Sunday 19 July 2020

May To July

How did that happen suddenly it’s July, although I will admit things have been a tad busy here as always.
Every time I think I must write a new post my time gets snatched away with something else.
It seems most people during lockdown have had lots of time on there hands it hasn’t happened like that for us, in fact lockdown hasn’t really changed anything apart from not going out to do craft fairs, on that subject I am thinking I won’t be returning to the craft fairs and if I do it might just be a couple of big events next year.
I have started setting up an online shop we’re I have been selling lots of my makes, still more to list.
We have been doing all the usual stuff Shearing Alpacas and sheep has been done, Buffalo have calved, ducks have been hatched, pigs being raised for the freezer, new goat kids, started milking again.
Poly tunnels have been busy.
Something new we have been trying is drying buffalo dung pats to use on the fire during winter

We gather up and lay them out courgated sheeting to dry, once dry they are very light weight no smell and burn really well giving off a good heat, the idea came from Martins trips to Nepal Up in the mountains, were they dry Yak dung for cooking and heating As there isn’t a supply of wood readily available.
We have also been trying out a home made log kiln.

The frame is built from scaffold tubes as we have access to those,  it has metal sheeting painted black on the roof, sloping south, we have used heras fence panels for the sides and front, the logs are all stacked in from the back and raised off the ground on a wire floor.
Air circulation is important this set up helps season the wood quicker reducing the moisture content, now instead of waiting a year or more until its ready to burn we can have logs cut during the year ready for winter, Martin checks the moisture content with a probe thingy and when the logs are ready they are moved to the log store. The whole set us has worked really well for us.
Something else we are trying 

Making our own mini silage bales , areas of grass we cut and scythe we bag up all the cuttings into black sacks and wrap them with silage wrap, we hope this winter this will help supplement animal feed.
Back in April /May I had a clear out of flower seeds mixed them up together and scattered them along a section of the field I use to grow animal feed 

There is a good mix of poppies corn flower larkspur and lots of other all now flowering, they will be left to self seed and I hope we will have a nice wild section for years to come. 
Martin has back in hospital for what we hope is the final operation on his shoulder, he has been battling with a constant infection since his first operation back in December, they have now removed a foreign object and we hope things now just move on and we can put all this behind us. He has been very poorly with it all and it has made things difficult here at times.
We have some big changes afoot here, I will post more on them at a later date when things are in place, but I can say we have decided the sheep are to go we are up to a flock of 26 we are selling off the ewes and will just keep this years lamb rams for the freezer and will just get in a couple of bottle lambs to raise each year. 
Lots going on lots of changes here at Stickle Tarn.


  1. Dawn how are your labradors nice to hear from you enjoy your blog very much.Rose

  2. Thanks for update Dawn! Lots of people, I think, will be finding other methods than craft fairs int the future.

    Buffalo dung was used by the Native Americans here for fires as well - glad to hear it worked out!

  3. Nice to hear from you Dawn. Love that wild flower meadow.

  4. Looking forward to hearing about the updates. Hope Martin's shoulder heals properly this time.

  5. Lots of interesting new things going on at your place. Always fun to read about. I hope Martin's operation goes well. Struggling with ongoing problems is discouraging, so I hope it's upward toward recovery.

  6. Nice to have an update. Hope Martin recovers soon, and good to see that you are still going onward with the farm. Sadly, due to Brexit and other things, we have had to leave our farm in France and are now living in Shropshire. Going forward to the next chapter in our lives, whatever that may be. Vx


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