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Shane & Emma's Smallholding



July Update

Ok...this one definitely counts...it's on time!

Well it will be if I crack on, so without further ado...the update.

We will start of course with Finley...this one we'll just call "animal magnetism"

Here he is sporting a Durston grin!

If you look closely you'll see his first two teeth!...and for those that are interested in this kinda stuff, we are 10 days into sleeping all night, Finley that is, he goes off at 8:00ish and has been going right through to 7:00ish has a wee drink of milk and goes back to sleep until 9:00ish...Ahhhh a full nights kip...lovely!

Lets move on to the smallholding and a couple of new arrivals...

Let me introduce you to Buttercup and Bovril, Bovril is on the right and he is a lovely little steer (castrated bull) and yes I did do the deed myself, well he will be with us for a couple of years and we don't want him "getting excited" as the cows we have are his Mum and Sister!!!

Buttercup is a lovely little girl and is what is referred to as red in colour, we were very surprised as both mum and dad are black! On the up side this is a very desirable colour for a Dexter, so she will most likely go on as breeding stock.

Other stock we have are Turkeys...five guys just like this one, getting fat for Christmas...and I bet you wasn't expecting a Christmas reference so soon!

We have had to bring in some more piglets as we just don't have enough, these guys are Saddlebacks and are 9 weeks (three small girls) and 11 weeks (large boy) of age.

These guys were very shy to begin with but are just about getting into a routine.

That's it regarding new livestock...what with all the new animals in the last update and the new arrivals this month...we are back to capacity and the whole place is as it should be.

Right then I recently told you I was off of the 9 to 5 and taking on with the 5 to 9 life of a smallholder...well for the summer at least...I also said that I was going to "catch up" with some outstanding projects...raised veg patch, family garden...and Oh yes...finishing the barn!...well I have a small confession to make...I've only gone and bloody done it...in I!

We have made the raised beds a) to keep on top of the weeds and b) our soil is very poor, so rather than dig in several ton of "muck" I made the raised beds and filled them up with good quality soil and muck.

We have spuds in the first bed...Corn, courgettes, runner and French beans in  the next with more corn, beans carrots and tomatoes in the third and the last is empty...except for the muck.

The IBC container in the corner is our water butt...it's a thousand litre container and I have redirected our bath water so we can reuse it on the veggies...that should save a penny or two!

Our family garden...we needed to get this set up as we spend a lot of time outside with young Finley and we wanted to be able to put him on a blanket to roam around without the risk of a chicken running off with one of his toes!

And last but not least...


Finished...well almost, just a few finishing touches,

Here are a few more shots of the barn

This is the animals end.

Yes that is a roof you see before you

And even a mezzanine floor.

This is where I really must thank anyone and everyone who helped in any way large or small with the construction of our barn...you know who you are and most are captured in updates throughout the barns making, which started way back in the Christmas holidays of 2006

Thank You...without your help I'd just have a lot of firewood.

A special thank you to my nephew Camron and Jonny, Camron as he de-nailed every single half round (the upright planks covering the barn) during his summer holiday...if you're interested that's over four hundred planks, and Jonny as he was fundamental in all the important bits...uprights, roof and soon the guttering!

And yes that is a new tractor in the "tractor bay"...he he I have a tractor bay and a new tractor!

The reason for the new tractor is that my tractors gear box gave out...I could only find one forward gear...and that was infrequent...quotes for repair were given after either a sucking of teeth or a scratching of chin.

So I decided to get a new one...well newer, and she is lovely...

She is great...and whilst pinching bits from the old tractor and fitting them to this one...Jonny and I decided that as neither of us knew anything about tractor gear boxes...we would open it up and have a butchers...it was already broken...what was the worst we could do?

No...you're wrong...we didn't cause an explosion...nor did we lose any body parts...we only bloody fixed it!!!

We later found out it was called the gear selector...but we found a little bit of metal that seemed to have come out of a hole the same size as the metal bit...we put bit in hole...sorted!

That's two tractors and implements...excellent

Well on that joyous note I'll bid you adios...until next time

Shane, Emma, Finley, Willow...and tractors


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