Late lamb/s!!

Well, what a surprise we had yesterday….a new lamb! We weren’t expecting any more as the ewes who hadn’t given birth already are only 1 year old, plus Wiltshires supposedly have a once a year breeding period in February/March. Wiltshire lambs born in October is not usual!! Fortunately, the very young mum and her little boy lamb are doing fine….and the other 1 year old ewe is obviously pregnant too!

Late lamb

Spring update…..

Spring is such a lovely time of the year! Not too hot, enough rain not to need to water the garden, births, and overall growth…….

The aquaponics system is going very well, and we have eaten our first trout from it.

Smoked trout

With the warmer weather coming, we have been monitoring the water temperature as the trout are not happy if it is over 20C. to help extend the season, and reduce the algae that was growing in the fish tank, we put up a gazebo to shade the fish tank. This also provided a structure to attach a support for the tomatoes that are growing like crazy!

Aquaponics October 2012

The orchard is also going very well in this gorgeous weather, with the peaches, nectarines, mulberry and citrus all fruiting. We have high hopes for the olive trees too, after only two olives last year!

Olive tree flowering

We have even preserved some of the lemons, and made jam with mulberries for later….

Preserved lemons

In fact, we have been able to spend a bit more time preserving some produce, and decided to convert a room to store it in! We will be able to use this room for butchering as well, instead of outside where we usually have done it.

Produce room

We also have our very first bee hive, and have ordered our bees….so this room will also be where we can extract the honey safely (away from the bees!).

Naturally, being spring, there have been numerous births (and unfortunately some deaths). Two bantams successfully hatched chicks, though four were killed/taken by something, perhaps a crow. We also lost a duck, we think to an eagle, as there was nothing left but feathers and a beak. Two ducks are sitting on eggs, and three turkeys….so hopefully more births will follow!