Shelley’s blog 😀

Saturday

What a lovely sunny morning it is to welcome me to Friesland farm!

So first things first, don my work clothes and jump into the bosses wellies, and my goodness what big boots I have to fill this week, let’s hope I am up to the task?

The very first job is to feed, water and let out all the animals, ducks, geese, chickens, quail, rabbits, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, the list goes on….making sure they all have plenty of water as today is set to be hot hot hot. After the animals have all been fed, back inside to feed ourselves 🙂 very thankful to my dad for making me a bacon sandwich and a cuppa! Back outside to water the pollytunnel and all the veg/plants before it gets to hot!

On to check the egg shed is topped up as the customers are coming thick and fast today, nearly sold out of all the eggs, broad beans and artichoke!
Whilst josh slept in his pushchair under the tree I picked broad beans and strawberries and very much enjoyed shelling the broadbeans sitting in the sunshine with nothing but the birds song for company and a little bunny scampering across the field. Once josh had woke up we went inside to take cover from the midday sun. You quickly learn a lot here and 2 things I have learnt already are 1. Do not leave the quail eggs on the counter where your toodler can reach, said eggs are now all smashed and on the floor and 2. Don’t leave broad beans in a basket on floor as if you turn your back for 2 seconds there will be rather a lot of bite marks in them lol.
Lunch was of course a broad bean affair with mint from the garden, lemon and tomatoes, popped on top of a piece of fresh bread with garlic and olive oil, delicious, even if I do say so myself. After lunch all the animals got checked for water and general wellbeing, my son is obsessed with horses so trying to drag him away from them is difficult.


Once the sun started setting I watered all the veg/plants and pollytunnels, it’s only when you start looking properly at someone else’s garden do you realise the shear hard work they put in, the amount of veg and plants that have been planted is massive and the upkeep must be tiring for mum.

Unfortunately I think I may of overdid everything in the sun today as had what I think may of been heatstroke, was very poorly in the night and despite wearing Pyjamas, a blanket and a duvet, I was shivering!
Sunday

Still unwell this morning, so my kind husband did the rounds with Josh.

