What’s doing??

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!!

New yarn!!!!!

So tomorrow the Rustic range of yarns launch!!

All hand dyed by me here at the smallholding and all the wool for the yarn is either locally sourced or homegrown!! From our own Sheep!!!!! So that’s gorgeous fleece from Wanda, Baabara, Wolfy and the three witches!!!!

This time the wool has been blended with a little alpaca and the natural grey that the yarn became is beautiful!!

My wonderful mother helped me out and test knit a huge batch of an early dyeing of the yarn making this gorgeous Ribbon Wrap (pattern link here)

The wrap was knitted up in the Silverleaf of the grey, Gentian or blue, Thistle or purple and the Plantain or Green colourways and is huge and so warm and snuggly!!

Other colourways on offer are the red or Bettany, yellow or Gorse, Pink is Campion and the orange is Valerian!!

The natural grey is also available to buy from Friday!!

This will all go live in the Etsy shop on Friday morning!!

There will be a discount code for the launch weekend simply put in the code YARNLAUNCH to receive 10% off all yarns in the shop over the weekend!!

In addition to the Rustic with alpaca, there is a small amount of Rustic, which is just the blend of the wool in a few of the colourways!! Great if you need a smaller amount for colourworking!!

There is also a new sock yarn colourway coming this weekend!! This colourway is called Lockdown Sunset, there are only 10 skeins available and I will be using 50% of the profits from this yarn to buy some extra cans to donate to our local food bank which is struggling with donations given the challenging times we are facing!

Can you spot Lockdown Sunset in the yarn mountain???

A few updates!!

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!!

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!!!

Farm update

Soooo in lieu of a podcast which I may not have time to do or enough content for, for a few weeks…. here is the farm update for recent weeks!!!

Sooo…. back at the end of March on his due date we became a family of four when baby Mathew put in an appearance!!

All 7lb 15 of him and the birth itself went that well I should have been in and out in the one day…. but I decided tone dramatic and have a rather nasty PPH which saw me lose nigh on 3 pints of blood… so overnight obs… what a joy…. opposite the nursing station…. and at one point I’d just gotten the baby to sleep and in they came to do his obs…. ugh!!!

Anyway he is now a gorgeous chunky 11lbs!! (He didn’t have to wait for milk to come in as I still feed William) and he is four weeks old!!! Not sure how that has happened!!

Soooo we have had LOTS of visitations from family, but whilst the female portion of the family cooed over the small people and helped me to keep on top of washing and housework and William in the early days… the menfolk fought through the tiredness and….

Helped lambs in the barn…. being born…. putting them into separate quarters to bond with mums…. etc

Skinned the Polytunnel!!!

Hurrah!! On with the planting!!!

Moving and placing and cutting tractor tyres for the kiddos play area!! And planting potatoes we have had chitting for an age it seems!! Both in tubs and bags and out in a large potato bed James prepared!

Sorted the chickens who are now huge and ready for their new accommodations!! More about that another time!!

Made teeny fires to cook over!!

Then we as a group have been…..

Wrangling sheep to get them into the right field!! Te he!!!

Charging round the fields and feeding Wanda!

We’ve been to the botanical gardens for Welly Wednesday!!

We have tidied up the front garden and planted seeds both for flowers and for the Polytunnel !!

Plus we found a worm!! Fascinating!!!

And the other big news!!!

Young man turned TWO!!! I have a two year old!!!! More about how that feels in another post but look how happy he is with his digger!!

And I made my first attempt at icing a cake other than slapping a small bit of buttercream in or on!!

So busy times!!! Hopefully things are starting to settle…. and will improve further when we all kick this latest cold that has struck myself and the boys!! Ugh!!

Hope to at least write more soon and maybe I’ll squeeze in a podcast at some point!!