Merry Christmas from all at Der Bauernhof

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The various versions of “Merry Christmas ” on the card are to the countries that have visited our blog in the last 12 months. Shown below in descending order.

United Kingdom 8032
Germany 491
United States 139
Italy 44
Canada 18
Ireland 7
Malaysia 6
Israel 4
Spain 4
Norway 4
Poland 3
Qatar 3
Australia 2
Japan 2
European Union 2
Singapore 2
India 1
Switzerland 1
France 1
Vietnam 1
Mexico 1
Netherlands 1
Russia 1
Oman 1

world

 

Thanks to all of you wherever you are. And a very happy Christmas to everyone

 

M&M

Nesting Sow ? Yeh! And pigs might Fly

output_JBRaVBAfter the inconvenience of Bird flu “lock down” We set about fencing the top road by the barn , thanks to Mayflower kitchens for the wood. Martina stained them and I hammered them into place.

Our poor Birds are mad and confused , They have No idea who the senior veterinary  officer is let alone why he should wish to incarcerate them. every one of them is Bored to death and they have to stay cooped up till minimum 7th Jan..

Coco is Now in her farrowing unit. To be fair she was NOT to keen but now after a couple of days she has settled down ( I might even be able to take the reinforcing off the door. ) and she has made herself a nice warm comfortable NEST. She will hopefully be done and dusted this week ,then perhaps me and martina can chill out for a couple of days over christmas.

I May ( or May NOT ) have mentioned that Martina is german ( Hence the name of the Farm )  So whilst we may well have to be playing “Midwife” to a pig ( She is due 25th dec ) we shall at least be able to gorge our selves on Germanic Christmas fare .. Mmmmm Im gonna be Sooooooo FAT ,,,, Not !

And this is what we were doing this time last year [Click here ]

Bye for now See you Christmas week ( Unless we are Piggy Parents Before 🙂 … )

Mart n Martina

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Avian Flu and One pedantic PIG

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Sometimes your best laid plans get blow out of the water , No matter how good your intentions. THIS week we have have to deal with ” The Chief Veterinary Officer has declared a Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from a strain of Avian Flu in Europe” Well that has put a cat amongst the pigeons so to speak. So we have spent the weekend dealing with this. it meant moving livestock in to covered buildings or covering what we had in place to make it impervious to the wild birds. The chicken Shack was easiest as it was already enclosed Martina just covered it mostly with Debris netting. The turkeys and geese were a tad more problematic as they were genuinely free range and we had no where really they could be put. so the Royal Family were dispatched to “DJ” [the top polytunnel] and the Turkeys split between the C0c0s Farrowing pen and “Polly”. None of them are best pleased. Geese especially They are convinced it is punishment and are plotting their escape.  I Should have guessed they were up to No good when this :-web_xxx_img_2176

arrived via UPS. anyway after checking the polytunnel all looked in order , however “stella” looked to be ” on guard” , What do you think ?

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whilst the rest were busy. I just knew they were up to something they just hung around looking innocent………

But they were not quick enough sunday and I CAUGHT them and on closer inspection we found this ,

Anyway the plot was foiled.. And the promise of More apple has convinced them to desist for the time being !

The rest of the fowl have been much more accepting in their  circumstance  like the Chickens ! however that does not mean they are happy about it .

Barry white and his backing singers + bernard and Bernardette were in fact pleased to escape the turkey towers. Its is small but tall BUT not large enough for day to day living they are just supposed to sleep in it after all they are Free Range.

Bobby and the bobbets are consigned to the barn and are suffering in silence

Meanwhile the the place seems very quiet and empty. Turkey towers is empty Goose hoose is empty damn the whole place seems dead.

Anyway I digress. Our Boar Gyorgy was supposed to be going to stay with mandy and her girls but even with the erection of some temporary hurdles to guide his way . He chose NOT to get in to the trailer . Fortunately They were very understanding and said they would come back and try again . Shame all round really as it was a foul day and the view was of low cloud. So I have put this picture in for them 🙂

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The last piece of the farrowing shack was acquired this week, a 250 watt Infra red lamp from those lovely people at GE-MARE feeds who pound for pound are cheaper than MVF.

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And this is what we were doing this time last year [Click here ]

Tat Ta for now.

Mart n Martina

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Lighting fires and the fear of stopping

output_JBRaVBT here are some days up here on maundown when it is so COLD you dare NOT stand still in case you freeze to ground , so to get around this problem martina and I have taken to jogging up and down the hill .. NOT…… We instead lit fires ,some of the trees we cut down whilst clearing the meadow hedge was dry enough to catch and My sons “A” and  “B” turned up with a load of rubbish from a job he is on for a second fire. The sun is really low this time of the year and parts of the property do not get any sun at all and subsequently were still frosty at 3.30 web_dscf9077sunday afternoon and the sun had been out most of the day.

