Friday, 1 January 2016

The Hills Are Alive ........

The hills are alive with the sound of music,
I have just been watching the Sound of Music, nothing beats belting out a good song
Its not like there is anyone to hear me up on our hill.
Its time to celebrate the start of a new year,
Its time to start putting new plans into action
First on the list for 2016
 More Land in fact another 15 acres
 This land backs on to our land
 We have agreed a price to purchase the 15 acres, this will take our boundaries right up to the forest boundary at the back, these photos only show one of the fields, once we have signed the paperwork I will take you on a tour of it, jumping up from 5 acres to 20 acres seems a bit daunting, but we have plans for it, six new fields in total, one of the fields will be divided into four interlocking paddocks with a large shelter in the middle, this is were the Alpacas will all go to live together, the four paddocks will give the fresh grazing as they will be rotated round the paddocks, they will have access to the  shelter which ever paddock they are in, they will also have shelter from the weather from hedgerows in all the paddocks.
Another field will be put over to hay, one of the fields has lots of gorse, we plan to move the bee hives there, giving them lots of shelter, there are plans for the other fields, 
We need to get this all tied in the next couple of months, otherwise our plans will stall.

Next on the list is the fruit cage also we have decided the greenhouse and small poly tunnel are to go,
in there place we are getting another big poly tunnel, 
The new poly tunnel will house the citrus trees that will be planted into the ground
it will also house the potting benches and be used for propagation and growing from seed
also tender plants will be over wintered in the new poly tunnel.
The poly tunnel is going to be built over 4 of the raised beds, leaving only 4 out door raised beds
if in the future I need more outside growing space I can always rebuild some in another area.
 I was in the poly tunnel today, preparing a bed for some early potatoes
in a few days I will get some planted they should be ready for harvest April May time.
 Under this ghostly looking tent
 Are the Piquant Pepper plants that I grew from seed, they came from Dani over at Eco Footprint,
The plants have grown well although it was late in the year when they were started, we got a few peppers, the plants are still green, and I hope with some protection inside the poly tunnel they will survive and get a head start.
We are still harvesting from the tunnel, spinach, Swiss chard, the leeks will soon be ready to harvest,
along with radish and beetroot.
 I got the last of the Oca out of the ground this morning, even after all the rain the ground is still fairly workable,
 it drains off really fast.
Lots of things to look forward to outside.

 New year new diary, I was after a page a day diary, got one from poundland, to record eggs produced, egg sales, honey sales feed expenses and all other things to do with the small holding.

Seeds are waiting to be sorted and a new growing list and plans to be drawn up,
I really don't think I need to buy any seeds this year, I also have a lot of seed saved from our own produce, another few weeks and the first of the seeds will be on the go.

Six weeks and counting sees the goats giving birth, we need the new goat house built before the babies arrive and the goats moved in.
The Chickens have moved into there new home, the Turkey shed has been converted for them
nest boxes installed plenty of space for them to get out of the worst of the weather. Egg laying is on the increase we are up to 5 a day. Having windows in the new chicken house has helped as well.

New livestock is also on the list for this spring, pigs and lambs all for the table.

So that is a summary of what is planned so far.
I am looking forward to it all.


50 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your expansion. How exciting.
    Happy New Year.

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  2. Wishing you a wonderful 2016 and from your plans it looks like it is going to be a busy one!!! Wow....xx

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  3. Wow - those rotation paddock will be a blessing. Wish we had that for our alpacas.

    Glad you piquant pepper plants are hanging in there - maybe you'll have enough harvest to preserve next season... ;)

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    1. yes the peppers are hanging in if they dont make it I still have some seed

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  4. Happy New Year to you Dawn and OH. How exciting you really do have a lot planned and I wish you lots of success for it. I am so excited for you both. I like the idea for the Citrus - Citrus for the best part of the year then if not fresh preserved and own grown. Wonderful. Look forward to this year's posts. I am just off to make some butter which I picked up four very large pots of cream at 20p per pot. Catch you soon. Pattypan xx

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    1. I will have to do a bit of research on planting the citrus in the ground but fingers crossed they will do better

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  5. Congrats on the new aquisition. Lots of plans in hand, another busy year ahead.