As you know today has been so hot, so apart from looking after the animals we have not been out in the sun, although me and Josh did take Daddy to the pub for a cold beer to celebrate Father’s Day!
The egg sales have been very slow today, I am guessing maybe it’s to hot for people to venture out or perhaps everyone is in the pub garden!
As the sun started to set I really cracked on with the jobs, I think if this weather keeps up it’s the only way I will manage, I believe this is what mum does too 🙂 so tonight I gave everything a good watering, picked broad beans, strawberries and raspberries, blanched the veg and froze it and Josh ate all the raspberries as they are his favourite! I have also been tending to the broccoli, wiping away the eggs from the leaves and squashing the caterpillars so they don’t eat them, one of mine and Josh’s favourite books is the very hungry caterpillar, funny how quickly you can go off things!
Monday
Another hot day in store today, 29 degrees at 10am!
At 7am when me and Josh did the rounds we saw Vicky taking the horses to the stables, she said it was too hot for them to stay out today so that was why, Jack however has a field shelter so he will be fine, although normally I am terrified of horses I have been getting better what with feeding and giving water to jack and I am proud to say this morning I went in his field, rather than hanging the hose over the fence! Although my husband, martin is still on poo picking duty as that’s a bit to much time in the field for me!
I am sad to say that on my rounds today I encountered 2 deaths, one was a poorly chicken which had curled up in the shade and passed (mum had warned me that he was unwell) and the other was a small wild bird that had drowned in the water bucket, I laid the small bird to rest under a tree as martin got rid of the chicken.
I tried my best to water as much as I could early this morning and also tidied up round the greenhouse whilst josh slept under the tree.
Again it was too hot to manage anything this afternoon, so I cleaned up inside and then we took to the shade and the paddling pool in the afternoon.
This evening I picked lots of strawberries, watered and weeded as much as I could in the veg patch. When undertaking all the tasks today the same thought kept popping onto my mind and that was, how on earth does my mum do this everyday? Granted it’s not normally this hot, but throw in keeping the house in order, having 3 children (who are always calling in) 2 very active grandchildren, Lupus and the daily activities on a normal life, I just don’t know how she keeps up! Also did I mention she bakes homemade bread every other day and is a good 20 years older than me! I know my dad works extremely hard too everyday so just don’t know how they manage!
Tuesday
So this morning I had a mini brainwave…normally whilst doing the morning rounds I start with the ducks and end up with the chickens, the whole process takes around an hour and by the end it is very hot a Josh is getting cranky and hungry for his breakfast, so today I started with the chickens and the geese as they are the biggest job, this way it was nice and cool for Josh and for me scraping the floor and we ended with the horse (this made josh very happy as he loves the horse)
After breakfast we went out to water everything whilst it was still cool enough and had a general tidy up.
For lunch my friend Heather popped round (she is expecting her first baby in a matter of weeks so it was exciting to have a catch up and have a bit of a break) I picked mounge tout, radish and lettuce from the garden and we had it with homemade mackerel pate, a very refreshing dish on a hot day.
When she had left Josh splashed around in the paddling pool whilst I watered some more plants that were in the shade.
In the evening the hard work began, I have clipped back all the trees by the front door to let in some much needed light (a job my mum doesn’t enjoy as it makes her hands ache the next day) it’s no mean feet either, all in all it took around 3 hours! More tidying up, weeding and watering and sorted out all the eggs for the shed. Egg sales have been slow this week, I believe due to the weather, you really don’t want to be going out in the car unless you have to.
I really feel like I am getting into the swing of things now and trying to concentrate on one area a day, so that if I don’t get so much time for that area the next day I don’t feel so guilty.
I have also come up with a little invention today, for anyone that has to fill big buckets of water up, you will know how irritating it is when the hose falls out, you come back from doing another job and see a flooded floor 😦 so I figure some type of magnet device to hold it in place would work wonders….maybe I will save that one for my next adventure.
Tonight is the first night we have sat down on the sofa of an evening, although it is 10.30pm and bed will soon be calling lol
Wednesday
Did the animals in the same fashion as yesterday this morning and again it worked wonders, this morning paying particular attention to the floor in the chicken coop as it is getting messy (although done everyday) I picked some broad beans, and artichoke this morning and Josh munched his way through the basket I was collecting (although if that’s the way to get your child to eat veg without a fuss, I say crack on)
Although today was supposed to be the hottest day so far, it didn’t seem it this morning, after doing the rounds and putting josh down for a nap, I decided to make a curry with mounge tout as the main star! (I know I must be mad) 
After lunch we cleaned out the ducks and when i say ‘we’ I mean Josh watched whilst I worked up a sweat in the midday sun, I scraped every inch of their hut as I am mindful of maggots with the weather! After cleaning out the ducks we went on a wander to check the rabbits and quail were doing ok, they are kept in the orchard and at the moment the only animals there (normally home to chickens) there are a few empty huts, I was checking the quail and Josh had gone quiet (any person who has had or had a toddler will know that this means trouble) well I nearly keeled over laughing when I spot 2 little legs dangling out of a hut! As soon as he knew he had been caught he jumped down with the biggest grin on his face, it did make me chuckle.
This evening I spent a good few hours in the veg garden, picking, weeding and watering! I don’t think i have mentioned but my husband is building a pirate ship playhouse for the kids, so that’s what he has been doing each evening on his return home from work! 
Tomorrow is suppose to thunder and rain and although I may sound like a party pooper, I hope it does, they veg need it so bad and a clear air will do us all good!
Thursday
Today was house tidy day before Mum and Dad get home, stripping the beds ect ect.
We also had a walk round of the farm, tidying up as we went, sweeping, collecting rubbish, raking up leaves ect ect.
This evening, we enjoyed poached duck eggs on toast for dinner and they were absolutely delicious, egg sales have also picked up again so I am pleased with that, must of been the weather lol.
It was a much cooler evening this evening so a bit easier to get on with all the watering and picking, picked another great big basket of veg (its growing like mad) bagged some up for the shed and put some in the fridge for mum and dads return.
Anyway my time is nearly up now and I have to say we have had a fantastic time looking after the farm, I’m brown, I have worked hard and I feel proud to have got everything done (although I am sure I have missed something)
Frieslands Farm, it has been a pleasure – until next time 🙂  
All I will add to that is a huge thank you to Shelley, Martin and Josh for looking after everything, it’s a massive commitment and they have done an excellent job, I know the place is in safe and capable hands when I go away and that makes all the difference to relaxing and enjoying my time off 😀 😘😘

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