Wednesday 29 June 2016

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow

Well so they say, although we have had a few heavy down pours the past few days once it passes over the sun has popped out to say hello, This evening has been ok, I have just been out to water the poly tunnels and have a quick look around the veg beds.
 The garlic is fantastic
 I am looking forward to harvesting it, I grew it from some of our saved garlic from last year.
 The peas that were started in the guttering are romping away with lots of pods, another week and we should be picking them
 Plenty of nice heads forming on the globe artichokes, they are now big enough to start eating.
 Behind them the Jerusalem Artichokes a lovely late season vegetable.
 The parsnips are growing in one of the pallet collar beds outside the 1st poly tunnel.
 My son has put together the beds outside the 2nd poly tunnel they are now ready for planting, I might get started on it tomorrow if the weather holds.
 Onions these were planted in the Autumn
 These were planted in the spring,
 My £1 clematis I bought last year has really come on well
 My first lily to flower this year, adds a lovely splash of orange, most of the flowering plants in the garden this time of year seem to be purples and pinks, I will have to rectify that.

Lets hope the rain holds off tomorrow, 

Monday 27 June 2016

Patches Potatoes Runners and Odd Jobs

It was a wet day yesterday, from lunchtime onward it was just heavy drizzle, 
In the morning I did get the chicken house all cleaned out and the goat house,
although there was lots of eager helpers with the goat house.
 Billy No1 was trying his best to remove my clothes
While little Helen and Billy No2 were trying to push the wheelbarrow for me
Eventual I got the job done and remained unscathed
I moved on to the strawberry patch and finally  got the straw down around the plants, they are all newly planted out this spring and were the runners off last years, so late getting started, while doing the straw I removed runners, then the rain came down so I moved into the poly tunnel
 The small bed of strawberries that were left over plants had all there runners removed, next year I will choose runners from plants to propagate on, I haven't bothered putting straw around these, I have had a few pickings of strawberries not vast amounts and in the main bed there is lots of fruit coming on.
A break for lunch and I got a repair done on my wellie, a small split was giving me a annoying wet spot on my foot. Now I will get a few more months wear from them.
The afternoon the drizzle didn't let up, I was in the poly tunnel again, I have taken up the last of the early early potatoes, 
That small bed of potatoes that was planted at the start of the year from some of our own home raised potatoes has been very production, we have been harvesting them for meals ever since ours finished, so we haven't had to buy in potatoes at all, the second bed should be ready to start harvesting as we get to end of these then there is three more succession planted beds of potatoes, at the end of summer I will plant up more for a Christmas harvest.
I also pulled out the peas from the poly tunnel, they have come to there end, again we have had fresh peas for several meals and some have gone in the freezer, the outside peas are now filling there pods and will be ready to start harvesting soon.
I missed a few pods when I had been picking, these I am leaving to dry out then will sow these in the autumn, there is only a few enough for a short row in the poly tunnel.
My son is here for the week and has been helping out with lots of jobs, today he got the bunk beds up for me
These beds have already done the rounds and provided sleeping areas for two sets of grandchildren, when they were being re-homed I asked for them, now in the front spare room, I will give them a new lick of paint this week, I have ordered some new mattresses, they have given extra sleeping areas for visitors.
Now the Alpacas are sheared and they have been moved to there rotation paddocks the barn is now vacant Martin has been able to make a start on his workshop
There is a deep area to fill in to make the floor level, 
where the shuttering is a wall will be built the next bay will be our log store, once this area is filled with hardcore Martin will get a concrete floor down.
Today should be dry we might even get down to the beach later.
The rest of the week is damp again although we haven't had the rain like they have on the east side of the country.
Hope you all manage to stay dry.




