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Crofting

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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Crofting

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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Crofting

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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Crofting

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!

Categories
Crofting

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

Categories
Crofting

Easter chicks

We have the first births on the croft this year! The eggs that we put in the incubator three weeks ago have started to hatch, so far we have nine chicks.

Update – we have a total of twelve chicks hatched, ten of our own and two Rhode Island Reds out of six from eBay.  None of half dozen Light Sussex eggs, also from eBay,  hatched. 

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Crofting

Starting to look verdant 

Despite the bitterly cold wind outside the polycrub is taking on a predominantly green hue as opposed to brown earth. The seeds have mainly sprouted, tatties are showing through and the rocket is growing faster than we can eat it.

We had the first spring cabbage with our Sunday roast and very nice it was too. Lifted the remainder of the over wintering carrots from the rigs that were worth keeping – they’ve done really well, we’ve been eating them since September. 

Categories
Crafting

Blending colours

I’ve been playing around with my mini louet hand combs to see how versatile they are in terms of colour blending. I initially got them to help remove the many neps I seem to get in some of our fleeces, but they are actually invaluable for fine colour blending. Its a real pleasure working with them and I feel inspired to blend many more combinations – 

So I start with some fleece I dyed earlier, lashing on the colours in layers and begin blending.

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It took about 4 goes of transferring the fibre from comb to comb, then I was left with lovely fluffy pink clouds of soft stuff ready for spinning

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This is the leftover ‘waste’ full of neps and other stuff!

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