Summer has been and gone and Autumn has definitely arrived. Leaves are falling, weather is changing – and the clocks are about to back. In the last couple of weeks we’ve had all sorts of weather – heavy downpours, beautiful sunshine – and it’s been a case of “beware the rainbow”. Yesterday brought it’s own challenges when the pipe opposite our entrance got blocked and so we had a small river running down our driveway – but no thankfully damage done and all sorted with Paul getting elbow deep in the water to clear the build up of fallen leaves.
We’ve had a busy few weeks with our pigs. Firstly, we’ve moved the pig area to the other side of the stream as a thorough clearing job had been completed by Betty & Barbara.
We’ve also now said goodbye to both these girls and have had lots of lovely pork produce collected and delivered and we’ll have bacon, gammon and sausages back in just over a week’s time.
This has also meant we’ve replaced our bacon seeds with two new arrivals from our friends at PuffPigs.
With November just a couple of weeks away, it’s also time for us to start thinking about next year’s lambs – and so our ewes have had their pre-tupping mineral supplement and we’re beginning to work out which ewes will be put to Sampson and Solo – and which fields we can safely use without the risk of either ram making an escape attempt to find this year’s ewe lambs.
We’ve sent our first of our 2019 lambs off and the feedback – again – still makes us so proud – “the best lamb we’ve ever tasted”. We couldn’t ask for more – and plenty of repeat customers bears this out.
And all apart from two spares that we keep as security until the last week, our beautiful Norfolk Black and Bronze turkeys all have their places booked on Christmas tables from here in Bethania to other parts of Wales, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
The vegetable garden is continuing to deliver with kale, cabbages, celeriac, butternut squash, leeks – and of course brussel sprouts to go with that turkey all looking brilliant. Our mass crop of onions – and first ever garlic – are now safely stored for use throughout the winter and it’s time to get the next batch of garlic planted and quite possibly some Autumn broad beans (if we get them in the ground in time!).
We’re often asked what we find most challenging – and the answer is actually the thinking and planning rather than the physical work involved in running our smallholding – and now farmstay bed and breakfast. Combining my day job, Paul’s building projects, livestock management, the bed and breakfast offering and then advertising and social media is at least 3 normal day jobs in one – but so totally worth it.