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  6. Wonderful plans, such a lot to be excited about. You're going to have a busy year.

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  7. Good luck - looking forward to reading all about your new escapades. :-)

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  8. My goodness - you have such grand plans - may they all be enjoyable and fulfilled. I don't have a list - the only thing that I can think of that needs doing is to paint the new china cabinet that I got at Thanksgiving time. Hmmmm - better think of more things to accomplish this year.

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    1. Some of them will take a while to achieve but I will be trying my best

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  9. Wow, you have a lot of great plans for the coming year, I wish you well with all of them and will look forward to reading all about it as it happens! Good luck and enjoy! xx

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  10. Dawn - don't tell anyone..... but we did the Sound of Music tour when we went Salzberg one Christmas and ended up going round all the different places that were in the film, singing the songs from the film. Those are some really brilliant and exciting plans that you have there for 2016 - I will look forward to hearing all about what you're achieving next - Happy New Year xx

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    1. Salzberg has been on my list of places to visit

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  11. It sounds as though this year will be exiting and as busy as the last one. I like a bit of a musical, I caught Seven Brides when it was on before Christmas ans could be heard murdering Bless your beautiful hide for a few days.

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    1. Yes busy we will be I can always sing while I work

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  12. Happy New Year Dawn and Martin, goodness you're not letting the grass grow under your feet. I admire yo both for your sheer tenacity and hard work. I'm sure you'll be successful in everything you do. Looking forward to reading all about it. Tx

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    1. Well grass growing under our feet is what we will have more of, I hope

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  13. I do admire your fortitude and your enthusiasm and hope all goes according to plan.

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  14. Green, that's me, green your outlook, green everywhere around you both, good luck but with your hard work is not too much about luck.

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    1. It is going to a big increase to the work load but I am looking forward to it

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  15. 15 more acres is a huge step but one that is necessary I would imagine. Good fro you and an early congratz on that.

    I look forward to reading about how all your plans come about this year!!!

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    1. Our first plans were for less, but the opportunity came up for more and they wont be making more land

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  16. Love the plans you have made and look forward to seeing them develop as the year moves on. Sounds like you have made a good start/continuation with the vegetables anyway. I have Leeks. Full Stop! Oh, and my garlic is doing well - nearly 50 cloves of it.

    Remind me to test you on The Sound of Music next time we meet!

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    1. As long as you dont ask me to sing

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  17. Exciting about the land! I live the idea of the four paddocks together, I think I need to move my animals more this year to give the grass a chance to recover faster.
    the girls and I have been digging the ocas this mornign as well, I've got loads and still more to dig. I'm looking forward to using them in the coming months, they tasted nice with our roast today!
    Happy New Year to you both!

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    1. I am hoping that the four paddocks will work well for the Alpacas

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  18. Such exciting plans for the Year, they all sound wondeful!

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  19. Wow, you'll be so busy in the coming year. You'll have to set up a stall at the gate! It's so nice you can go out and sing (and dance if you want) like nobodies watching. I think if I did that the neighbours would think some one was being attacked and call the police. lol Looking forward to reading about all your additions to the farm.

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    1. not much passing trade at the gate but I will take some to put on my monthly stall

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  20. Happy new year Dawn! Sounds like you have lots to keep you busy in 2016 and it's great that you can get stuck straight into it all, I look forward to your blog posts this year and I'm very excited to hear about when the goat kids arrive! Em x

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    1. I am excited about the kids arriving as well

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  21. That's great news Dawn, what a fantastic way to start the new year. I wish the pair of you al the best xx

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  22. Congratulations on your land purchase Dawn. Are there any grants available to put a couple of acres down to trees? Look forward to reading all about it!

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    1. I think the grants have now all finished but I will look into once we are up and going

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  23. Happy New Year!

    Could you please do a recipe using the Oca? I am fascinated by it. I might have to grow some.

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    1. There isnt any recipe I use for them, I just use them the same way you would potatoes

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  24. 15 more acres! That is so exciting! We would love to add land to our 5 acres but that seems impossible. Anyway, I'm delighted you can do it. Great list, BTW.

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    1. Its surprising how quick you fill up 5 acres, and to keep down the use of medication on livestock we need space to rotate them

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  25. Heaps of congratulations and many good wishes.

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