This morning I am busy hatching a plan, now when Hubby says ‘I have a plan’ I usually groan and in return if I say I have a plan it’s usually ‘no’ because it involves keeping larger animals over winter. If I am honest Hubby is right, it’s easy to think how wonderful it would be while the sun is shinning but the reality in winter is harsh. Having said that, I am still hatching a plan! We usually buy in wearers and rear them on a combination of feed and produce, then they go off to slaughter when the time is right. This works well for us with the larger breed of pig because a) they get BIG, plenty of pork b) they go off to slaughter and job done. However this never gives us the chance to hone our husbandry techniques so my plan is to consider and discuss (note the diplomacy) a smaller breed of pig, Kune Kune, I have always disregarded them in the past because they are much smaller and I figured if you are going to rear pork, might as well fill up the freezer with it, but smaller has it’s advantages too. They are easier to handle and they do not root anywhere nearly as voraciously as bigger breeds, making them ideal to put into small areas that need clearing, granted it would still be quite hard work keeping them over winter but if we could breed from them once a year (PIGLETS :)))))) ) that would add money to the coffers and pork in the freezer. I have been doing a bit of research and ideally I would like to find someone who has some for sale and who is also willing to answer my questions and offer guidance if needs be. This is my plan, watch this space to see how well it is received and if it is a goer 😉
The rest of the farm is as ever ticking over gently, we have now sold nearly all of the point of lay hens that we bought in spring, I am hoping to hold on to about fifteen of them as new laying stock. The meat birds are getting to oven ready size and so it won’t be long before we start dispatching those. The ducks and geese are pretty much full size now, they are in the adolescent stage, I am waiting for Hubby to finish some DIY before he can build a new duck house, there is not enough room in the one we have for all the ducks, the younger ducks will then move in with the older ones and the geese can move to the paddock the young ducks are in at the moment. For now the geese at at the side of the house on what was a lawn lol, they are getting too big for the area so I hope Hubby hurries up.
The veg garden is still slow and I have noticed that the sweet corn which usually grows to about six foot has got to only three foot and start growing cobs, this year is definitely a challenge. I won’t be defeated however and I have planted some brassicas In the poly tunnel along with another aubergine plant. I have also decided to seed more cucumbers and peas, nothing ventured, nothing gained so might as well try and see how they get on.
I found a snake this week, it was dead luckily for me, not so lucky for it! It had got caught in the netting that came off the strawberry plants, I identified it as a grass snake (phew) but it was only a baby and so Mum and Dad must be around somewhere, probably in the compost heap, I will be keeping my eyes peeled when I turn it. The fox has not been giving us any trouble lately, given up for the time being but no doubt it will be back at a later date. We had a real treat coming home one evening, driving down the lane, we had almost got to the drive and we saw the little owl sat on the fence post right next to the road, omg it is so cute a teeny tiny owl, I have heard it’s call for five years, and seen it at dusk on the wing but never seen it sat still and so close, fabulous.
We have had some extra help on the farm this week (besides my Mum, who is an absolute treasure on the veg garden) it will be a regular thing, it makes such a difference, jobs I normally walk past thinking, that needs doing, and never getting round to it, will hopefully finally get sorted. Payment is made by way of produce which is brilliant for both parties I reckon and a way of life I could definitely live with 🙂
Baby grass snake