our first proper Christmas at Crooked End – and the very best wishes to you all (that is, anyone stumbling across this blog…) Time for a bit of reflection on what has been a very exceptional year. Firstly, the year in which at least one crooked ender decided to leave a “real” job and devote more time to the farm. Secondly, the arrival of a new crooked ender – born at home – which is great news and a real blessing to us all. Thirdly, we managed to complete one set of building work so that our neighbours ands business partners are at least living witn enough space for their family.
On the farm it has been another incredibly wet year. Spring Field had pigs in it this year and at some points in the year it looked like a WW1 battlefield with the mud. Whether this is a sign of things to come with warmer and wetter climate we shall see. Otherwise things have gone pretty well I think – sheep, pigs and hens all well established (even allowing for the hens I let the fox get through sloppy shedlocking)
Finally we have slowly moved to getting the website back up. We got involved with some domain hosting “disputes” but we are finally back up at http://www.crookedend.co.uk (although you only really get a link back to here at the moment !)
Anyway – Happy Christmas and all the best for the New Year. I mut get back to packing christmas orders for delivery tomorrow or Christmas eve !
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We planted willow Osiers this weekend to try and form a green barrier between us and our neighbour – although we get on very well she is not an organic farmer and the Soil Association recommend that we plant a barrier between her land and ours. Although we have plenty of other hedging around the farm we would like to try the willow osier as we hope it can be coppiced as early as next year and also because it tolerates having “wet feet” better than some others. we bought the 60cm rooted cuttings from our local hedge-mongers – hopefully they will get established a lot quicker than simply heeling in unrooted cuttings.
Gary, our latest wwoofer, helpd complete the planting and maybe we will get on with all the other outstanding tasks in the remaining time he has with us. Of course, time is at a premium this close to christmas and it already looks like we will be delivering meat and produce right the way up until Christmas eve ! I guess that indicates we are busy which is good news in these credit-crunch times…
Incredible – another month already gone and Christmas looming. I am happy to report uplift in production from the blackrock hens and a healthy wodge of Christmas orders – especially for our lamb. I can also report the arrival of Jess the trainee sheepdog – although we all need a bit of training too before she becomes – ahem- effective !
Paul the travelling wwoofer has moved on to Guernsey for Christmas but he has left our polytunnels in good shape. Meanwhile, Fred the boar is busy doing his funky stuff with eleanor the sow so we can have piglets early in the new year. Finally we have successfully hatched our first chicks – although with the fox about it’s not clear we hcan hatch them as fast as he could eat them !