Friday, 26 January 2018
The goats managed to cause quite a bit of damage to our raspberries last year. So David has planted new canes on our farside allotment, well away from the goats. Raspberries are an important soft fruit crop for us - raspberry jam always sells out (and I rather like it myself).
We have now done our annual visit to Down to Earth in Hexham to stock up with seeds. Our two most important crops are potatoes and onions and we got a good range of both. Plenty of other seeds were purchased as well. I'll not list them here but I'll be sure to tell you once they are planted.
Meanwhile, we will be chitting the potatoes soon.
We completely miscalculated the amount of hay we need to get the goats through the winter. We made some hay ourselves last year but because of other distractions, we knew we hadn't made enough, so we bought 10 square bales (the old fashioned ones, not the big round ones most hay farmers now produce). We thought that would get us through to April when we will be starting to chop the hawthorn branches off the hedges as they will be in leaf by then. The hay came from a farm at High Spen. We had to restock on Sunday from the same farm as we had completely run out. This time we got 15 bales. Hopefully this will be enough for the rest of the winter.
Tuesday, 16 January 2018
This is my latest video about how we turn waste from our goats into resources. The sticks and branches are used to heat our house and the manure fertilises our land.
Monday, 8 January 2018
We have just had another sharp freeze. These photos were taken this morning close to where our allotments are. It started on Saturday but I am expecting it to be gone by tomorrow. Sadly, we will then have to return to the mud from which we have been suffering for the past couple of weeks.
Coal, the smallest and youngest of our nanny goats (she's 9 months old) was poorly yesterday. She was off her food and was vomiting so we took her to Blythmans, our livestock vet, for a check up and treatment. Graham, the vet who has often treated our goats (mainly when they are pregnant) gave her barium and Zantec. This morning, she was still off her food so we gave her another dose of both barium (in vegetable oil) and Zantec. This afternoon she perked up a bit and ate some of the privet I gave to the goats. By this evening she was eating hay. Recovery is well under way.
Thursday, 4 January 2018
Over the Christmas period we consumed one of the trout we had in the freezer. Afterwards the bones, skin, head and tail were boiled up to make stock which was then used to make fish soup with the leftover flesh (with a few potatoes and onions). A success! Indeed, too successful. We made so much soup that it lasted for four days in a row.
I arrived at our livestock allotment this morning to find one of the small goat sheds demolished. It had already had a battering from the goats so it wasn't in the best of shapes. Whether it was last night's gale or the goats that finally wrecked it, we will never know. It started out life as a henhouse and we can rescue the nest box as a trough for the goats (we already use it for that). The roof is still largely in one piece and can be rescued for a rebuilt shed though we will need to buy a bit of timber for some walls.