I’m blaming dry Jan, I always write my blog with a glass of wine to hand and have no problems at all. This time it has been hard to get going and yet, so much has changed and needs reporting. Blast dry Jan - I might need a glass just to look at!
Christmas Nativity seems an age away, Harry was given a huge billing as the live flock of sheep for the shepherds. However, cometh the hour, and I don’t know if it was stage fright or genuine but he held up a hoof and managed an impressive limp - cricks no sheep for the Shephards, but Elspeth stepped forward, my Manx Loughton ewe, and all was well. A quick health and safety assessment on the horns and children, I was more worried about attitude and the children, but all was well. Elspeth was made for the stage, she started in the Church yard then made her way to the alter and then was happily petted while the children roasted marshmallows - a slight drift from the script. Getting Elspeth to settle down to her rather dull routine was always going to be hard.
Elspeth waiting for her moment
While Elspeth adjusted, the family were set on planting trees - a great way to clear the head after a jolly Christmas and a rainbow to cheer up aching limbs.
Our youngest was unable to help with the tree planting as he had a pressing engagement with the Alps.
No snow here for Christmas but the daily feeding was made amusing by the one porker, who I called Pooh after Winnie, managed to work his way through the bars every feed time and made sure he had a head start on tea. The only problem was he was then too fat to get back through the bars! Luckily, he was very sociable and enjoyed the challenge of getting to know everyone else, even if he was out numbered sometimes.
Pooh checking the wheel barrow
Outnumbered 2 to 1
The 2 gilts are enjoying their Winter in the woods - luckily, they don’t have tusks to sharpen on the trees, so they do no damage and it's their natural habitat.
Duchess my Berkshire sow, didn’t produce on Christmas Day, but soon after, and they are always a mass of spots. It's always a challenge to see which spots belong to who. Duchess is a model mother and loves to share her achievements with us all. We think it could be 11 with a very small one who could be a runt.
Duchess has a new litter.
The sheep scans are done, those carrying 1 lamb are now up on the hill, those carrying 3 lambs are inside with hay and nuts and those with 2 are somewhere in between. The lambing season will soon be here and there will be plenty to bottle feed especially around the school holidays!
I should have started with the other very exciting news that Guy Fairhurst is now in the driving seat of Berry’s. He has redesigned the kitchen and is producing the most incredible food - when word filters out there will be cars pouring off the A684 and every seat filled. If coming to Fairhursts at Berry’s isn’t enough to tempt you out, come and enjoy a band of live Folk Music on 22nd February, for an evening of good food and entertainment. I am excited to see Berry’s moving on to the next level.
My life is definitely quieter with out the bustle of Berry’s life to bring me down the yard. However, I don’t miss the endless washing of t-towels or the fluid staff rotas! I now have time to plan the Farm Tour and Experiences which I can now look forward to sharing with everyone.
I feel next month will be devoted to the Highland cattle, the pig news has hogged the show this time.
Where was that glass of wine I was looking at?