Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tuesday, 5 July 2011


This weekend we put the knowledge we gained on our course last week into practice – and it all went surprisingly well! We even invented a whole new way of shearing…

Not quite sure what’s going to happen yet…

Peppermint was our first volunteer for a haircut, looking good!

Next up is Petal, keen to try out our unorthodox standing up method!

Pawn has some help from Liquorice.

It’s easier with two…

It’s all over!

Laura rolling the fleeces

Pawn’s lovely fleece, all rolled up.

Ready to get outside and munch some grass!

Friday, 17 June 2011

Growing updates

The allotment has exploded into life and we have been enjoying delicious potatoes, lots of lettuces, yellow mange-tout, spinach, broad beans, radishes, spring onions, beetroot, celery, rhubarb, strawberries, blackcurrants, raspberry (just one so far!), cherries and herbs galore.

Within the space of just over a month, the allotment has grown a lot:

Won’t be long until we can add tomatoes and beans to our list too:

Last weekend we went to Shropshire and saw our sheep. The lambs grow so much in between visits, they’re getting a bit heavy to lift now!

We're off to do a hand-shearing course on Monday and will put our newly learnt skills into practice in a few weeks time, watch out girls!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Back on the Farm!

Worthy farm, Pilton, Somerset, no less! On Saturday we joined Kelly, Lucy, Phil and Will for some elderflower picking for Kelly’s business venture: The Festival Elderflower company.

It was quite surreal, picking elderflowers in a field with the pyramid stage behind us! The cows are still enjoying the grass, before 180,000 revellers descend.

Well it’s nice to be able to say we’ve been to Glastonbury this year – we didn’t see much music, but there was plenty of space to camp and the weather was lovely!

If you’re going to Glastonbury this year, check out Kelly’s stall and buy a cup of refreshing sparkling elderflower! For more info see the company’s facebook page here

In other news, we’ve been baking lots of bread,

and I even made a mother! (a sourdough starter for the confused amongst you)

Sheep are all well, we’ll be returning to check on them soon.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Full Circle

So our WWOOFing adventure has come to an end, looking after Smiling Tree Farm for two weeks was the perfect way to finish and now here we are back in Bristol, back in the very flat we left just over a year ago. It’s hard to believe we ever went away… Here we are unpacking and celebrating the Royal wedding at the same time with Jenny:

We had an article published in the WWOOF Ireland newsletter recently which you can read via this link: Our article is on page 8, but there are also articles from a couple of our hosts elsewhere in the newsletter and one of our photos is used at the top of the first page!

We’ve decided to keep the blog alive for the time being, concentrating on our allotment and sheep based activities and links to any interesting articles we come across, so do keep popping by – it won’t be updated quite so often as it was, but there will still be things to look at from time to time!

Sheep news - As mentioned previously we finished up with 5 lambs, 3 girls and 2 boys, so to re-cap in order of age here’s what we have:

Pawn had Liquorice (girl) and Noggin had Fudge (girl)

Petal had Humbug (boy) and Bonbon (girl)

Peppermint had Freddo (boy)

All are fit and well, we had a minor scare with Peppermint’s udder, one side being large and swolen but were reassured by Gareth (one of our neighbouring sheep farmers) that it was nothing serious, just that her lamb was only suckling from one side. He ‘stripped her out’ – ie milked the excess from the large side of her udder, and since then it seems ok and her lamb is now suckling from both sides. All the ewe’s have now been dagged – had any pooey bits of wool from around their back end removed to help lessen the risk of flystrike. They’ve also all had their feet trimmed. The little boys have been ringed (had castration rings applied) and we’ve tagged all the lambs.

We’ve been very busy on the allotment since we got back to Bristol, we’ve given our shed a complete make-over, painted and re-felted.

And along with lots of weeding and a few bits of landscaping we’ve sown lots of different seeds and planted out various seedlings that we planted earlier in the year. At some point soon I will post up a detailed plan of everything we are growing!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Lambing season now over!

Petal had twins - one boy, one girl, and Peppermint has had a boy. Final lambing percentage 125%, not bad for a first season:

A more detailed account will appear once we've finished moving to Bristol!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Noggy Noggy Noggy...


Yesterday evening it was Noggin's turn! Another ewe lamb, a bit smaller than Pawn's but with quite different markings.

Up close and personal as Noggin has her feet trimmed...

And Laura has a quick cuddle!