Hello...

Hello.
I knew at the beginning of the year that I wanted to let go of the blog. I am in a different place now and I need the space to work through a great many things. I intend to keep the archives up for a time, although I have removed the comment function.
If you have landed here - welcome and feel free to dip in to what was our life - once upon a time...
J xxx

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Around the croft



I seem to do nothing but apologise for the lack of blogging, lately, and here I am after another break.. I keep trying to get back into the rhythm of it all, but time flies, jobs begin to accumulate and we are almost at the vernal equinox already! We are really noticing the difference in the day length now, and the rising sun is moving steadily back along the horizon. A bitterly cold, but drying East wind has been around for a couple of weeks, but we have had some beautiful sunshine too. Apparently we were the warmest place in Europe, so that cant be bad.




The animals have come through the Winter well, thank goodness. Hope is thriving! She is growing so big, running and jumping around, trying out some hay, making friends with the others - checking out this strange new world she is in. We haven't managed to get any milking done yet, though. I am really quite disappointed about this, as it is the main reason we wanted to keep cattle. We just don't have a suitable place up here to do the milking. Originally the plan was to use the old barn down at the bottom croft, but, because Fiona was due to calf in the middle of Winter, we needed to have them up near the house. So that is the reason, - well, that and the fact that I might be a little bit scared! I got on the wrong side of Fiona one day not long after Hope was born, and she was rather annoyed with  me. I know Dexter's are small cows, but when they have you up against a wall, their heads are quite powerful! But -  we are working on the problems, and I am hoping that we can begin our dairying adventures very soon.


The in-lamb ewes have been moved to another croft in the next village. it belongs to a friend who had not been using the land for a while, so the grazing was pretty good. We will be lambing later this year - probably around the first couple of weeks in May, and will bring them back a month before then to begin feeding them up. The hogs ( last year's lambs) are in the top fields,near the house and we are giving the bottom fields a rest, letting the new grass grow in.


The polytunnel project, is, at last moving forward, and we are ready now for a still dry day to get the polythene on. I am really looking forward to this being complete, as it will make such a difference to the growing season.



The kitchen window is chock full of tomato, pepper and chilli seedlings, and the propagator is constantly full. I have various vegetable and flower seedlings on several tables up in the attic, and trays of chitting potatoes covering the floor - my favourite time of year!



And even though the new season leek seedlings are just peeking up in their trays now, we are still harvesting last years leeks from the garden. A bit wind swept and bedraggled, though I trimmed them straight into the compost heap before I brought them in.to make a pot of Scotch Broth with.


How delicious it was too! In fact -  I might do a recipe post some time soon, then I can make some more.♥



20 comments:

  1. it's always a treat to see what you've been up to around the croft jacqui, that is a LOT to manage! is that a photo of hope? she is so cute!
    i've been offline for several days too, it's always a lot of fun catching up, take good care!
    xox lori

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  2. I love your posts! This one was especially wonderful. I hope to have a small farm one day and it is very inspiring to see others at work. I only just found leeks, and discovered I absolutely love them. Yours are looking delicious!

    Your life is very beautiful, and you work so hard for it. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hi - Leeks are a fabulous vegetable - so hardy. Good luck with your farm plans xx

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  3. Blogging needs to take a back seat when you have such a busy farm life Jacqui, the incident with one of your cows sounds a bit hairy, best keep on the good side of her perhaps.

    Your scotch broth looks delicious. x

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  4. I was just thinking of you the other day, hoping you were busy but happy. Lovely to catch up xxx

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  5. A polytunnel? Oh fab! We'd love one too, one day hopefully! Keep us posted on it! :) We don't sow our seed trays for a while yet, as it's so cold and windy here, looking forward to it though. :) xx

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  6. Your new header photo is just awe-inspiring! Good luck with the milking plans.

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  7. Lovely to see you back blogging again

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  8. Lovely to see you back. Beautiful photos as usual.

    I must tell you a tail about polytunnels. In the 70s we lived on a hill small holding just on Peak District, the National Park was over the road. We ordered a 60ft polytunnel to grow cuttings of heather, roses and other shrubs because the exposed nature of the land. It arrived in January and husband decided to erect it, with only the help of me (actually now ex husband). I had to keep hold of one end and he was doing the bits at the other end. It was not a still day and the wind suddenly got up. It just got under the polythene and almost took me with it. Clearly I couldn't hold on, there was nothing to grip with. Thankfully it survived, with only a few holes from tears, which were mended.

    Sorry to be so longwinded but do make sure you have a few men and choose a VERY still day. and good luck.

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    1. Lol - I think we will be waiting until there is no breezee - thankfully one or two neighbours have offered to help with the polythening xx

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  9. If life is busy then that's a good thing? Great to see you and of course your lovely way of life!

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  10. No apology necessary! We all have busy, crazy lives. It is nice to read a post from you so we might all see a glimpse of your life in the Western Isles of Scotland. By the way, I once got trapped between a fence post and one of my horses. It really scared me because I always thought I was so careful. Luckily, I didn't get hurt.

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  11. Mmm.. Scotch broth looks really good. I never even considered what looks like severing your leeks from the ground , rather than try to pull them out by the roots, which ususlly has them breaking higher up. They'll probably grow another shoot then? Brilliant !

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    1. Hi jen - sorry, I couldnt have explained it very well. I did pull the leeks and then trimmed them into the compost bin, before taking them inside. \but I am now wondering if cutting them and leaving the root in the ground might work!
      x

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  12. I love when you show us the "going ons" at your croft...I am so jealous! And can I say that Hope is so flipping adorable! How do you get anything done with all those sweet faces? Looking forward to a recipe post

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  13. lovely to be visiting here, it all looks so wonderful and your dairy-ing adventures sound as if they are already well adventurous ;-P that broth looks divine, and the tunnel very exciting. love from me to you x x

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  14. So much going on, lovely to catch up. We too could not grow much without a polytunnel we put ours up on a calm day with just the two of us. It is still standing after nine years and we do get some pretty strong winds although maybe not as strong as the one we experienced when putting up a tent on Harris, we honestly thought it would not be there when we came back!

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  15. I love the curls above the cow's ears.

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  16. that picture of the chickens with the sunshine streaming ... ever in love with your corner of the world Jacqui, so glad you dipped back in again! Doesn't feel much like spring here despite the fact equinox is next week! But there is always hope! Much love X

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  17. Thanks for all your lovely comments everyone - much appreciated xxx

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