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Shane & Emma's Smallholding



November Update

Hi All,

            Let me be one of the first to say it....only 4 weeks to Christmas!!!!!!

I thought I would give a smallholding update as you haven't had one since September.

We've been most fortunate with the weather over the last few weeks and even managed a little pruning....smallholder style of course!

This was one of five loads that went for a bonfire.

The above vehicle has been relegated to light duties since the purchase of the new big boy's toy!

An all singing all dancing 1974 Leyland tractor and bucket, fan....bloody....tastic!

I won't bore you with the specs, needless to say that whenever Em or I are driving it we have great big cheesy grins on our faces.

Our lambs went to the butchers and have been distributed....what can I say the meat was gorgeous sweet tender and mouth wateringly tasty, those that have had will know exactly what I mean.

Emma and I have decided that even though they are a small southern breed (Martin!!!) we will have them again next spring, this time we will have around ten or twelve as the field can easily sustain them.

I must apologise for not having a picture of the stud boar (Eddie) we had in for our two gilts....he was a magnificent specimen around  200 kilos which at 18 months is twice the size of our girls....which made us a little nervous but they seem to cope.

We think that he has "done the business" as the tummies of both our girls have dropped.

However, as me, Emma and the pigs are all new to this we'll just have to wait and see what happens in January.

In October we attended our harvest festival at the Fenland Goatkeepers and smallholders Club. We entered into the spirit of the day and displayed some of our produce, pumpkin, rhubarb, chillies, chutney, craft entry and a few photos. I am pleased to say we walked away with a 1st prize for this photo (which I took for the last update).

I'm not going to let the two pounds and fifty pence prize voucher for seeds go to my head....I'm still the same person I've always been.

You can see from this picture that the turkeys have grown, they are almost ready. (Yes Derek I know my shadows in the photo!)

Although ours are all reserved our neighbours (Steve and Carol) have raised the same breed, they have been raised free range the same as ours which have been given full access to grass grubs and other tasty morsels. If you want one they will of course be ready for the oven as if purchased from a superstore....no plucking required....Yes I said plucking.

Steve and Carol also have free range Cobs (that's chickens to you). We had some of these earlier this year and they are very tasty, Steve has advised that he is only going to let them grow to 8 to 10lb, so if you want any let me know and we can arrange transport to MK. Again these will be oven ready.

On the subject of Chickens we have a new batch they are around ten weeks in this picture, clearly Jaffa's still top cockerel as they are all Buffs.

We've had to keep them penned in as we have seen a large Kite (no not on a string....a bird of prey) which will take them while they're this small, they should be running in the field before Christmas.

Finally....I thought I would end with some pictures of Willow, in these she is showing you all how well behaved she is!

It took her ages to get the chickens to line up for this picture! (One for Mr Sedge I think) Don't be so impressed with her sitting she's been doing it for a long time now.


Oh stop it....I can here the Ahhhhhh's from here!

Don't be so easily fooled by her she still gets into trouble!

The contents of a poor smallholder's wallet!


On that note (get it?) I'll be signing off until next time.

As I am writing this I can see the first snow for this year. (Just Emma's luck to get snowed in on the weekend!)

Speak soon


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