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We originally made a pledge to go out and learn something new about our local area or visit somewhere each month….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?!

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!!!

What a week!!

Well this week has been a whirlwind after our usual more sedate pace round here!!

Monday we were at the hospital for another growth scan and clinic….

Not a great photo but he is a larger baby than his brother and running out of space!!! (7 weeks till due date!)

Tuesday we caught up on some jobs here…. James collecting wood, helping a neighbour who is unwell, me sorting house cleaning/laundry etc!!

Wednesday James had some more wood collecting time and I had to race through a metric crap tonne of paperwork ready for a meeting with the FUW to help me fill in claims forms and field maintenance sheets…. AND for ANOTHER farm inspection…. We have had our SAF and maintenance payments for Glastir held up by the Welsh Government, both because we have been included in their audit…. where the inspectors get inspected!!! Yes total bad luck on our first year!!!!! Joy and because they had questions about some satellite imagery which again is a new thing this year…. well done us getting the double whammy!!!

So Thursday I trooped off to Carmarthen with folders worth of paperwork and completed a capital works claim, a field maintenance new online thing to alter my field boundaries now we have added the new hedgerows!! Plus take advice on becoming VAT registered etc etc!!

Raced home to grab some lunch…. then back out to the midwife!! (Now at the we want to see you every other week stage!) who bless her was running a smidge Kate and then I hotfooted it back to holding for the inspectors!!!

Well thankfully they were late and wanted to look at activity diaries first!! So I had time to get togged up for the field portion of their trip!! Thankfully everything was all good and to quote one of them “if only all inspections were this simple and straightforward!” Phew!!!

William and I then had Forest School on Friday which we both love!!

Then after lunch we collected my car from the garage all mot’d and driving like a dream again!!!

So we have had a week of interrupted naps….. short naps….. naps in the car…… and only one nap in his big boy bed!!

So no real crafty time *sob*

Managed a bit of spinning and a bit of sewing earlier in the week…

But it’s been scarily productive paperwork wise and farm wise…..

Now to spend today and tomorrow catching up with all the other jobs we need to get sorted!!!

Pond!!!

We have found a site for our pond…. Initially a wildlife pond we think… Eventually maybe some ducks for it…..

IMG_3064.JPG

IMG_3060.JPG

IMG_3063.JPG

IMG_3066.JPG

IMG_3065.JPG

IMG_3062.JPG

IMG_3069.JPG

IMG_3061.JPG

Dig faster James it’s starting to fill up!!! We’ll line it during a dry spell… And we need to make sure it has a sturdy bottom banking so…..

Rough Pastures

After a restorative cuppa in the Hovel we headed out along the other borders of the property over the rough pastureland.  Following the animal trails we wandered down to the stream pipe which seperates the two of the three section of rough pastureland.

IMG_1279 IMG_1278

Dad suggested we get a stone trough put in under the pipe rather than the current ironwork one, to allow for the water to be drunk.  I am not sure who he intends drinking the water, but as most of it is pony field and road run off….. ummm maybe not!! Not mentioning the fact that how the heck would we get the iron trough out and a stone one in!!!

In the far rough pasture there is a lot of Sphagnum Moss and marsh gras in the field portion adn around the pipe stream there is a lot of Salix Caprea or Goat willow and a LOT of Briars.  We would need to start at the top of the stream and work down in order for us to recolonise the stream sides with basketry willow!

Dad also pointed out another good potential woodland ingress point!! I say potential, because a. its a bit steep, b. its full of briars and brambles!!  There is a fence line and another channel down from the road then that prevents us accessing the woodland between us and our Mill neighbour, so we will need more investigations down here in the fullness of time!  Somewhere in there is apparently our Japanese Knotweed colony! UGH!!!

Having crossed back over the piped stream, we walked back across the lower edge of the middle rough pasture, across another drainage stream, which is the one supposedly to take the mountain track run off under the road and off down the hillside.  At this point we have three Leylandii and a teardrop shaped piece of flattish land which goes off towards Big Field and the gate we will probably turn into a stile, which will be our Orchard when the autumn comes and we can get planting!

We have lots of Nettle beds over this side that Dad said should be full of butterflies soon.  Just as he said that we saw three large peacock butterflies sitting amongst the nettles.  We walked amongst the grass and nettles for a while longer and discussed orchard possibilities…. and found a young Ash tree.