Thursday, November 29, 2012

Around the croft



The crofting year drifts on - never ending in its cycle.  All though we are heading towards the darkest days, Spring is already well ahead with its plans. The ram is in with the sheep - Tupping time as it is known here, and hopefully the results will be seen in April. We have moved the cattle up to the field beside the house - a nice slow amble up the hill in the low Winter sunlight.


They are soon settled in to their new place.  Dexter cows are very hardy and they should winter out here quite easily. We have 5 cows in our little herd. Delia and Baby have been with us for a couple of years now, but we recently added three more. Celia and her calf, Gretel, and Fiona, who was originally called Madame, but was soon renamed by James to a more appropriate Scots name.


And here is the lovely Fiona.  She is a beautiful, gentle soul and is due to calve at the end of December. In fact all the cows, except for little Gretel should hopefully be in calf. Celia had been running with another Dexter bull for a few months before she came to us, so hopefully by late Spring, we should see another addition.  And Delia and Baby have been spending a lot of time with Gorgeous, our neighbour's Highland bull, so maybe in the Summer...


We have high hopes of milking Fiona once her calf has arrived, and are working towards setting up a place to do that.  In the meantime, we have been getting her used to the idea. I think James could be just the right man for the job!



They are such friendly neighbours, and it is a pleasure to catch sight of them out of the windows as we go about our day.



Things are still growing in our veg beds - lovely calendula lives up to its name and flowers all year.







Lots of brassicas - kale, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and swede (rutabaga) as well as salads, leeks, carrots, chard and fennel. I am so pleased at how the raised beds have turned out. Hopefully the garden will feed us for a couple of months yet, and I am already starting to plan for next season.


Another of our neighbours dropped off a couple of large hay bales that had started to rot - what a great gift for a grower - and for hens too! They have now been spread over the empty beds as a winter mulch.



And so it goes - the daily round of stock checking, feeding, repairing, harvesting and Winter projects - and sometimes rounding up escaped sheep!  As the daylight hours are shorter, so we have to hurry and complete the chores before darkness falls.


And then it is home for dinner, and the warmth of the peat fire.


♥♥♥

20 comments:

  1. Oooh, I can feel the heat of the fire from here!! Lovely to catch up with the goings on.

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  2. Your croft looks so busy with life!
    I do adore your cows and so wish I had
    a few myself, maybe soon.
    Lots of kale, cabbage, lettuce, collards and the such growing here, it's all so good and I hope we receive a little rain to keep it going.

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  3. Lovely. Your coows look very calm. Unlike Mr Crofter's Shetlands over in Tolsta!

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    1. Oh they are - you are welcome to pop by and see them anytime x

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  4. Cows have the sweetest faces. They are such gentle souls. You have a lovely home. Thank you for sharing it with us!

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  5. I love this post! Thank you so much for sharing views of your life. Makes me really wish we were able to move to a farm. :)

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  6. I love the smell of a turf fire: so soothing and evocative. People have been smelling that for thousands of years - quite a comforting thought. You were clearly meant to be here - I'm glad that you made it.

    Luffy

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  7. What a lovely tour round your croft it looks like a busy, but inspiring place to live.

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  8. I feel so calm and relaxed after reading this. I'm sure it's a ton of work but your pictures are so pastoral and peaceful, they make me like there's a wonderful ebb and flow to life. Favorite picture is the top one with the sheep; I'm not sure how you took it but the light in it is fabulous and I like how it's taken from the road level.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks JTS - it is just a shot into the sunlight as I walked behind - no filters. I love it too xx

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  9. It looks like a gentle pace of life, the cows are lovely x

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  10. Beautiful photos as always Jacqui. Especially the first, wow! We're enjoying (if that's the right word) the heavy frost down here; I'm imagining it conditioning the soil, breaking down the clumps, in readiness for Spring. Ever the optimist! xx

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  11. What a wonderful post! I see we are experiencing many of the same joys in the garden all these miles apart. We were so happy to have calendula decorating our table for Thanksgiving, and our raised beds are working out similarly. What a treat to get that hay, I know what a blessing that is!

    Looks like your son will be quite the good milkman:-)

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  12. Everything is just so.... soo picture perfect. I surely enjoy following your Barefooting on The Croft... but what beats it all is the PEAT FIRE !

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  13. Love hearing the crofting news!!

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  14. Thanks for sharing a bit of the beautiful world in which you live. Just lovely!

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  15. Beautiful cows... my husband and I think that we should have a day dedicated to cows, for all they give us.xxx

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  16. Wow, I am in love with your photography. I stumbled over from Soulemama. What a great find!

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  17. you live in such a beautiful place - I love your photos : )

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