Episode three is up!

Episode three is up on YouTube

Show notes….

Knitting:

Finished the Daydreamer and the Deco mat, owl puff and owl hat…. started the socks…. Nearly a HO!

Sewing:

Curtains curtains and more curtains

PJS done, baby’s tshirt done

Cutting out….

Acquisitions: only the curtain poles!!

Shop update: vintage snug hat

Farm update: hedging, fencing, diggers, tractors, pit of doom, tree planting, chain sawing….

The slurry pit!

Whilst the borehole was being dug, the owner of the company brought up his mini digger to do some trenching for the pipework….. He decided to take the mini digger into the slurry pit to see what state the bog of eternal stench end was in……

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BAD news …. It is much deeper than we thought although there is a ramp by the little wall end….. And….. It is stinking gelatinous goo….. Which whilst vile in itself is also dangerous…… I.e. Could suck small people in should they walk on it…… So we have been investigating one man and his digger options and are also going to ask the farmer who rents our fields and barns if he fancies reducing his bill by spreading the goo onto orchard field for us!!!! Fingers crossed it comes off soon so we can get cracking with the slurry pit vegetable garden in earnest!!!

Looking about the farm we have a number of small jobs that a large digger would make mincemeat out of like clearing the path to orchard field, moving the compost piles to the slurry pit once excavated…. So may as well get a load done at once!!!

We don’t want anyone to be eaten by this!!!

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Weekend workings in the pit!!

Whilst my parents stayed we worked hard at clearing more of the slurry pit and Dad started to build a retaining wall for the veg patch that the slurry pit is destined to become, using some of the tyres from the barns!! We have managed to reduce the size of the rubble heap at the entrance to the pit and started using some of the rubble and sand and compost for our veg bed!!!

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All pretty impressive for a couple of days really I think!!

Once more into the slurry pit

Whilst James and his father were felling and clearing the trees his mother and I spent some time discovering and removing a load of slate from the slurry pit. We think the barn’s old roof was dumped in the pit along with all sorts of other stuff during initial building works!!! Grrrrrr……..

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So we began with a great mound of roof slates, covered in grass moss and the most giant weeds!!!!

Then….. On removing the moss and grass we exposed the slate face……

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Julia and myself cleared 4 or 5 wheelbarrow loads of slate and then my sister and myself finished the job on the Saturday! Ably assisted by our slave labour (see tomorrow’s post!!)

We shifted the slate into the barn to be able to use it to line trenches when they are dug and to maybe use on paths once it is broken up some more!!

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While we were digging through the slate we found a large caterpillar!! I think it’s one that was on Springwatch last week, a wooly bear!!

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Slurry pit clearance continues!!

Even during the heat of the weekend before the bank holiday here we managed, albeit a little slower with more breaks for drinks and shade etc, to clear a heap more of stuff from the slurry pit!!

We cleared the logs James made last time we were up…

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And now have the startings of our very own log pile in the barn….

We sprayed the bank we cut back and then I went off on a brambles and weed war with the spray…. But more on that in another post!

James cut more trees and branches down…. We hedge cut and strimmered like crazy people….

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Unfortunately we have made a discovery this weekend…. The far end of the pit a small area just in front of barn three and slightly walled for separation and lower that the first part of the pit area is somewhat damp…..

Ok that may be understatement of 2014!!! I decided to investigate…. And carefully step in to find myself floating of a crust of weeds and probably poo…. Floating I tell you the weeds etc are floating on about 6 inches to a foot of water….. We think we have the culprit….

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This drain which takes the rainwater from half of barn two and half of barn three from the guttering….. We think a pipe pops out in the soggy slurry end and there is no further drainage out….. Eeek!!!!! May have to carve bank holes etc…..

Any who…. I have persuaded Dad to bring what we affectionately call his wrong trousers (the waders) next weekend so I can venture in properly and hack away the brambles that hide the place where I think the pipe appears….. To confirm my suspicions and and hopefully clear some of the weeds in the pit!! Any say for now this end of the pit is to be called the bog of eternal stench, partly for the smell and partly for the noises it emits for some while after being stepped on!!

I LOVE power tool gardening!!!!!

Sunday and Monday of the May Bank Holiday James and I spent the time using our wonderful gifts from both sets of our parents!!! POWER TOOLS!!!!!!!! And what a difference they have made!!!! We started with this….. Where we left off at Easter…..

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Then we used the hedge cutters and the strimmer and the chain saw and a lot of elbow grease and ….. Well I’ll let the pictures tell the tale!!

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We are now ready for phase two digging and rock rolling!!! To further clear the mess of the slurry pit so it can be our sunken vegetable garden!!!

I did go a bit crazy with the strimmer in the end and carried on in the field behind the hovel and down the path to orchard field!!!

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Day 4 and 5 in the Little Tin Hut!

The next two days I was alone at the smallholding with just Sookie for company. Sookie used this as an excuse to wedge herself into my armpit every time I sat down or to go absolutely bat shit crazy every time anyone approached the farm or if there was a noise!!!

We came to terms with our empty calf less barn!!

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Though I had to stop Sookie on a couple of occasions from trying to get in there and stop her from eating cow poo!!

We had three window companies out for quotes, a plumbing/electrician firm and I met the guy who is tackling the knotweed down in the woodland off the road!! I also rang a few other companies for quotes on damp proofing, bore holes, septic tanks etc etc etc!!!

Busy times

I also tried to contact the Rural Payments Wales people to register etc etc so we can start trying to get into the Glastir Programme and start off getting some payments in to help us manage the land…. But I realised quickly into the call that I had left the holding number back with the other paperwork at home!!! Doh!!!! So that’s a job for another day, probably May half term!!!

The only significant amusement during my time alone, other than quotes, was the arrival of new bedding for the remaining barn load of calves!! Our tenant fired up his bob cat in the barn and the whole tin hut shook wildly!!! I was just it ting down for dinner and managed to hurl a tomato in my surprise across the tin hut!!! Te he!!!

I did also manage to get out amidst the drizzle and continue clearing along the back slurry pit banking. I cut the Rowan branches that over hung the pit and hacked back about three metres of brambles using gloves secateurs
and a pitch fork!! And I have started a new bonfire pile!! When James and he parentals left, I was under strict instructions not to relight the fire or go into the woodland alone.

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I also managed to start clearing some brambles by the stream pipe in the rough pasture!! So a productive few days even though I was alone with the pup!!