Despite a slow start thanks to the below zero temperatures on Saturday night which came hot on the heels of a torrential downpour on Friday night, resulting in a thick layer of ice everywhere (i.e. I had to break the ice on the pigs’ water bowls and then make three trips with three buckets of water to refill said water bowls, not to mention providing the chickens with water), I actually managed to get a lot done yesterday, which made up for Saturday’s sofa-hugging.
Once I’d fed the pigs and finished carting buckets of water everywhere (not easy when you’re not sure if she mud is frozen over or if appearances are deceptive), adjusted the boundaries of the weaners’ and Bailey and Brini’s enclosures to give them some new ground to keep them occupied, and braved the very cold water to clean their feed bowls out, I had a quick coffee and then cleaned the Cube and Eglu out. The chickens tend to leave me to it when I’m scraping out their poop trays but Mama Silkie and her chicks were not happy with me interfering with their sleeping arrangements and clucked and cheeped furiously at me from the other end of the Eglu run!
All the muck then made its way to the lasagne garden, as did several sacks of dirty hay and muck that I’ve been meaning to put on their for weeks but somehow never got round to it. It had rotted down quite nicely in the sacks so I hope it will continue to do so on the lasagne garden. In fact, I hope the lasagne garden as a whole actually works – I know I’m not doing it properly but I don’t enough enough compost to make it work in layers so one area has a layer of cardboard topped by a layer of food waste and then grass cuttings, topped by another layer of cardboard and finally covered by a large tarpaulin.
The rest, however, is a bit more skinny than that. Cardboard, then food waste, then cardboard. And that’s it. Another section now has cardboard, the hay and muck from yesterday and then cardboard. I’m not at all sure how this will turn out but gardening is a whole new learning curve for me and, if I’m honest, my objective was simply to have a dig-free patch so I’ll be happy if this is the only result!
I then, at long last, got round to putting the various doors and planks I’ve been collecting to good use – specifically, using them to stop me ruining any more of the field by poaching it up as I walk. Because there’s no set path, I just walk without paying any attention to where I’m going and inevitably end up “avoiding the mud”, thereby creating even more. So I’ve taken action and have laid the doors and planks over the worst parts so that the areas I’ve poached can have a break and recover from my thoughtlessness. Other areas have been topped with the dirty straw from the pig arks, which has made quite a difference. I’ve got lots more to do but am now paying attention to where I walk!
Once that was finished, I headed back indoors for some more coffee (yes, my blood is in fact a medium Gold Roast) and some soup before heading back out to prepare the pigs’ food, then feeding them and the chickens and making yet another couple of trips with water to refill the weaners’ bowl – and Tia and Scrumpy’s who, I was not amused to notice, had managed to fill theirs with mud. And, thanks to T and A, the field gate is now hanging quite happily on its hinges, so I no longer have to worry about the pigs making a real bid for freedom the next time they get out of their enclosures!
Once the animals were done, the dogs and I headed for home, picking B up from work on the way. And then, finally, our reward for working so hard recently: roast dinner at Jennie’s who, as always, didn’t just meet but beat all expectations by serving up a delicious roast beef (with yummy yorkies!), a mince pie/crumble/cake concoction that was served with the largest amount of whipped cream I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring (which I did, gladly), followed by home made mince pies…
The waistband on my jeans was complaining by the time I got home but my taste buds were utterly delighted. What a great end to the day, especially as we got to watch Mamma Mia!, something I’ve been wanting to see for ages.
Cheers Jennie – much appreciated by B and I 🙂
And many thanks for the cards. Brilliant!