• Post christmas update

    8 weeks has passed again. I forget to write my blog but do update our facebook page frequently with news from the farm so if you're a facebook user like our page and you'll keep up to date.

    Christmas was different this year - our first at the farm. We were cooking for 14 so had to plan the day with military precision to ensure the animals were mucked out, put out, fed and brought back in as well as catering and clearing for the humans! We have been fortunate not to have any snow yet and have only had 2 mornings of frost so far which is amazing for this time of year, but what we have had is rain and lots of it! And wind. Oh my word it was windy over christmas and we lost two field shelters to it! They were completely destroyed. And then ensued a tricky operation of moving the animals, in gusts of 60mph, to safer fields or into the barn. At one point we had two horses, 4 miniature ponies and 14 alpacas all sharing the barn, which has been halved to give us one side as a secure store and the other for animal use. So it was cosy! And the boys particularly enjoyed "snuggling up" to the girls! They didn't stay on their side of the hurdles - what did we expect really! Fortunately the boys sharing were all gelded, apart from one, who hasn't a clue what to do anyway! And all the rain has meant the paddocks are very squelchy and muddy but everytime I complain I don't have to go far to see someone elses fields that are totally underwater. We have a friend who has lost the use of 5 of her paddocks as they are submerged. We made a good choice when we chose land at the top of a hill!

    Work on the new barn commenced after christmas and two weeks on is nearly complete. The next job is to to build a couple of toilets and then concrete a hardstanding area between the new barns. There is always so much to do so if anyone knows anyone who has time on their hands, perhaps has recently retired or is looking for work, and would like to volunteer to help on the farm then please get in touch. We would welcome any help! We are also planning our garden, with a polytunnel, vegetable patch and fencing so if anyone is greenfingered and thinks they can help we would welcome you and there is always plenty to do.

    Pepper is getting bigger, and flufflier, and noisier! The alpacas seem to have accepted her which is a good job, seeing as she spends most of her time in their paddock!

    We have sold Paris, one of our miniature ponies and Archie, our 13.2hh pony bought for Rosie. Winter has been tough with 6 to muck out every morning so this will reduce our workload somewhat. Rosie decided, after we bought Archie, that she didn't actually want to ride very much which is ok, but it didn't make sense to keep him as he's such a lovely little pony and needs to be ridden. And Paris is going to be a brood mare not too far from here so we'll go and visit her when she's had a foal. How lovely for her.

    We have planned dates for our first open days of 2014 - they are Good Friday 18th April and Open Farm Sunday on 9th June. We might be open for a day or two over the school holidays but that's subject to demand so let us know if you'd be interested in bringing your little ones along for some fresh air!

    Our next piglets are due to arrive in March. The free range pork was delicious and we had lots of demand for it so we're keen to do it again. Get in touch soon if you want to go on the list for some of the pork/bacon/sausages. We are also considering sheep to raise our own lambs next spring.....

    We're looking forward to the drier weather that the spring will hopefully bring, but also hoping for some snow first!! There are some great sledging hills in next door's farm!

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