Friday 24 June 2016

Haircut Time

Today was a big day in our calendar, 
Shearing day for the Alpacas.
West Wales Shearers  was who we used this year and will be using them again. Very impressed.
 They used a tilt table method that was set up on a trailer bed
 Imogen was first up, led out of the pen walked along the platform table and straps are put in place to hold her secure
 The platform is then tilted on to the trailer
 Feet are restrained, so no one gets injured by kicking hooves
 Once in place and secure the body straps are removed
 and shearing can start
 As work progresses the alpaca shrinks in size
 turned over so the other side can be done
 Then a dental check
 a bit of filing to keep those gnashes in check
 The onlookers know it will soon be there turn
 Odd job was up next
 Then our little Kara her first time being sheared
 and there wasn't much left of her after, she was just a big bundle of fluff.
 Kara hung about while the rest were done, showing off her pom pom tail
 Nick Nack was last
 All done now a lot more comfortable and cooler they soon went about there Alpaca business of the day
 That's it for another year, they did a bit of hoof trimming and a body score which is always easier when they are naked, all in tip top condition, very happy about that its always a concern.
Now have 12 sacks of fleece to process and spin, if anyone is interested in raw alpaca fleece I am happy to sell some.
The alpacas were very well behaved and the shearers complimented us on how behaved they were.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Down The Drain It Goes

Its such a shame to be throwing the goats milk down the drain
For five days we have to withdraw the milk and throw it away,
 why ?
The goats were wormed on Monday and there follows a five day milk withdrawal period, its classed as unfit for consumption because the medication can be passed over in there milk, 
I am not taking chances and will follow the vets advice.
Never mind two days to go then we are on to using the milk again.
Lucky I have plenty of there milk in the freezer, just taken some out this morning to defrost ready for tomorrow and Saturday.
In the goat house I get a chance to watch these little cuties develop and grow
The Swallows set up home in the corner of the goat house we have seen it grow from a few lumps of clay watched mama bird sit on her eggs 
and little bundles of fluff emerge to a new generation,
I do enjoy watching the swallows catching there food on the wing, although there is not as many about this year.
Talking of nests 
 In the dovecot in one pop hole is three eggs they are not being sat on though so we will take them away
 In another this dove is sitting sometimes on the egg sometimes not, and has built a sort of nest, they are only young birds so I don't think they have got the hang of it yet.
This is were they tend to hang about, from what I was reading, the males sit on the eggs during the day and the female at night, when they hatch young they feed them a milk that they regurgitate the milk then becomes more solid as the chick grows and contains seeds, until it can handle solid food.
I don't think I will be incubating eggs, too much involved let the birds get on with it.
Now there is more on incubation, next door had a fox attack the other night several were taken along with a broody that was sitting on eggs, neighbour brought the eggs to me to pop in the incubator, we don't know if they will make it, there was four in total.
One of mine has gone broody I have popped two of the eggs under her and two in the incubator, she is still sitting tight so I am going to pop the other two under her, if the developing chicks have survived they are due to hatch on the 6th or there abouts. 
I am hoping a couple of them will make it we will have to see.
 tomorrow is now shearing day we don't have rain on the horizon so I hope it all goes ahead, lots of shearing photos to post tomorrow.
No Imogen is not stuck a whole field of lovely grass and she want the scruffy bits growing on the driveway.
Off to vote now thinking of staying up for the count, this is the one vote I am really interested in and fairly excited about.





Monday 20 June 2016

Plants With Attitude

The other day at the Game Fair I happened up this plant
 Looks like a tomato and produces tomato like fruits
 With its own built in protection
Yes its covered in thorns 

 This is what it is,
Here is some more info on it 
I can never resist something unusual, so I bought one.
It can be grown out doors, but mine is staying in the poly tunnel.
When chatting to the young man selling them he recognised me, that threw me a bit.
He then went on to say he was the person who had the greenhouse off us, nice young man and he was looking at setting up an edible plant nursery. I had promised him some Oca this year when I harvest.
Here it is 
Not too far and i am planning to pay a visit very soon, I am all for supporting local business and to see a young man so enthusiastic about plants and growing food to eat is like a breath of fresh air, his parents run a winery and his little business is tag on to it.
I do hope it grows and continues, he is in his first year.
Today the Alpacas were due to be sheared but rain threw a spanner in the works and it means they are wet wet wet and wont be sheared today, they are booked again for Friday.
Right off to do something not sure what but I am sure I will find something to do.