Sunday, 21 February 2010


A day planting trees in the orchard, pruning older ones and cutting down overdeveloped willow - that is crowding out the orchids and purple moor grass in Moor Wood - as we steadily work on increasing the culm patch. The latter was incredibly hard work, the mud sucking at my wellies so that I needed all my strength to lift my feet as I dragged willow branches to the edges of the area we're clearing. At one point I sank up to the top of my wellies and had nothing to cling to to pull myself free. With a lot of toe wiggling, swearing and extraordinary wet sucking noises (made by the mud, not me) I freed myself.
In every ditch and puddle there are heaps of frog spawn. Do frogs get stuck in the mud?

Thursday, 18 February 2010

I'm fine folks - just very, very busy!

I've had a few people ask if everything is OK, down here on the farm in Devon.
Yes, yes, thank you so much for checking (aren't you nice), but I'm just amazingly busy and have a lot of work to do at the moment, which is grand and most lovely but means blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat. But soon lambing will start and I'll be around for that and will certainly be posting on sheep type progress. A new boar arrives soon too, so no doubt there'll be fun and laughter about all that, and piglets are also growing inside Agatha and Dahlia.
And then there's the fab smallholding courses we've been running and there's lots to tell you about on that front. So please bear with me, I will be back, I haven't given up the blog, and now you can find me on twitter too.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Willow buds

So it's bleak out there. No leaves, no colour, a washed-out time of year. I mostly leave the camera behind when walking the dog. But yesterday I took it with me to take a snap or two of the new fencing that will keep the sheep off the newly laid hedges and reformed Devon banks.
And as I looked mournfully at the greys and shadows, a small splash of orangey red beamed back at me.
There are also huge bonfires to be lit to get rid of the scrawny cuttings leftover from the hedgelaying that are no good for the woodburners. The world is a cheerier place.