Monday 30 April 2018

Capping Fence Posts

Ever since I put the fence posts in with my dad a few years ago he's been on at me to cap the tops of the larger telegraph poles that we used as gate and corner posts. 

I know he's right on this one, left they start to rot from the middle out as the preservative is near the outside of the post.

Around the same time I saved a load of lead from a roof I was repairing to do the job, but never got round to using it!

This weekend I finally managed to get the job done. Pretty simple and it didn't take long, I just cut out some circles of lead with snips, bashed it round the top of the posts and fixed it in place using a few copper nails.

Friday 27 April 2018

Foraging A Meal

I always enjoy a simple bit of foraging food for a meal and I like teaching the children what they can look for.

Sunday 22 April 2018

A Book On Firewood

Just finished reading this. What a beautiful and thoughtful book. A true joy to read.

And I'm feeling pretty good that most of my firewood is sorted! Just one more stillage to go.

Anyone else read this book?

Do you have a favourite book on a random subject that you recommend to others?

Friday 20 April 2018

Edible Lupins

I'm really excited to grow these this year through Garden Organic's members experiments.

Apparently these sweet edible lupins (not to be confused with more bitter ones that can cause posioning) are a great source of nutrition and have around 30 - 40% protein as well as the essential amino acids.

They can be used dried or fresh but need to be cooked first.

Who else has grown or eaten these?

Do you like to try to grow "alternative" crops?

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Walking The school Run

Now things are starting to dry up we're going to try walking the school run down the footpaths when we can. The road by us is just not very safe for walking with little ones.

The boy is just old enough now so I don't have to carry him the whole way, although he's not as fast as the girls (he only has little legs). It's just under a mile each way and the only bit of tarmac we touch is to cross the road from school. 
It's great fun to do some plant spotting and have the girls ask me questions about what they see. Although today I was having to answer questions about pilewort...

Saturday 14 April 2018

Breech Lamb Being Born In The Field

Bit of a long video but a lamb being born a few minutes ago. 

This was her second one and i was just too slow to get the camera out for the first! 

I decided to pull him out the last minute just because he was breech. I was worried if she didn't push him out with this round of contractions and the umbilical cord was broken he could easily drown or breath in fluid. If he was the right way round I would have probably just left her too it. 
I didn't approach her sooner as she was a bit flighty and I didn't want her to run off or to cause her unnecessary stress and affect the birth. 

You can skip to the good bit at 2.50 if you want and I can only apologise for how Herefordshire my accent is!

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Composting Toilet Built From Scratch For £26!

This weekend I completed a project I've been thinking about for a long time! I finally built a composting toilet! 
 This is project I've been thinking about for years. This place is really lacking an outside loo and it makes it such a pain when I'm outside to have to come in and take my boots off. I really needed an old school brick outhouse but I haven't the time or the money to do it. So I looked at what I've got and what I could do with it.

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Lamb By The Fire

One lamb hasn't fared so well in the weather last night and I don't hold out much hope.

Got him by the fire warming. My youngest thinks this is incredible and we're struggling to get him to leave the lambs side.

I'm annoyed at myself as I noticed him being a bit doppy last night but when I lifted him and saw he had a full belly I just assumed he was kind of "milk drunk" as he was lay next to his mum and still walking around when I put him back. Noticed this morning the ewe was over the other side of the field while he was still lay where he was at 3 this morning when I did my checks. The constant wet weather has made him go down hill fast. 

Fingers crossed a bit of a warm by the fire might help him. He hasn't got his head back so that's a positive.

*lamb update*
I'm afraid the lamb hasn't made it.
When I brought him in the house I knew his chances were slim. You develop a sixth sense of when something is going to survive or not but you always try no matter how rubbish the odds.

I could hear that rattle on his chest, the tell tale sign of pneumonia. I gave him the right antibiotics and plenty of warmth and comfort but unfortunately I just didn't catch it soon enough.
Now I have to make sure the ewe doesn't get mastitis, as sometimes twin lambs have a side they drink from so the other lamb will only be pulling from the one.
Never sure how much I should share on the blog. But it seems right to share the lows as well as the highs, to save looking at it through rose tinted glasses.
It does leave you feeling shitty no matter how often you deal with these types of things.

I can remember spending hours in the lamb shed trying to get sickly ones to drink or pull through when I was a child.

Saturday 7 April 2018

Movable Firewood Store

Firewood storage is still something I struggle with here. I can fill up our old tin shed with dry wood but it won't season in there as there's no air movement. The other lean-to part of the shed has been filled to the brim with wood to season but I still have lots to store. 

I have messed about filling up pallets before now with wood to season, using collars to make them stackable. This really didn't work as the air couldn't get to the wood and it made it sweat and then go mouldy. 

I needed a different approach. 

Wednesday 4 April 2018

How To Make Char Cloth

Just lately my eldest daughter has shown a bit of interest in bush craft, this is a subject I love so I'm only too keen to show her all I know!

We've done a bit lately together with shelter building in the snow and other little bits and pieces, but she has asked about making fires, with rubbing sticks together and by using sparks.

So Yesterday I went for a short walk on my own, I grabbed some dry hay and straw as tinder and set off to find a sheltered spot. I made a nest with my tinder and started to make sparks with my ferro rod, nothing was taking, I needed some cotton or something finer to take the spark, good job my daughter wasn't there to see how unprepared I was!

So today I set about making some char cloth to make fire lighting a bit easier. Char cloth is fabric that has been burnt without oxygen and can be used for tinder, it is made using the same method as turning wood into charcoal. Below is the step by step as to how I did it.
The materials I needed, an old T shirt, a biscuit tin, a hammer and a screw. 

Monday 2 April 2018

1000 Blog Posts!

So this is blog post number 1000! 

I can't quite believe it. 

It still amazes me that I've stuck at writing this blog for as long as I have, that I still love it and that people still read it! 

Some of you have been coming here for a long time and I really appreciate that, it's been great to share my growing family with you and to share them growing up, I hope they'll look back on it when they're older and remember the fun times as well.

It's taken me 6 years to write 1000 posts and a lot has changed in that time! Thank you for all the views, comments and emails over the years, your support has provided me with constant enthusiasm and energy to continue what I do and to try new things each year.

Thanks again everyone!

Sunday 1 April 2018

Children At Nursery

This is a collaborative post

Since my youngest has turned two I've signed him up to go to the same nursery as his sister for a couple of days a week. This lets me get some work done at home and around the homestead, I love having them with me but some jobs just aren't possible with a two year old!

I almost feel guilt for sending them but they absolutely love it. They're both social creatures and it really prepares them for starting school.

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