It is now two years since I began blogging, mostly for my own sanity and partly to share the ups and downs of farm life with anyone who cares to read it, we have had new life, and deaths, good times and bad times, busy times and relaxing times, good harvests and rubbish ones, cold Winters, wet Winters and one dry Winter, the one thing I cant write is that we have had a glorious Summer, it just has not happened and so far this year is proving no exception to the rule!
We had a great weekend here on the farm as Hubby had his 50th Birthday Bash, we set up party tents and bbq gazebo’s, used hay bales for sitting on, plenty of drink, plenty of food and a great band, luckily the weather held and it did not rain, however it was not the hot sunny day that had been forecast either. It was sunny enough although a tad windy and the temperature soon dropped at night, we lit the fire pits to keep us warm so all in all a great day.
This morning I was hoping it would be warmer but still the air temperature is lacking and it is showing in the veg garden, everything is struggling to put on any growth, there are some signs but the veg that needs a longer growing period may not have a harvest this year if it does not warm up a little bit more. The poly tunnel is producing though so that is a bonus, this morning I have picked a big bowl of strawberries and the broad bean pods are beginning to form, the potatoes are flowering and the carrots have some good top growth though the roots have yet to reach any decent size. Last week we planted some cucumbers and peppers in there, they have established now and will put on some growth quite quickly.
We have plenty of grass growth in the paddocks and the sheep are munching away merrily, unfortunately, Frank has the scours from the rich grass and so his back end is very mucky, I don’t want him to end up the same way as Betty and so have been washing him down every other day and spraying his back end to prevent fly strike. the other lambs are doing well and are all clean thank goodness otherwise it would take me ages!
The new hens have settled in well although not producing any eggs yet, they should not be far away though, egg sales are manic at the moment and we are selling as fast as they can all lay! The next project is to move the laying flock from the back paddocks into the front and collate all the layers in one area rather than spread round in various pens. This will be much easier for me as it will only mean one lot of feeding, watering and cleaning out, at the moment they are in eight different areas and it takes up a good amount of time to sort them all out. The surplus cockerels will end up in the freezer to either feed us or the dogs depending on their weights, they have had a good run but we have too many of them now. The White Orpington, in with the Black and Splash orps, is sitting on eggs and I hope her hatch is more successful than the Gold Laced. I cant decide whether to keep my little flock of pure breeds just to keep breeding or to give them up, they are not very productive as far as eggs are concerned as they are always going broody, but I like the look of them and it is nice to have a pretty little hobby flock though it increases the work load.
I have decided to hatch some ducklings, the group I have at the moment are coming up for three years old and although still laying well, by next year the egg numbers will have dwindled. I have one drake left after selling the other two on, and so now seems like a good time to refresh the stock. As soon as I can find a space to put the incubator I will set around sixteen eggs and see what we get. I was hoping that the ducks would hatch some out themselves but over the years they have never even tried, either the conditions are not right for them or they are having way to good a time to bother with offspring! I have not had a batch of duckling for around four years so it will be a lovely change and they are so very cute 🙂
The wild birds are busy with nests and hatchings all over the farm, if I can manage to get any photos of the fledglings I will certainly put them on here. We are watching the nest box on the front closely, we can hear the Great Tit chicks making a racket all day waiting for their parents to bring them food, the poor parents never stop flying in and out with grubs etc, I have no idea how many are in there but they are definitely high maintenance. We need to keep an eye out for when they start fledging as we intend to keep the dogs away, the poor little things do not last long when they can barely fly and the dog thinks it is a great game, the dog is the winner every time 😦
Have a great week and I hope the Sun shines for you wherever you are 🙂