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!!
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!!
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!!
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!!!