We have been busy as bees round the holding still, but since the start of lockdown in March we have not had any significant rainfall!!! 10 weeks!!
Things are tinder dry outside…. we are having to regularly water everywhere and currently just the other side of our nearest village there is a forestry and field fire that the forestry services and a helicopter have been battling since Sunday evening…
Thankfully there is some rain forecast tonight and for at least the morning tomorrow! The earth here will give a sigh of relief I expect when it starts to fall!!
In the meantime here a few snapshots of the past few weeks here! New fencing, shearing, turning out the horses, new chicks, new play stuff for the boys, elderflowers and a lot more!!
So way back on the first of March our Bresse chickens hatched out and they lived in the same cage inside as chicks as sun and Dai had lived in when they were small… but there were more of them and they grew a wee bit faster…. so they moved into a secondary cage for a bit…. our existing coop allows space for up to six hens…. add in the fact we know we have at least one rooster in the Bresse gang…. and we don’t want him and Dai to fight….
soooo…. we ordered a second housing option!!
Yes they have blue feet!!!
James and my dad built the coop whilst Mum and I went to Wonderwool….
Then his dad helped him construct the run which is a permanent fixture!!
Toddle chops enjoyed exploring the run!! Soooo tempting to build the little thrill seeker his own…. but he would only climb out!! So far he is more than capable of climbing over farm field gates, into the cattle crush, out of his cot is a doddle so we are now finally in a big boy bed!! Ahhh he has no fear!!!!
And so the chickens have their new home and a posh new automatic coop opener which is light sensitive!! So they are let out at first light and shut up at dusk!! Hurrah!!!
James has also designed a rainwater collection waterer and a large easy food dispenser mostly made from things we had lying about in the barns!!!
So James decided to hire a mini digger this week…. and has been out in it all day every day working hard to create better waterways, raised beds, scrape the barns, flatten play areas…. etc etc!! Busy times!!
Someone else rather liked the digger too!!! And very quickly figured out whilst sat on Daddy’s lap that two levers made it go forwards and backwards!! Therefore lurching it about whilst Daddy was digging!!
So the past two weeks have been filled with visitors and LOTS of outside work….. not much time for crafting except in between visitors and knitting of an evening!!
We started with a few days with my sister and niece and nephew!!
Someone was very pleased with his visitors!! And we had wall building round the Polytunnel!!
Playdoh….. painting…… forest school trip!
Bird box building and painting….
Phew very busy!!
Then last week my parents came for a few days!
It turned colder…. but we have meshed the fruit cage….. planted and frost fleeced a few plants that had been delivered…. blueberries in pots in some good Ericaceous compost as our soil isn’t right for them but we need them as young sir would eat his body weight in blueberries!! Well fruit in general!!
Then we had lots more Polytunnel progress…. just a shame on the final day the wind picked up so we couldn’t get the plastic on….
We had a wood delivery too…. didn’t get as much in last year as this year has required!! It’s all a learning process and bear in mind this time last year we were only able to collect wood every other weekend!!!
Any way all this done plus toddler wrangling…. plus catering…. keeping the home fires burning…. and growing a baby….. phew
We have had a quieter weekend this weekend sans visitors!
Finishing some jobs in the fruit cage….
Using sawdust to make paths…. cable tying the mesh further and pegging it down….
Chipping the brash piles we’ve had lying about from hedgerow sorting!! Finally seem to be making some progress in rejuvenating some of the hedgerows and hope we will be able to lay some of them in a couple of years to thicken them up and really sort them!
So this was our old barn in an old aerial photo!!!!
The big Agri barns aren’t there, neither is the tin hut but there are lots of smaller barns and the land behind the barns is so much flatter looking, without the slurry pit and the spoil heaps which have sculpted themselves into our garden and yard areas!!!
And notice the extra porch part on the barn, an old engine house apparently for milking…. and the roof!!! It goes to the ground at the back!!!
Apparently not long after this shot the old farm house was levelled and rebuilt and the family who did that work lived in the hayloft of our barn for the duration of the work!!!