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We originally made a pledge to go out and learn something new about our local area or visit somewhere each month….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

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….

Back through the woods… The woodland part three

Once we had managed to make it down to the stream we had to climb all the way back up!!! However we found that the old coppice paths still were visible through the woodland and they, other than the occasional blockage allowed for us to clamber back up somewhat more easily!!! Well definitely more easily than I had slid down the slope!! So we have discovered another to do job for our list and that is reinstate all the old coppice paths, which will mean chainsawing a few fallen trees, reinstating some areas of eroded path, by hammering in poles to hold back the earth etc!!! 

On our way back we found balls of moss hanging in the trees…..



Some interesting lichens…



Bog plants towards the base of the slopes….



A lot of fallen branches, moss and some bluebell shots, which is good as the sheep in the big field have now moved out for a while so they won’t be munching away at them!!! Like last year!!



Some strange hairy mosses….

And areas where the dead could come out and allow for some natural regeneration!







Then we discovered the scarlet elf cups!!!! I have never seen these before and had only been introduced to them a week previous when a friend of mine had photographed them and put them on twitter!! But yes here they are in the flesh!!



Then we discovered or rediscovered the badger sett, which looks like it’s got residents in comparison to the last time!! Plus we have some scrape marks in the field!!



More elf cups and some general stills of the woodland ….







Ooo looks a fire pit on the other side of the river bank!!!! Slightly jealous feeling now!!! We have to get the paths to  the stream reinstated!!!



Then we found a bottle and bucket dump!!!! Lots of old bottles to be cleared up!!  This adds to the old cooker and some old metal work we found the first time we walked  through the woods last year!! 





So….. LOTS  of woodland work to be done!!!

But we should see some good results…. Reinstating the old paths, restarting the old coppice cycle, adding more woodland on the steeper field slopes, creating more wildlife habitats with piles of dead wood, nesting boxes for owls, bats and other birdlife, clearing up the rubbish left a generation ago, building a forest school….. And that’s only on the woodland segment we own behind the fields, we have yet to start on the woodland behind the second rough pasture and down to the mill at the bottom of the hill!!! We have probably only covered half of our nine acres of woodland thus far!!! Though some of the other parts get a bit steep, removing wood for our burners may only happen if we learn to abseil!!! And abseil whilst holding onto whole trees!!

The woodland part one!

James and I decided that the other weekend was a good time to start surveying the woodland.  So we togged up and off we went with paper, books and camera in hand!!! 





We went into the woodland from the furthest corner of big field….

And we worked our way down through the woodland a way noting hazel, and oak trees and an occasional ash.  We need to sort out our boundary line in the woodland as the old banked hedged section has fallen into disrepair and there is evidence that sheep have been going back and forth between us and our neighbour.  

We have some strangely knarled trees…





The second one looks like there is an old face in the nook!

And we have a lot of holes in the bank!!





Bunnies?

We have a glade area almost here which might service brilliantly as a forest school area for the the fire circle etc!!





There were some lovely fungi and some celandines and other ground flora starting to poke through too.





We mapped out this section of woodland carefully and then decided to slither and slide our way down to the stream which is our bottom boundary.