Summers here!

Lovely time of the year with everything growing really well in the polycrub – we’re eating salad, beets, carrots, courgettes, beans, tatties, beans, herbs and fruit. Waiting for the toms to ripen and the squash of course. 

 

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The new season garlic harvest.

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Once harvested we need to air dry to cure each bulb for storage through the winter.

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Heidi and Jasmine with their lovely kids Eva and Tilly enjoying the lovely summer sunshine.

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This is what I’m making with their milk. Vanilla ice cream and meringues and

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Soft cheese which I’ve flavoured with toasted fennel seed and lemon rind then rolled in cracked black pepper. Delicious!

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New ideas

Its been so busy here on the ol’ Creative Croft, tending to all the flora and fauna we’ve hardly had time to think. I did manage to get in a little bit of experimentation which I think has worked well and I’m looking forward to developing the whole felt direction.

Some new scarf pins and brooches.

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New Additions

After a reasonably successful lambing following the disappearance of our ram Romeo, who only stayed with our ewes for two weeks only 3 of our ewes were lambless if that’s a word, so not quite the disaster we first thought.

Then a few days ago we had two more surprises (although expected), after our maiden goats Heidi and Jasmine produced two gorgeous doelings.

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The girl on my left, little Tully, is a day older than little Eva on my right. Little Tully gave us a bit of a scare as she was overdue and large although quite weak and didn’t really want to feed. So after the vet came the next day we were feeding her every two hours with her mother’s milk, she had some shots too and yesterday she (thankfully) decided that she prefers to drink straight from her Ma, thank you very much!

They’ve all been outside for a few minutes only, the mum’s seeming quite nervous to  be out with them.

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Lambing all done

That’s lambing all done for this year, 8 out of 11 ewes lambed giving us a total of 12 lambs. Not a commercial amount but enough to maintain the flock and keep the freezers full! 

They’re a fairly eclectic bunch, a nice mix of colours  – white, moorit, grey, fawn, black – and patterns – katmoget, bleset, kranset, blaget, krunet (for explanation of types see the following link: http://www.shetland-sheep.org.uk)

Here are some pictures of the lambs

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Fair Isle with a twist

I’ve been busy developing a new pattern in polymer clay which I’m quite excited about. Its my contribution to the wealth of Fair Isle patterns that abound these days.WP_20170501_003

All ready and waiting to be made into pendants and matching earrings.

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First lamb of the season

We have a new addition to the croft – the first lamb this year. Jane, one of our gimmers that we purchased last October from a neighbour, has given birth to a healthy white lamb.

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Thankfully she waited until a dry sunny day, albeit a bit chilly, before lambing. As it’s her first lamb we’ll keep a close eye on her but she seems to be a good attentive mother.

 

 

 

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Tatties planted 

Planted ml bulk of the tatties outside toz I’ll day. The bed had been manured last spring and then covered with weed I c km msuppressing fabric for a year so was in good condition for planting. I would ideally have rotorvated it but it was still a bit wet so planted the tatties anyway. Put in three varieties 

  • Red Duke of York – first early 
  • Maris Peer – second early 
  • Cara – maincrop 

All being well we should be eating them by the end of July. 

Tatties ready for planting

Once planted the whole bed was mulched with hay / straw / manure emptied out of the lamhus, which is now vacated by the hog lambs and needs to be ready for ewes with new born lambs who need a bit of tlc. 

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Winter’s back 

It’s the end of April but winter is not done with us yet. Day of wet snow which lay overnight, felt sorry for the sheep – not what they need with lambing just round the corner.  Brought the hog lambs back inside overnight and gave them all extra rations of concentrate. 

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Goat milking stand 

The goats are due to kid in mid June so we need to start preparations for milking. Decided to make a milking stand for them. It will also double up as a foot trimming stand as they need to be trimmed on a regular basis and are awkward to hold still.

Started off by downloading some plans from the Internet to get an idea of what to do, although I did end up amending them to suit what I had to work with. 

Wasn’t a bad day to do it on, dry and clear although a bit on the cold side. Got the wood and tools and started construction.

      

The finished article – not a bad effort, even though I say so myself!

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Busy weekend on the croft

Still bitterly cold but sunny this weekend, ground outside is till too wet to work so most of the work is still being done in the polycrub.

Latest batch of seeds have been sown in modules in the polycrub. 

  • Courgettes –  yellow, black and ambassador 
  • Butternut squash – Waltham 
  • Runner beans – our own seed and moonlight F1
  • Yellow French beans – roquencourt 

Also lifted over wintered rocket as it had got very bitter. 

Applied nematodes to the polycrub to kill the slugs 

Made ventilation slots above the doors in the polycrub to allow for some cooling on days when the sun shines but it is cold outside, much like this weekend. 

Moved the 4 hog lambs from Road Park to North Park and unless it is truly appalling night of weather they will stay outside

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