I promised myself I’d be better at Blogging as well as Vlogging…. but life kinda happens!! Anyway here are the links for the blogs this week
Also I’ve managed a load of baking this week!! 😁
I’ve added a few new videos to the YouTube Channel!!!
Some tours of the animals and I’m planning a weekly ish….. vlog about the happenings on the smallholding!!
Here is Episode one!!
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!!
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!!!
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!!
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!!
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 since we are here now every day…..
We have started doing some bits around the place other than he workshop and the house!
Planting some bulbs for some spring colour about the place….. Crocuses, tulips and Daffodils….
Mowing the grass …. so we can get at the bed we planted and weed the heck out of it….once this latest bout of storm and rain is finished….
Oh my poor rockery and bog garden…… this soooo needs attention…..
But there are now 50 crocus bulbs in the front garden hopefully settling in and getting ready to pop up come spring….
James has built some composters in the far end of the slurry pit as was…..
Our bales stacked up in the yard…. plus the mess of the far end of the slurry pit as a before photo…
I mowed all the grass and weeds…..
Sir played on the gator again!! (we are so going to have to hide those keys!!)
James de-baler twined the roto-tiller…..
We carted some muck from the barn and planted a box and forsythia hedge from some cuttings we took and rooted before we left the old house…..
and finally I am not sure you can see the rocks but we have marked out for a fruit cage…. which we ordered at the start of the week and it arrived VERY quickly from First Tunnels.
Now to mulch the area marked, build the fruit cage, anchor it FIRMLY in place, order and plant the fruit!!!!
I have plans for gooseberries, blueberries, raspberries, currants, strawberries etc etc!!! the rhubarb will find itself in a shady spot in the muck the other side of the wall!!
A poorly baby limited our plans last weekend….. *sigh* the poor little man…. So I’ve missed one o my best friends Hen dos…. And there has been no podcasting time for me…. No sewing time….. And realistically not much knitting time….. I’m only up to almost the heel on my second Heath sock…..
However, at the farm our little man that can has been back!!!
And we now have drainage in the pit of doom!!! So it’s going to be able to be planted up with vegetables and fruit canes and bushes etc!!!!
Hurrah and pass the seed catalogues!!!