Who will we be missing today?

The hens have given us a wary eye over the last few days as first Specked Sussex Number One and then Gorgeous George disappeared without warning.  It is similar for the sheep in the field next door.  Each time some of them require action, for example to shear some ewes, the whole population – ewes and lambs – parade down the lane to the farm, where the action is done, and then back up again.  Today everybody went down the lane but the purpose was more sinister.  Some ewes were kept behind (the old ones) as they are “off to market” tomorrow.  So this evening the field contains some ewes with their lambs and some lambs without their ewes – not a happy situation.

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Elsewhere on The Plot today

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Hedging your eggs

We decided to cover all possibilities and split the duck eggs. Half have gone in the incubator and…

June was lifted off her two holding eggs

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to guzzle on corn, which presumably she would not bother with unless directed

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while we arrange her nest with six duck eggs

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Duck eggs take 28 days compared with 21 for hen’s – plus she has already been broody for a few days – it will be interesting to see if stays the course.

Pig areas are all marked out ready for fencing to go up

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We would be interested if anyone can identify this

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very pretty but found inside the house – is it devouring all the woodwork?

The reincarnated Guinea pigs are becoming bolder

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Elsewhere on The Plot today

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Ducks with blackcurrant

Set to work today to make use of the blackcurrant glut

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Only five kilos would fit in the pan for the first batch

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boiled

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strained

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caught

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bottled

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an elixir results

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(Thanks to Cathy Ashley at Permaculture)

Today the postman brought these

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June has been broody the last couple of days so we moved her to a maternity unit where she  immediately perked up and wanted to rejoin her flock

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we do have the incubator in reserve.

Elsewhere on the plot today we have…

Aubergines
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and
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Goodbye George

Gorgeous George says goodbye

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But he won’t be far away so we can go and visit him.

We have environmental art across the valley

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and then loud machines move in

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and hoover it up

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It is minimum ration day on the feeders as birds cluster round the remaining peanuts

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until a nuthatch moves in and sees off all competition

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Tonight we are processing vast quantities of blackcurrants

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The neighbouring field has a bloom of yellow on the new lush grass

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which proves to be field cabbage

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The first hydrangea floret appears

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Elsewhere on the plot today

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Incoming ducks – Outgoing cockerels

We have some hatching duck eggs coming in the post – Saxony and Cayuga.  We were going to get the incubator ready but June seems to be broody – seems like a time saver for us and a pleasant experience for her – as long as we don’t get species identity problems. Unfortunately we can’t keep all the Chickens that we have brought up from eggs – and I am talking about males here.  Today Speckled Sussex Number 1 moved down the road 2015_07_15_01 He was obviously very happy as he fell asleep in his new owner’s arms. Gorgeous George 2015_07_14_08 is moving on tomorrow.  Would anyone else like a young cockerel? After last night’s rain, an accompaniment to a dinner containing our two favourite ingredients (one of them free from the butcher) 2015_07_15_50 today brings sun and agricultural activity 2015_07_15_02 The Separated Lambs are so satiated on the new grass that all they can do is lie down 2015_07_15_15 We find a second (unexplained?) dead young magpie in the same place as the first.  We offer them up on the Tower of Silence but the all predators seems to regard them as toxic 2015_07_15_08 Elsewhere on the plot today… Spot the rabbit (worryingly, they are getting a lot easier to spot round here) 2015_07_10 2015_07_15_03 2015_07_15_04 2015_07_15_05 2015_07_15_06 2015_07_15_072015_07_15_09 2015_07_15_10 2015_07_15_11 2015_07_15_13 2015_07_15_16 2015_07_15_18

Eruptions out of The Moistness

Gently tender falls the rain and coaxes from the soil again…

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…living things which have been invisibly waiting.

A family of wrens leave the nest and cower in the lower branches

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some try to crawl back up the trunk

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Later all is quiet.  Are they happily ensconced or inside a magpie?

Talking of which, this dead bird is a plus, not a minus

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Gorgeous George is getting a little above his station.

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He does not know that he has been advertised.

Venturing into the greenhouse requires protective clothing

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as the tomatoes take over

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We have been making imaginary pig enclosures

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and imagining pigs.

Next door the lambs have forgotten all about their mothers as they munch through the new grown grass

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Elsewhere on the plot today

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The Mist Rises, The Rain Falls

Today we are swathed in mists and dampness

In the distance the mournful bleating of ewes having lost their lambs.  The lambs don’t seem so upset as they munch through the grass in the newly sown field

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What the ewes may not know is that they are the old ones – first to lose their lambs as they are Off To Market.

A mainly indoors day – resulting in a Pig Pen Plan

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Last night, another kind of pig weighed in at 1300g

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And outside it drips

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Drips off the foxgloves

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and drips off the birds

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Hens stay mainly indoors

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and all else glistens

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