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When the north wind doth blow...

Margaret Finlay: It’s not just dairy cattle here at Rainton, we also have a flock of about 500 sheep, mostly Scotch Mule ewes - a cross between a Scottish Blackface ewe and a Blue Faced Leicester tup. The crossbred ewe is supposed to embody the best bits of the each breed - hardiness and good natural mothering, and prolificness with good milk production respectively. The southwest of Scotland where the farm is located, is generally accepted to have a ‘maritime’ climate, with cool summers and mild winters - warmer and wetter than the east is a common description. Not this March.

22 April 2013 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 3

Hedges, growing and beef...

Emma Heseltine: This time of year it is all about hedges and I’ve been working on two this week. The first, at Wallacefield, is a fairly well contained affair that just needs a little off the top. We work our way along with loppers taking out the straggly bits and piling them up on one side of the fence to make a bonfire later. It is of course full of blackthorn which is the spikiest natural substance known to man.

27 January 2013 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 4

Limps, Skye's problem and snow...

Emma Heseltine: One or two of our ewes are limping. We get them in to have a look see what the problem is. One of them has a bit of an ulcer on her toe and needs a bit of TLC. I give her a pedicure and clean out the foot with salt water and goop it up with some foot paste. She is going to stay in the pen tonight to keep her feet out of the mud. She is not impressed. There are a couple of others who get a foot trim too. Our sheep are big and not the easiest to tip, especially if they’re are not in the mood.

13 January 2013 | 12 Comments | Recommended by 2

Condition scoring, finding sheep in the snow and shortbread...

Emma Heseltine: The second of the seminars was this weekend. First we visited Daylesford in Gloucestershire, a wonderfully large operation with a very fancy shop which I felt somewhat out of place in my muddy wellies. Later it was on to Abbey Home Farm where our seminars were to take place, those of us staying over were to sleep in the green room, with its lovely roaring fire, in a somewhat school-trip themed pile on the floor.

11 December 2011 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 1

Darn the snow

Ben Raskin: I had taken some holiday just before Christmas and had hoped to spend a day or two on the site. However the snow and ice meant there was little point, so instead I had a lovely week with the family and looked at fruit catalogues

22 December 2010 | 3 Comments | Recommended by 5

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