock rolling!!! To further clear the mess of the slurry pit so it can be our sunken vegetable garden!!!

I did go a bit crazy with the strimmer in the end and carried on in the field behind the hovel and down the path to orchard field!!!

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The little tin hut!

Lots of people have been asking to see what the hovel or the little tin hut looks like in more detail!! The previous owner lived here for about 10 years?!?! And this is where we are camping out while we finish the build she started and whilst we spend the weekends working the land!!

After returning to the farm and cleaning off the cow poo from the dogs, we decided to spend the few hours of pre dinner time getting the hovel somewhat habitable again. The previous owner had taken most of the pieces of furniture we had the “luxury” of using over the Easter weekend, as they had now completed on their property buy.

This left the hovel empty save for the old Rayburn, the bed, the sofa and a table and a couple of wobbly chairs!!

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I brought some old throws to a. Protect the sofa from the muddy toes and b. Cover up its particularly beautiful shade of bogey green!!

We had brought a small chiller fridge thing, and 2 ring electric hob….

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and then found a few bits in the barn for cleaning up and adding to our furnishing array!!! Like a dog bed and a bit of new work top and an old shelving unit from a kitchen install!!

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A few points to note…. Yes the toilet is that close to the bed!!! Actually now further away than when she moved out!!!

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The shower has corrugated plastic for walls… One of which has brambles growing against it and that’s all really to preserve the modesty of the showerer!!!

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Also a slug and a worm joined me in there on Sunday morning!!!

The insulation is either sheep wool or newspapers bits stuffed in crevices or large chunks of polystyrene….

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And all the windows are corrugated plastic….

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And despite all this I am definitely starting to love our little hovel!!!! Our shelter from the elements and our little home whilst we work the land and finish the barn conversion!!

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Return to the farm!

We managed to get back down to the barn on the Saturday of the May bank holiday, in the afternoon after I had finished at Roath craft market.

We took a short wander to check on the status of the barns. Both are now free of cows, but have yet to be cleaned out!! And then we wandered to the yard. The yard is mostly empty and hard based, bar the ever expanding pile of cow poo in the one end……

At this point both dogs decided they could run over the slurry pile that is in the yard awaiting spreading over the field!! The crust looked solid…….

It soooooooo was not!!! It collapsed under them, sending them butt deep in cow poo!! Ugh!!!! Silly dogs!!!

We ended up dunking them both in a water trough to clean them.

Polly stuck her feet out at every possible angle and then tried swimming in the trough.

Sookie the daft nut sunk like a small stone!!