Apologies for the lateness of my weekly blog, I had a very busy day today painting the kitchen and reorganising my files in the office. It didn’t help that when we took the clock down to paint, the battery worked slightly loose and I didn’t realise that it had been half past three for at least an hour!! This put me well behind schedule with the animals to feed, the horses to do, the tea to cook and pop and get a bit of shopping 🙂
Well the weather has certainly changed and we are fast moving into the dreaded darker months of the year, time to assess what animals to keep and what to move on, one way or another. Most of the sheep will go this week, although for the first time ever we will be keeping two of them through the Winter, this will no doubt throw us some new challenges and give us a few stories to tell. As the temperature drops we start to feed the sheep and horses hay to keep their body temperature up overnight, it’s not just the price of food in the supermarket that has gone up, animal feed is creeping up too with the hay wheels going from £15 to £20 this year. Our friendly farmer is good to us though as I have heard reports of wheels costing up to £45 in other parts of the country. We are also able to bulk buy grain from the same farmer after he has sold his quota to the big boys, we had a ton of wheat last year and will have the same again this year plus a ton of barley, it saves us a fortune in animal feed and just about lasts untill next years harvest.
We have been trying to get the veg patch cleared and ready to put muck on, this will be left over Winter for the worms to do their job, ready for the new growing season in Spring. I have been harvesting the Pumpkin patch and have a good amount of all different shapes and sizes, those that are not used for Halloween will keep nicely for the chickens to eat over the next couple of months. I am not a squash fan myself but they grow very well here and are a useful feed for livestock. I am still harvesting a few small heads of broccoli and to my surprise the cauli stalks I left in the ground have started to throw out new tiny little cauliflower heads which I am very chuffed about. At least the caterpillars have all turned to chrysalis now and wont be munching away and ruining them. I ordered the new freezer which arrived on Friday so I can begin to freeze a few more ver and the rest of the cooking apples which are still raining down each time the wind blows.
This Winter will be a 100% improvement on last year, we have central heating, some insulation in the walls and a roof that does not let in the rain, it’s almost a 5* resort!! All in all I am kind of looking forward to the cold this year, at least when we come in it will be warm and dry, and I have bought some snow gear on E-bay so am ready for whatever the weather throws at us 🙂 The Spring and Summer are great but you do find yourself working from morning till bedtime, at least in the Winter we get our evenings back to relax and watch the rubbish on TV 😉
My eldest daughter has been away on holiday this week (lucky so and so) so I have had the added extra of feeding the horses in the morning, although a friend of hers has been coming in the evenings to feed, ride and clear the field of poo. Yesterday while out riding there was a bit of an incident and the horse went backwards over the wall down near the local pond, he came back with a few scrapes and is a bit sore today but he will be fine. She was supposed to be home by this evening, but text earlier to tell me that her flight had been delayed because of thunderstorms and she wont be flying until the morning, there was me thinking I was off the hook as far as the horses were concerned, lets hope she is not delayed any further or has not secretly booked two weeks and not told me!!