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!!!

Chicken happenings!!

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!!!

Crafty Catching Up!!

Well a fortnight has vanished since my last post!!! Well more than a fortnight!!! That’s what new babies manage to do…. and toddlers… they eat time!!!

So…. now I’m a captive on the sofa with a post immunisation snuggler….

Where was I….

Wonderwool Purchases!!! Those of you that follow me over on Instagram will have seen these beauties posted there!! But look!!!

A good mix of mainly sock yarn and some spinning fluff for my breeds log cabin blanket!! Hurrah now I just need the time to knit them!!

In other news I was lucky enough to test knit the fabulous Peeky Cat socks, a colourwork double knit socks pattern by An Caitín Beag!! Wow these knit up quick!!! I used some deep stash Sweet Georgia merino DK yarn that I bought an age ago with plans for a top for me…. two children later….. and seriously limited knit time…. and it’s now becoming snuggly gorgeous cat socks!!!!

This pattern is amazing!! And she has set it up on Ravelry ready for release on the 25th!!

Other than that I’m plugging in with James’ socks….

And I’ve finally finished the reknit of my hazels shawl in RiverKnits in Indian Giant Squirrel!!

Now I need to block it and finish writing the pattern and get it off to the wonderful tech editor!! Any interested parties for the test knit?!

So that’s the crafty catch up… for the mo!!!

I’ll post again with some farm happenings!!

Wonderwool 2018

So Saturday last Mum and I took the tribe of smalls to Wonderwool at Builth Wells!!

I love this yarn show and have attended every year for the last ten plus!! Apart from the year William was born as him arriving and Wonderwool were just that wee bit too close in dates!! (He would have been a week old!!)

So here are a few photos I managed between yarn fondling and toddler wrangling!!

Best way to travel in the sling right next to the mobile buffet!! Look a snap snap!!! The toddler was very impressed with the crocheted croc!!!

The wonderful wall of poppies I commemorate the end of World War One 100 years ago this year!

Truly beautiful

And then something else beautiful some started smiling!!!!

More about my multiple purchases in another post!

Planting planting and more planting

So now the Polytunnel has been skinned we have been able to get in and plant!!

So far now we have planted mangetout, beans, beetroot, carrots, spinach, leeks, rocket, spring onions and salads….

Then James has moved our two new grapevines into the corners, one red one white…

He has also moved all the baby tomato plants, chilli plants and cucumbers in….

and plans to plant the courgette babies etc out there this afternoon!

He and William have been earthing up the potatoes like fury!!

I have plans to weed the onion and shallot bed and the fruit cage this week in between trips out with William to our usual activities!!

Some of the seeds we planted the other week have started to come up so we shall soon need to plant out small broccoli and cauliflower plants etc!! James needs to build the walls for the raised beds soon!!! Well for at least one of them!!

This year we should be able to produce the majority of our fresh food!! James has even won a competition and we have a mushroom kit arriving soon!!!!

William, our toddler, has been super useful with his new wheelbarrow and has been collecting all the rocks from around the Polytunnel!! Hurrah!!

More socks on the go!!

I have cast on another pair of vanilla socks!! Yes I seem to have a problem needing to have some vanilla socks on the needles at all times!!

But it does seem to be all my poor sleep deprived brain can handle!!

Look at this yarn!!

It is Weavers Loft sock wool and I bought it last year at Wonderwool!!

Squee!!!! That is this weekend for this year now!! Anyone going?! I shall be there Saturday with the boys and Mum!!

Soooo more vanilla socks!! And lots of more complicated projects languishing for a day when I feel I have had some sleep!! That may be a while… though this little man is sleeping better than his big brother did at his age!!