So 2009 has arrived and what a cold welcome it gave us. As my darling sister has explained I took the liberty of spending the New Year in St Ives with its lovely micro-climate and lack of reception. I was unaware of the sheer madness the freeze was bringing. It was only as i was driving back and there were signs on the M4 warning of ice I realised how this year was going to start for me.
Even after specially laying new
pipes at the end of last year I arrived home to find all of the taps and hoses frozen, leaving me with the unenviable task of bucketing water by tractor to the cows - a job that takes me two and a half hours. Oh what a wonderful waste of time!!
I have also been cutting down wood for the burners in our very cold house and before my wife reads this and says its my own fault for not putting the heating on it unfortunately the heat seems to escape the house quicker than you can heat it.
So there you are my rant for the beginning of the year and don't I feel better for it although it has not warmed me up!
I thought I'd share some photos of our fabulous pigs, who I got to know a little bit during my week on the farm.
This friendly bunch are all the daughters of either Tallulah, our Ginger Tamworth sow (introduced here), or Broadband, our Essex Saddleback sow. Everyone's got the same sire - Christopher our great big gorgeous Essex Saddleback. As a result of the cross-breeding, these young pigs are a mixture of colours... black with a white band (like a Saddleback) or white markings, completely black, beautifully ginger (like a Tamworth), or the unusual (and quite fantastic) white with black spots!
Which one's your favourite?
For more pics, check out our pigs set on flickr, here.
Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a great holiday - sorry we've been a little quiet but Jim's been on holiday & the rest of us have been playing temporary farmhands.
My respect for my brother has quadrupled - in the last week I've discovered muscles that have been dormant since I began my deskjob over 7 years ago. Apart from the twice-daily routine of feeding and watering cattle, pigs and sheep I've cleared out his toolshed, chopped and collected firewood, dug the front garden (well a little bit of it), pruned the fig tree, cleaned the wood panelling, moved sheep between fields, held a new year's eve murder mystery party and fed 16 hungry walkers on new year's day. Proud of myself? Just a bit.
Feeling exhausted but very pleased with my new ruddiness, I took the dogs and my camera out for a quick walk yesterday morning, before the morning feed. It was a beautiful frosty morning and the cows were already up and mooing for their breakfast.
However I was soon to discover that Nature had a little going away present for me - the frosty morning also heralded frozen watertanks, hoses and taps...
So ensued the postponing of any other plans for what was a glorious winter Saturday. After breaking the ice, we spent the best part of the day boiling water in the kitchen kettles to defrost the hoses then filling big plastic bins with water to cart around the farm and ensure everyone had enough water. Further respect to my little bro, who deals with what the great outdoors throws at him every day.
some fields, Essex, East Anglia, UK, United Kingdom
We run a small rare breed farm in rural Essex and blog about life on the farm & anything that takes our fancy.
We sell fresh and frozen beef, pork, mutton and lamb. If you'd like to try our delicious meats please contact us at spayneshallfarmmeats*at*gmail.com and we'll send you a price list.
James and Annabel D-H