Another lovely Monday morning :)

It makes such a difference to the start of the week when you wake up to sunshines doesn’t it. Unlike most of the country I actually like Mondays, after what is usually a hectic weekend, it’s nice to get back to routine and quiet!

This weekend has been a busy one and a long one as Hubby had the Friday off from his usual plumbing work, we are still clearing rubbish, the scrap man came on Friday to take away all the bits of metal that have accumulated, we took bags of clothes to the charity shop and also to the textiles and shoe bins, gradually we are clearing everything we don’t want or need anymore.

I am continuing the preparation process and the stable has been cleaned, disinfected and made ready for the event of lambing, I have set up two separate pens in the stable as the ewes will need to have their own stalls so they don’t worry each other. I took a quick look at their nether regions which have gone pink and puffy, I am told that is a good sign, we counted exactly 151 days from a week after they went in with the Tup and the date comes out at 1st April lol I hope it’s not a joke!
I have also rung the farm where we usually get our store lambs from and ordered seven, day olds, they usually lamb at the beginning of April too so we should get a call then to say they are ready to be picked up, it will then be a very busy and tiring six weeks while they are bottle fed four times a day!

We have also discussed this weekend, and more importantly agreed, about where the pig sty should be sited and how it will be constructed, we also decided that we would have two sets of pigs, one in the Spring (although not this spring) then rest the pen for the two hottest months of the year and then have two more to take us through to the end of October when the produce from the garden will feed them and of course any apples that are not quite up to scratch will be great for them to finish on as well.

On Sunday, I had a day off from the farm and went to the NEC to the wedding fair, it was a bit like going to a cattle market to be honest lol. While we were away, Hubby and our eldest daughters boyfriend, did some muck spreading on one of the paddocks. This paddock is normally just full of plantain, not a blade of grass in site, so we have set down a plan to rejuvenate it, first it is fertilised with the muck and dragged to get an even spread, the next step would normally be to seed it and then spray it to get rid of the weeds once the grass was established. We are going to do it the other way round though as the weedkiller used for the first process is very toxic and any muck to come off that field in future years cannot be used to put on the garden, so we will use a gentler, systemic weedkiller, that will be sprayed on the whole field to kill everything off and then seed it. I was not comfortable using a weedkiller that was so destructive, goodness knows what it would do to the horses having to eat grass that had any residue left in it, never mind what would happen to any wildlife. The way I have chosen may not be conventional but certainly safer for all concerned including the sprayer!

I have managed to do a bit of gardening this week although not on the veg patch, we have a ‘lawn’ to the left hand side of the building, but over the last couple of years the rabbits have lived on it and dug holes all over it. Now the rabbits have gone I set about bringing it back to something more than a dirt patch with holes. I raked it over to get out any thatch, then filled in the holes with earth and raked it level again, I also cut back some of the conifers that were beginning to grow out too far and now that little area is all ready for spring, one less job to do later on when the work load begins to increase. I still have plenty more of these areas to sort out, one of the bigger areas is the driveway, I noticed a far amount of litter trapped in the hawthorn hedge which needs picking up and the grass verge has crept further and further onto the driveway over the Winter so that needs chopping back while the ground is still soft enough. I have bulbs that were supposed to go in at the end of last Autumn but never got round to planting them, it’s not too late they will still grow although probably won’t produce any flowers this year. A tray of primroses are also waiting for their time to flower and they will need to go in fairly soon as well. Luckily we are forecast a few more days of nice weather and then rain at the end of the week, but generally speaking it can only get better now, can’t it?

We still have not managed to catch the fox, although I have not actually seen him for a few days so perhaps someone else in the vicinity has had better luck although I won’t let my guard down. The chickens are all still on lockdown and we have sorted them back into the correct runs, I don’t like not letting them out but it is for their own good, plus it does make life a whole lot easier. They will all be moving in the Spring as we are swapping them into different paddocks as soon as the grass begins to get thicker, they will be out in the front paddocks where I can keep a better eye on them. We are also going to move them out of the orchard and give the ground in there a rest for a year or two. All ground needs a rest from having the same species grazing on it all the time, it’s the same as vegetable gardening really, if you leave something on the same ground you run the risk of a build up of pests and disease so it’s good management to give the areas a change and a rest. I wonder if that would work with Humans too, we should all be given a good rest from work now and again, about 6 months should do it, I will begin a petition to send to 10 Downing Street, you never know, if you don’t ask you don’t get 😉

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