Friday, 2 September 2011


Cosmos Dazzler

So it's the dénouement of the summer holidays. We've ground to a halt after weeks of doing things, seeing friends and going places. H9 and R7 are looking forward to going back to school on Monday. I think they miss the routine, the tick tock of the weeks. I'm not sure we have done everything we planned so a bit of mopping up of things - our aborted trip to Folly Farm is one - must happen between now and Christmas the end of the year.

The haylage has been made. It was mown on Tuesday (by a neighbour with his mower-conditioner so it doesn't need turning or rowing up.) Yesterday afternoon it was baled - 22 big round bales in total, nine in one field, 13 from the other. Last night as the sun set H9, R7 and I took the dogs up to see (I forgot my camera). The sky was a hazy lilac, with the pink of sunset on the horizon. When we got to the field about 200 crows were sitting on the electricity wires chatting amongst themselves. As we approached they flew off cawing chased by the ever hopeful but invariably futile dogs.

This morning Brian brought the haylage bales down one by one then our neighbour came back and wrapped them. As a small farm with just the one rickety tractor it is vital to have helpful neighbours with useful machinery. We have tried contractors but they can't get their monster tractors through our little gateways and I don't think our agri-environmental scheme would look kindly on us if we hauled out centuries old slate gateposts to make way.

The 22 haylage bales are now in a neat orderly row in the field by the house and will be stacked when it is convenient (and not raining!)

The sloes are ripening. It looks like a good crop this year. We have blackthorn in every hedge surrounding every field on our 22 acres so there are always a lot of sloes. I still have about 3lbs in the freezer that I picked last year and couldn't quite afford the gin.


  1. Hay made; school starting. The return to the autumnal ritual.
    Once the bales were wrapped, did you leave them lying in a row, so passers buy would be wowed by the giant caterpillar (which might be big enough to demolish the smalholding)?

  2. Ah, not affording the Gin - I know that one! I have just made Damson Gin using half a bottle of Danny's (shhhhhhh. He hasn't noticed its gone yet!) and half a bottle made possible by a very frugal grocery shop this week.

    The sloes are good around here too, but the blackberries AWFUL. We don't have bees our side of the valley, which could account for it, along with the strange weather patterns this year.

    Well done with your haylage crop. Let's hope we don't have a similar winter to the last 2 years, but I'm not holding my breath . . .

  3. Every time I read one of your posts I think how lucky your girls are to have a mum like you and to grow up in such a special place.

  4. I have only recently discovered your blog and enjoy reading about your gardening. I am in the process of growing some of the flowers for my daughters wedding as an experiment, she gets married next year.This year is a trial, its been an interesting experience.I live in South Pembrokeshire, so your life in the Preseli resonates with me.Its so iddylic for your children and your clear love of the countryside shines through.


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