Saturday, March 31, 2007

We were on the BBC again last week..........a lot! BBC Somerset Sound wanted to record a day in the life of a sheep farmer at lambing time and it was quite a day! The reporter arrived at 6.30am ready for my early morning trip to the lambing shed! I was a bit aprehensive as sheep like to lamb in the hours before dawn for some perverse reason and you never know quite what you might find has happened whilst you were getting a couple of hours sleep! Luckily no one had lambed.....disapointing for the Beeb but a relief to be honest for me!
We then sorted out a ewe that had lambed the day before, trimming her feet, worming her and applying spray to prevent flystrike, and then applying the rubber ring to the lambs tail that makes it shrivel and drop off............of course i had to explain in great detail what I was doing and the sheep were required to baa a you know!!
We then visited the nursery field to see all the ewes and their lambs and lots of baaing was encouraged with a shake of a bucket of sheep nuts!
Back to my kitchen for breakfast and then off to a farm sale to possibly buy sheep or equipment!...............The reporter was warming to his task and I had to be interviewed inspecting lots and talking about the sheep on sale..................much to the bemusement of half of the farming community of Somerset and Dorset!!
Several people heard it all spread over several days on the breakfast show during the last week and reports have been good................for which I am truely thankful as half the farmers of Somerset seem to listen to it!!!..................and as one of the minority female sheep farmers in a male dominated industry I had to get it right or my street cred would not be good............they already tend to be suspicious of my pink wellies!!!

We have had some lovely lambs..........and our Ouessant ewe has a little ewe lamb today........Derek is a dad!......................and here are the first pics at 6 hours old!

Also as promised some pics of my lambs.........trying to get them to stand still is a bit difficult as they prefer to hurtle around the field in big gangs, much to the despair of their mothers!
Here is number seven posing and part of a group playing on the tractor ruts.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Wall weekend!.................Phil who I met on the recent permaculture course kindly gave up 4 days to come and start the rebuilding of our wall, taken down earlier due to becoming unsafe. Here are some of the before and during pics taken by Phil, assisted in the rebuilding by our super wwoofer Lisa!And here is Phil with his handiwork! This is a great help as it means we can carry on with it as time allows.Meanwhile Pete was competing the same weekend in the Blackdown Hills hedgelaying competition which was fiercely contested, I was selling my woolly stuff and demonstrating the art of pegloom rug making in the Blackdown Hills Hedge Association marquee.

Here is Pete and his hedge ....................we all thought he would do really well, it was neat, very well laid and with very little use of the chain saw

The judges took a very good look.....................................................but decided to give the prize to someone else!
Nevermind there is always next year, when I am intending to compete as well! ( Look out Pete!!)
Lambing is now well underway and tiredness rules for the next few weeks as sheep have to be checked several times a day. I have also bought some more sheep, been recorded by the BBC and attended a very good farm sale with the BBC man in tow! details and pics to follow shortly!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spring is here.....isn't it?
The Beeb came and recorded...... for the radio thankgoodness! and on talking to the reporter he now wants to do a feature on the life of a smallholder at lambing time.............not sure what the sheep will think about that but I said yes!
Here is a pic of the rescue sheep all looking better, even the one who was very sick is now putting a little weight on her bad leg. She is the sheep in the picture whose body you can't see.....just as well really as she is a bit of a sight.
On Sunday it rained like stair rods so I did some dyeing with wensleydale lambs wool using logwood, a reddish tree bark, which, when some bicarb is added to the boiled bark liquer turns it blue and the resulting wool is pictured along with some yellow wool which was dyed with onion skins......lovely isn't it? I was very pleased and now it will be used to make a cushion cover.Lisa our new wwoofer has been busy on the veg patch clearing out the compost heaps and bins and adding it all to the raised beds. The tyre tower is our new wormery and you can see we have loads of kale still to eat. Some bags of woodchips have been bought for the paths between the beds as being ion a slope and being clay its a bit like a ski slope!

The ewes are due to lamb at any minute which means early morning and late nigh
t checks as well as the normal visit here are the expectant ladies in their overnight accomodation and one of the older ladies known as 'scrag end' posing for the camera!