I’ve bought a new kitchen - not to be outdone by my son, who has rebuilt a small dovecote barn, his shopping list for Leyburn was much more exciting than mine - and top of the list was a kitchen.
I saw the kitchen on a web site, and it was perfect. I was worried it wouldn’t fit in the car: would I need two trips? But the kind lady carried it to the car, took the cash - and said please leave quickly before the family see me. It is perfect - with a toaster, microwave, coffee machine and pizza oven, the best £25 I have ever spent, and I hope the little family I bought it from are not missing it too much.
The new kitchen
On the farming front, the cattle have had a good Summer and enjoyed plenty of grass - Gav the goat was surprised that the maternity unit ended up in his field, but luckily there was little competition for the shelter.
Luckily the competition was too big
We had a Highland week last month when the Highland cattle were walked down the hill and checked over. One day it was clipping feet, the next it was ear tag checking, the next the vet did any castrations that were necessary, and finally the two young beasts heading for the abattoir were separated. The rest walked back up the hill with trimmed feet and tagged ears. The two young beasts are now in my freezer and have supplied some of the best beef we have had. I try and sell most of the beef directly, if anyone is interested - grass fed only and grown incredibly slowly. And eating grass fed beef is good for the climate – just ask Jamie Blackett in his latest article in the Sunday Telegraph.
We are lucky that our black and white cows are all very tame having been hand raised with buckets - this young cow was intrigued by my spaniel.
It's black and white but it doesn't smell quite right
I realise not all cows are as relaxed as ours. This little fellow was brought in for ear tagging, and looked a bit lost in the cubicle. He will stay with Mum for about 9 months.
One day I will fill all this space like mum
The handsome Chutney, our home bred boar, is in no doubt who is king of the castle. With our young black Berkshire sow, they make quite the power couple. Hopefully resulting in some pretty piglets after Christmas.
Keeping an eye on yard activities
The dust is settling after a hectic weekend of Christening celebrations for Summer, our grand-daughter - it was great to fill the church and sing hymns after so many months of remote worship and recorded singing.
We have had record numbers of farm tours and farm experiences this school half term - ably led by Tim, the activities have ranged from moving cows, building walls, pulling up poisonous plants, mucking out the pigs, checking water springs and a whole list of other farming jobs which for us are familiar but to most are unusual. Give me the unusual any day.