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!!!

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!!!

Plans!!

Between big and small fields we have a holding pen, which I hope to garden out and put in a glamping pod!!! We have done some investigating now the sheep aren’t in small field or big field for that matter!!!

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We will need to fence this area and hedge it properly. There is a mound of compost in there too from the wormery of our neighbour…. But it’s slightly lower than small field and should make a nice little glamping pod area!!!

Our first proper trip to the farm!

This trip was HUGE!!!!! so I am going to divide it into several posts so as not to overwhelm myself or you dear readers!!

Well my parents arrived Good Friday having battled the Easter Weekend Traffic!!!! We stayed at home Friday night for them to recover and then headed down to the Farm on the Saturday Morning.  James and I realised that we had forgotten the keys for the Hovel’s padlock about 10 minutes away from the farm!!!! ARGH!!!!!! we were not going back for them!!!  So upon our arrival Dad and James hacksawed off the padlock and we had access!! Phew!!!  We moved a few boxes of bits in and got the kettle on for a brew.  James and Dad began to light the Rayburn, which was a palaver and a half!! But they managed, whilst Mum and I went to greet the tenants.  By this weekend the Tenants (the calves) were in an even deeper sludge of poo and straw, but we were relaibly informed they were to be moved to pasture in a few days!

We shut everything up and took a trip into one of the nearby towns to meet one of the guys I had arranged to come and quote us for windows and doors at his showroom.  And to pick up a new padlock for the Hovel! Some gorgeous windows and doors… but by Barry’s own admission, on the medium to high end of the price spectrum.  We shall see how the quotes come in!!

We returned to the farm proud owners of a new padlock and had some lunch before making our first proper excursion to show Mum and Dad round the property.  Immediately dad spotted some St Johns Wort growing on the front borders of the Hovel and said we should get rid of it as it is a weed… I don’t think we shall get rid of too much identifable stuff like that just yet!  Especially as my book says that it grows only in a few locations in England and Wales… more thought needed first I think!

We walked along past the Calves and into the Yard area, weher Dad spotted some areas of hardstanding at the top end by the banked wall.  This might end up being a good area for some camper vans to stay or a possible sighting for the Eco-loo block.  We walked on towards the Holding field which is a small hedged area between the two big fields of ours.  Currently it has a load of wormery compost in it, as our neighbour told us.  he had put it there when he rented areas from the previous owner and had asked to remove some of it for his wife’s borders!  We wandered on into the Big field, past the large stone trough and along the top hedge which seems recently layed.  our sheep tenants and their lambs were all safely in the small field, so given that we had Sookie with us we closed the gate, keeping them in and Sookie out!  Although Sookie is of a very nervous disposition and would go within many feet of our wooly tenants!

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You can see evidence of the wooly tenants all round the fields in the bits wool everywhere!  We have a wealth of Blackthorn in the hedgerows and violets in all the banks.  Of the standard trees in the layed hedgerows we have one silver birch in the boundary between big field and small field and several others, although it is a wee bit early to tell what they all are properly, as spring in later up here due to the altitude!

There is plenty of work to do in Big Field for the boundaries, half of the one banked hedge line needs restocking with trees and an area in the border between big and small field needs to be rebanked and reinforced for stock proofing.

But can you see the old stone workings in the banking…. Oh Yes and all the ironwork lolling about the place!! There is a LOT of that, so we will need to slowly collect it all up, use what we can and move the rest into the barns over time, so we can decide what to do with it! Maybe some can be used to fill some fencing gaps….