 

What the minus celsius weather has not curtailed is mr mole who still seems to manage to break through the frozen earth. He seems to be popping up al over the

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The chickens were huddled together laying claim to the few places where the sun hits the ground.

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Gyorgy is off on a busman’s holiday next week and in order to help us guide him up orchard road to the transport we extended the rickety rustic fence up orchard road from the pigs pen to  the triangle . We will use  the pallets on the other side if we cannot get the fence done in time.

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The old oak is definitely in winter mode the cold winds have peeled the last of the leaves from the trees that surround us. but the sky was crystal clear

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Oh yes the weatherstone says its cold and the crystal ball looks decidedly white. An Omen ? Who knows  🙂

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And this is what we were doing this time last year ( Click here ) 

Finishing Touches

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Well after the sleet and wintry slush of last weekend , the new week started with torrential rain so much it overwhelmed the “cross site gully” and the pipe under molly’s bridge.

The weekend was spent finishing stuff we had started and for one reason or another , either not got around to finishing or something more important got in the way. Martina did not like the flooring in turkey towers ( hard to clean and encouraged Rats And you dont want to do that , Because up here they are five feet long wear knuckle dusters and all look as happy as “Peter Lorre”) so I ripped it out and martina replaced it with a sandy rubble .

We were gifted some Ply from a company in wellington so I used it to finish CoCo’s farrowing unit. including a piglet flap ( like a Cat flap only longer and not for cats 🙂 …) to force the little piggies into a warm area away from mum ( she will need some respite from time to time.)

Another bit of the said ply has been utilised to “fill a Gap” while i save up enough money to get the local chuckle brothers to cut me a few 4.5 meter waney boards the hole has been filled above the garage door , it will make the workshop secure and stop the rain coming in.

While on the subject of Workshop. I found time to put up the second workbench I nearly finished it as well 🙂  well there plenty of days left in this year. isnt there ?

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The Mangalitsas were NOT happy with the fact that the incessant rain had crept under the arc and had made it wet inside . so to keep them happy We used yet more of the donated ply to put in a raised floor to insulate them from the cold and damp .. They seem to like it …. take a look for your self

We also picked up a heap of the two meter long pallets from Mayflower , I have no idea what they used them for BUT we use them for just about everything . Gates / Hurdles / Turkey sheds / goose hoose / fencing / the list is endless . I hate to think what the equivalent wood would cost were I to buy it . And we have utilized dozens of them.

We continue to prep up for coco’s move to the farrowing unit this includes lighting and heating we are using two small generators as a failsafe. they are more than enough to power the lighting and infra red lamps.

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You can always tell when martina is cutting up apples by the ever increasing collection of foul outside the barn 🙂

I will leave you this week with Der Bauernhof looking decidedly bare and wintry

And this time last year we were doing THIS :-  🙂 Click Here  YOU would think we would have learnt by now  🙂  But NO we are still at it ..

 

 

Tat Ta for now.

Mart n Martina

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Foul Weather ! Smokin’ Farrowing ! and Ellie giving it Large !

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Well our  new 4×4 Suki has earnt her bread this week. Shes been to hauling straw from GE=MARE feeds in Holford. Collecting 220 ltr drums from Cullompton , Picking up A Cold Smoker from Weston-super-mare. and some glazing and wood from Watchet and Pallets from Wellington. Miles and miles and NOT missed a beat.

Friday we were welcomed by Winter.Wet Cold Sleet , pigs were ok with it but the Turkeys were Not to keen

Our first sow to farrow is CoCo (who is due christmas week ) will be moved up to the top barn ,So as the weather was so foul Martina and I set about the farrowing pen as it was inside out of the weather. There is ample room for her to get comfortable and a little area for the piglets to get away from mum. This area will be heated as piggies when they are born are susceptible to the cold till they have had a few days on the Sows colostrum.

We picked up some more 220ltr drums from the lovely Freecyclers in cullompton ,they will be cut top to bottom in to two halves and used for the aquaponic beds for the wasabi.

The smashing people we got our mangalitsas from kindly donated a Cold Smoker for us the experiment with when we have our first batch of slaughtered pigs next year. We will be trying everything from Bacon to Bockwurst and Hams hocks and Tilapia ( fish by product of the Aquaponics. ) Basically if its edible Im gonna have a go at Smoking it.

I spent sunday buzzing around picking up stuff and modifying and painting the smoker.

As you can tell from the following pics Ellie loves to sit up on stuff to look around , on this occasion its the trailer still attached after returning from Wellington with pallets.

But what Ellie does best is to let anyone who has the odasity to use the road JUST WHO Owns this particular bit of England . Short , Yes . Shy , No she is NOT 🙂

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Hope the Storm Angus passes off quickly and we dont get anything that starts with a ‘B’ to soon.

