Archive for February, 2010

Escape artists…

All the pigs are currently still in the field. Tony and Pete did their best to get the 3 whose time was up into the trailer but the pigs had other ideas and eluded them. They spent a fun couple of hours chasing the pigs around and trying to lure them in but in the end they didn’t want stressed pigs and they ran out of time to get them to the abbatoir so the pigs have lived another day. I am secretly a little relieved as I am going to miss the little girl but it just means I have to say goodbye all over again. We’ll try again next tuesday after building a corral this weekend.

Last weekend we managed to get most of the kitchen fitted, the toilet painted, skirting board and wood to clad some wiring up and the shed is starting to look a little bit like a place you would want to spend some time. More painting to do this weekend…

It’s going to be tough to get everything done in time but I am still confident that we will do it thanks to everyone helping so much. Rupert has been brilliant letting us borrow his vans, putting up fencing, giving us old pallets from his warehouse and now he is going to let me print posters and leaflets at his office. I’m going to have to make sure the launch party is pretty amazing  to thank everyone.

I’ll be working 4 days a week from 1st of March  so that will give me a little bit more time to get things done but if you are in Surrey between now and april, are at a loose end and are a dab hand with a paint brush or rotivator give me a shout, i’ve got a couple of things you could help with 😉

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Some pictures

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Double diggers

The growning season is fast approaching and I am starting to feel the pressure to get everything ready in time. I’ve decided to give myself a launch date of easter to get prepared. Luckily it seems everyone else is feeling the same and it’s been all hands to the deck.

Last weekend was hetic but we got loads done.  I got up bright and earlier and with the help of a loaned van went to Paula’s to pick up a whole load of pig food.  I managed to fill and load 20 huge sacks of nuts and cake and now have biceps of steel. It’s good for you this farming lark! I did also have a nice cup of coffee and a chat with Paula and she did have to reverse the van into the barn for me because I was rubbish so there is still a lot to learn!

While I was doing that Tony and Pete were rounding up 3 piglets to take on a little holiday to Bev’s house to dig over her garden and get the ground ready to plant an orchard.  Once I had got the boys to unload the food from the van we took the piglets over and got them settled in. Bev’s daughter had thought up some pretty names for them but I’m not sure how the little boys are going to feel about being called Fluffy and Feather. The pigs got down to work immediately, beautiful lawn obviously tasted good 🙂

The next task of the day was to move the rest of the pigs from their swamp (the land now to be known as the allotment area) into their new pen so they could start clearing that. All the pigs except one trotted in happily but one didn’t seem to be able to cross the area that the electric fence had been and took ages to build up the courage. Moving the arcs and replumbing the trough took a little longer but luckily Chris had hired a digger for the weekend and was able to lift the arcs over the fence which was way easier than us trying to lift them – they weigh a tonne! Pete and Tony wired in the electric fence and ran new water pipes. Team work in action!

With the pigs settled in Chris could get to work with his digger, digging a perimeter rabbit fence trench, clearing some trees, doing a big of lancscaping for a parking area and generally having digger fun. Caroline borrowed it for a bit as well to dig holes from her trees so it was a very productive bit of diggering. I thought the pigs would be scared of it but they seem fascinated and followed it about as it went around the edge of their pen – most odd.

While we were doing this Dan was hard at work plastering the “throne room” which is now looking great. Now all we need to do is plumb in the sink and loo and decorate and it will be functional. Oh and finish the septic tank.

A lovely lady on freecycle is giving us some kitchen units, the wiring is all complete – it is really all coming together now. Its very exciting!

I’ve been learning this week about The Diggers –  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diggers . Does this mean i’m an agarian communist too?  Nice piece on Radio 4 here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qbz09

3 more pigs off next week so time for me try to make more pate. I’m really sad about these 3, the two saddlebacks just look so sweet, although as they are both boys and they are teenagers now they getting a bit rampant although i’m not sure they know what they are doing. Lizzie’s daughter is my favourite and is quite a character but she is too small for breeding.  I’ve tried to convince the boys that we should keep her as a pet but it doesn’t work like that. It’s going to be a sad day. We’ll just have to make sure we do them justice.

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