Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Snowy December

I thought we might be lucky and not get too much snow this winter, unlike the rest of the country but overnight on 21st we had five inches. It might look beautiful but it's tiring work having to look after animals in the snow. Spent ages shovelling snow to make it safe to walk the horses from the stables to the field. Now I just need to get to the shops!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thatching the Ridge

This autumn we are having the ridge on the house repaired and rethatched, around one of the chimneys and in the valley at the back of the house.
Terry from Bishops Lydeard, nr Taunton is our thatcher and will be with us about 10 days. He will also clear the moss and debris on the existing thatch to hopefully allow the rain to run off the roof quickly. He does this with a hedge cutter and you can already see the difference. We hope that we will not have anymore major work to the thatch for another ten years, subject to no leaks!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stone Barn Roof

We are now in the process of having the front part of the roof on the old stone barn replaced. The back half of the roof is covered in slates and the other half wascovered in old sheeting which was sagging and many of the timbers broken and full of wood worm. To aid light into the barn we are having some roof lights which should make it feel light and airy. PFG Fabrications from Bampton in Devon is doing the work for us, they also built our new modern agricultural barn. We will then have new wiring before the walls for the stables can be completed and the rubber flooring and walls put in place.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Painting the End Wall

The end wall of Burrow Farm House has been covered in Ivy, even climbing on to the roof and over the thatch, so we took the decision to take out all the shrubs growing along the wall of the house so that we could get to the Ivy. This weekend we stripped the walls ready for painting and in the autumn we will restore the grass verge and plant some new bushes beside the house as well as some spring bulbs. At least our guests should be able to find us now, even in the dark as the wall is so bright and they will no longer be fighting with a bush as the open the gate!

The Guinea Fowl

Whilst at Moonridge Farm in Crediton I bought four guinea fowl. Two hens and two cock birds. One male is a Lavender colour whilst the others are called Pearl. We kept them in the old chicken house for several weeks until they were settled before we allowed them free to wander. They are supposed to roost in the trees at night, but so far they prefer to go back into the chicken house when I feed them in the evening. They make very good guard 'dogs' as they make a terrible noise if anything disturbs them, so I hope if a fox does snoop around they will alert me.

New Indian Runner Ducks

Earlier in the year I lost two Indian Runner ducks to a fox, so this spring we have put up some electric fencing along the edge of the garden fence to hopefully stop any foxes preying on the ducks. I have bought two brown and white ducks from http://www.moonridgefar.co.uk/ near Crediton, Exeter who breed waterfowl and poultry.
At the moment the two young ducks and one of my drakes are residing in my brothers garden until they know each other well and I can move them to the garden with the other Indian Runner ducks and drake.

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Wall for the Orchard

At Christmas Russell our stone mason slipped over and broke a knee cap, so he has been off work until the middle of March which meant he was not able to finish to main wall.
To help him ease back into work as he had lost a lot of his fitness and also had to wait for his knee to mend we asked him to create a small stone wall to hold back the earth by the garage and orchard. I have planted some Aubretia in pockets within the wall, but I don't think they are surviving too well because the ducks have been busy pecking at them. I will try and replant in the autumn.

Medieval Barn

The wet winter and exceptionally cold weather in February has caused a lot of damage to the medieval barn and alot of the rendering has fallen off in patches, so we have been busy repairing and painting sections of the barn. The rendering on the chimney for the cottage also fell off, but when the scaffolding was put up for the repair work it was worse than we thought, so Andy our builder took down the whole stack and rebuilt it. The only good thing was when he took off the brick work it revealed part of the original stone chimney.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snowy start to 2010

We had snow on Wednesday 6th January but at least we only had 4inches and we haven't suffered like the rest of the country. Today (Thursday) I awoke to a beautiful sunny day with an amazing blue sky. I just had to take a photograph of Dunkery with Fairgarden Farm in the foreground. We have this view to the west from our fields. I walked to Wootton Courtenay village today and it reminded me of an Alpine walk with the sun shining on the glistening snow. The road was icy near the village so I took a detour along a bridleway and crossed a field of ponies to reach the village without having to go up the hill. I met several local people out shopping and walking dogs and only a couple of vehicles driving through the village road which was clear of snow. The horses enjoyed rolling in the snow this morning, but the goats refused to come out of their house and I think the ducks are a bit fed up as half of their pond is covered in ice, although the water is running through it from the stream.