Sunday 22 July 2018

One Man Went To Mow

This is the song that I have been singing just lately
 I went on a Scything training course well worth the £60 it cost
I learnt all about the parts of the scythe the different blades, how to set it up for me, how to sharpen it and how to preen the blade with a jig, and of course how to use it, at the end of the day there was the option to buy the scythe we had set up for ourselves for a reduced price, I bought mine and love it. This is were I went on the course Scythe Cymru
When I got home I headed up into the woodland field and started put my new skill to the test
 the grass was falling beautifully, next morning I was out again and cut another two rows, I have to be careful not to chop down any of the baby trees, 
 once the grass had been turned with my new hay rake I could gather it up and put it into store as hay, the goats are loving it 
The weather has been so dry nothing is growing and there is very little for the goats to eat, the hay rack is filled every day for them  and they clear it every day, along with brambles and branches.
Keeping everyone fed and watered is taking up most of the time at the moment.
We had a go at making some bales of hay with the bits of equipment we bought, it was a steep learning curve and thank goodness for you tube,  this was our first bale of hay, not the most perfect but we are proud of it.
We bailed the field and the bales have been put into the barn until needed, in the meantime we are just trying to feed loose stuff.

Tuesday 10 July 2018

A Bit Of Spending

To run a smallholding you need to spend money and if you want to do it on a shoestring you need an army of volunteer helpers.
We dont have the army of people, we get visitors but then they are here on holiday so 99% of the work falls to me and Martin.
We dont mind after all  this is our lifestyle choice.
Here are some recent purchases
 We got a baler old but working it will do us fine, I have managed to download a manual off the internet.
 This is a windrow, it puts all the dry cut grass in a row for the baler to along and pick up.
 This is a tedder it tosses and turns the cut grass to help it dry ready for baling
 a crane that works off the tractor its surprising how many times we need to lift really heavy things and if there is just you two oldies it can be a struggle.
 A field roller we were looking for one earlier this year to flatten the ruts in the ground were the buffalo had been grazing and couldnt find one, then when Martin went to see the baler the fella also had a field roller, good result.
 Cattle crush, we have had to buy this in new as we needed an extra wide one for the buffalo to get in even extra wide is going to be a squeeze for them, but vets dont like to treat or do TB testing on them without the restrains of a crush, one swing of those horned heads could cause some damage. 
I dont blame the vets one bit, animals are unpredictable and sick or injured animals are even worse. 
So its been a few weeks of spending but its all needed
Martin has been out since early this morning before the sun breaks through and heats things up, cutting the field we to take hay off.


Wednesday 4 July 2018

Garden Visit

I forgot to post June plant of the month
Well here it is 
 Saxifraga Stolnifera Maroon Beauty.
 Another plant for the shady corner
 With lots of new baby plantlets growing.
Here are the details Saxifraga 
Parts of the garden are struggling with the heat and lack of rain,
but some parts are blooming 
 The shady corner is doing well
 I love this Clematis and the plants growing over the edges of the steps leading down to the cabin
 This poor border is in desperate need of rain, I think it has been 7 weeks now since we had any.
 This rambling rose was here when we moved in, a lovely splash of colour in an otherwise dull corner.
The baskets are blooming well and the window boxes are just starting.

There has been a couple of new additions to the garden
here are a couple of videos to show them.

and another