Hello Spring

Naturally I'm late again typing up a blog post. Id like to say I have a good excuse and I think I do, maybe you can tell me......



Apart from working with Esther Howie from Tyddynys her smallholding over on Anglesey, writing up our sheep keeping course I've also decided to start writing the course for the Kitchen Garden. I should be launching that in 2023, so this year you can just follow me online to pick up some tips and advice for creating gardens and transforming your plot into something that can equally be attractive and very edible!


I love the yearly cycle of sowing seeds and starting the year with that promise of good weather to come and the harvests. If only this year it could all speed up just a touch. Spring is feeling very long and drawn out, perhaps because this year having been allowed to step over to next door and get access to another 5.5 acres we are still very much without a rotation plan and we need one. The grazing next door is old and unmanaged and ours is new and needs time to build itself up. Its exactly where we don't want to be, stuck between these two phases with no fallow fields left for the animals to eat down in this unpredictable season. So the hay bill is big and we have numerous mineral licks and buckets on hand with additional feeds each day for everyone. Is it worth it? Yes for us it is, the stock rotation will be implemented this year with more seeds scattered and the grazing built up and we will see how we go now across 9 acres of grazing.



This year promises to be a big step up in the soap business, I'm launching more varieties and I'm also having some fun making them, adjusting the look and final appearance of them including the ones many of you already know and love. It's been fun to have the time to do that finally. I will be launching 3 new varieties this April to mark the turn of the seasons so keep and eye out for discounts for members!!


This year we are planning to double the indoor space for the goats, mostly to allow them to have more freedom during the winter months when it is wet and raining. However that should also take the pressure off us for mucking out, it should be less intense when the goats are spread out a bit more. I will be looking forward to sharing more of the build with you all, so if you have ever wondered how we build our buildings then this year is the year to follow us and this blog. I'll document as much as possible for you.



I will be busy this year milking up to 5 goats every day which is quite a commitment, but I want to keep the business we have real for you all. The milk for the soaps comes direct from our girls and that is exactly how it will stay. We will be keeping it real, real goats, real milk nothing powdered and all our own goats who you can visit if you wish! We are looking forward to running more courses this year with them.


I'm also going to be stuck outside every day that it is dry and I can get some serious weeding done in the gardens. I have trays and trays of seeds beginning to pop up in the polytunnel already, Calenedula, Nasturtiums, Sweet Peas and some veg beginning like chard as well as a good old classic for the vegetable garden the Marigold. If you haven't started yet and you have space under cover or a windowsill get sowing. I'm also very hopeful that this year marks the final covering of the long border, a strip of grass and weeds (by which I mean rushes) all wind pollinated plants transforming into a 75mtr long 8mtr deep at the end strip of shrubs, mixed hedging, flowers both annual and perennials all for the benefit of the wildlife and pleasing to my eyes. Last year it was a brilliant place to plant squash and pumpkin plants, this year I will do the same.



I will also be sharing lots of images of the other creatures that grace us here with their presence, some of the horses need some work and training plus we have a little shetland who has joined us. Its going to be another busy year ahead!









Emma



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