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.♥