Mart n Martina

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We get a SuZuki The Goats get a “Porsche” Nah! ………… Porch :)

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Herzlich willkommen auf dem bauernhof Suki Zu 

Welcome Suki our latest addition She, as she does NOT [ like randy ] have the sexual identity issues. She is definitely a SHE , is a 1600cc Mk 1 Vitara JLX whos previous owner seems to have Never driven as she has only covered 2000 miles in the last two mots. and 67000 in total. It is remarkably rust free and we would like to say a big thanks to The team at Roadwater Garage for helping us find a rapid replacement for the NOW DECEASED RANDY . My first job was  to fit a spanking new Tow bar from a company called Anker ( Who in my humble opinion are missing the letter “W” from the front of the company name ) the holes on the Drop Angles to fit the main bar were about a quarter on an inch out which meant I had to re-drill them just to get it to fit … Pah I hate 5 minute jobs …  Damn nearly wasted half a day sorting it . Grrr  Any way the finished article looks good and ready for work..

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We have  aquired one totally Mental Mangalitsa Boar .. Rather than getting comfortable in the ark with his two ladies he decided to dig a hole in a discarded pile of bricks and bury his arse in that. Mental bugger.

The Porch was an addition to the goats sleeping quarters , It get very cold and Wet up here and just gives them some place extra to shelter. Whilst they are naturally nosey they hate the Wet.

SLOE Going ! and no there is nothing wrong with  my spelling.

At the hedge between top and meadow I have removed a heap of thorn etc in order to make a new entrance to the Ponderosa.The red line is where the road now runs from top to bottom. And we will be forcing a hole through the dividing hedge and hanging a 12 foot gate there instead. then our connection from top to bottom will be complete.

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Meanwhile Martina cleared the gully that traverses the hedge across to what will be the lake . It is hard to credit that we did this last year. Anyway the thorn had no idea what was coming so did not put up much of a fight. it only attached itself to my person a couple of times. When i’d done there I carried on on the Ponderosa side of the hedge doing some clearing , Must be the first time in 20 years anyone has walked along that hedge.


Chat again soon
Mart n Martina

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WOOO Hoooo !

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For those who follow this rambling diatribe on a regular basis will know it is almost exactly 2 yrs since we set out on this adventure. Well the WooHoo is for the fact we have finally reached the Bottom Meadow ( Ponderosa ) .  Our nearest neighbour can now see the Quantocks from her downstairs window because martina and I decimated the dividing hedge between Micks Wood and the Meadow. What started out as a trim 🙂 ended up as a Short  back and sides.

We also cleared around the top hedge where the road will finally go and almost down the point where the streams ans springs come through the hedge we in fact got a whole heap of stuff done and created some serious piles of Wood and branches. though the trees we took down were a mixture of Hazel and thorn the Thorn was all gnarly and miss shaped . I said to martina if that pile of wood burns witout a whole lot of accelerant I will start going to Church..   However the views towards the Quantocks are now superb.

But for some of the Der Bauernhof residents were Sweating our perverbials of  SOME were let us say Less Busy.

Easy Life , Food / Sex / Rest / Repeat….

One tree in the corner of the ponderosa has a precarious branch hanging towards the electricity pilons so My Job next week is to get this down. I have had to seek help from my Brother Tim ( Who is Expert in these things ) for a game plan to get it down without taking out the Phone and Electricity from Maundown Cottage.

It must be said it did become very autumnal very quickly ,Last week barley a leaf this week all is covered and the trees are a blaze of colour.


Mart n Martina

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Great Scott. Mini Doodlebug and Farrowing Arc

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Hi everyone. Myself and martina did an assortment of jobs this weekend , We planted some trees We aquired from One of our favorite “Freecyclers” Bruce. They included some Cherry and Acer and some box bush that has been utilised to shade the side of DJ . the new trees allowed us to move some of the Alder to the gully to hopefuly act as Windbreaks in times to come.He is also the scource of the Doodlebug 🙂

We then set about building a Pig Farrowing Arc for CoCo and then Tamsin with a shed donated by My son Brendan “B”. We are getting very adept at re-cycling other peoples cast offs.

Great scott Bruce has been a source of many items in the last few months But none more useful or noisy as the Sheen Flame gun, which bears a passing resemblance to a mini Doodlebug. One the heat is going the flame gets fierce and the sound resembles a rudimentary jet. I said to martina they are safe until they go quiet. But in the overall scheme of things it is an awesome weed clearance device.And if you strap it to your arse it helps you up hills 🙂  PROBABLY !!

Sunday we managed to finish the dividing hedge twixt the meadow and Micks wood the change is astounding as the Telegraph pole you can see that is 6 feet from the hedge Was to all intents and purposes  IN THE HEDGE. We have as you can imagine once again accrued a huge pile of rubbish for burning when the weather permits. And did my good deed for the day by saving some of the holly with berry’s for the Catering Manager at Hinkley. For festive decorations. ( Should get me a free Rock Cake—Minimum )

Right we have lots to do so will keep you updated next week. And hopefully the imminent arrival of our replacement for Randy Landy.
Be good , if not be diligent (*_*)
Mart n Martina

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