Tuesday, 13 September 2011


A drizzly morning gave way to a glorious afternoon today. Libby the pup and I surveyed the plot and I had to stop for a minute and take it all in. In the poultry enclosure, the layers were dust bathing in the earth underneath their nesting boxes (which stays dry in the rain) and the ducks were pottering about by the pond. The lambs were nibbling the leaves from the lower branches of the walnut tree, the pigs could just be seen having an afternoon nap in the pig ark and the 'meat' hens were free-ranging on the pasture (and in the neighbour's herb garden. Oops!).This is how it should be - small scale, free range and organic.

Anyway, enough of the sentimental back-patting

Our lovely farmer friend came over to have a look at the sheep, to see whether they were 'ready'. I would like to say that I felt a pang of emotion as he firmly felt their hind quarters - but in truth, I didn't. Despite being castrated rams they are getting a bit boisterous and pushy - sometimes jumping up and jabbing you in the chest with their sharp little hooves. I am sure this is perfectly innocent and more out of curiosity than malice, but it is a bit disconcerting.

However, they have been granted a reprieve - they are not large enough to go yet and he prescribed four more weeks on some fresh pasture. So they are in the orchard next door - where they will act as lawnmowers, since coincidentally the sit on mower has broken down and the grass is lush and long. Note the walnut tree in the immediate foreground.

We have lived here for two summers now, and I can't believe that last year I didn't even notice that we had a walnut tree! Apparently the squirrels usually scoff the lot the minute they ripen - but they must have been confused by the early autumn this year because I found loads! I will keep some for the Christmas cheese board and others will be used in vegetarian recipes in lieu of meat.

Some were still in their bright green pods - a bit like conkers.
And finally...a totally gratuitous picture of the free-range pup, sniffing her first (and last) thistle:

1 comment:

  1. We have a walnut tree but alas, no walnuts on it. We do have lots of hazel trees, and I'm keeping a close eye on them in order to get a few before the squirrels. Love your puppy!