Friday, 24 December 2010

Ok - it has been a very busy last few months so unfortunately I just have not had a moment to find to keep up the Blog - sorry....
Anyway here we are now and the theme of the last two months have obviously been making cider. Started off very well indeed. The mild weather in November meant that the trees hung on to the apples so it enabled us to start off with the early varieties.This was a bonus as it meant we got more apples from each orchard. The apples were in very good condition indeed which helps our processing of the apples a great deal. This year has been an exceptional year for fruiting. We have estimated that the orchards we used this year have fruited three times as much as last year.
We rattled on and was very pleased with the results, hard work but well worth it. We reached a point that we were waiting for the next apple delivery and a small window to 'do other things'. One of these other things were to prepare for an event we were planning to do in December on the farm. It was called ' A Mystical Evening With Owls' The local Falconer was going to bring a selection of owls down to the barn and we were going have live flying displays over peoples heads in the barn. This required us obviously to glitz up the barn with a new partition and 'filling in holes that created draughts'. Coupled with our busy cidermaking time it was a challenge to try and do everything.
Unfortunately when the time came for the weekend the snow had arrived and it was too slippy and cold to be able to host it. We are hoping to be able to hold it at some point in the future.
Another big thing on my list was to purchase a car. Undecided on what vehicle to get I did some rearch on possible ideas. For some reason I was interested in buying an lpg vehicle. Probably something do with cost effectiveness but there was an element of the unknown ie fixing it if it went wrong. On my searching for lpg vehicles on a well known auction site I kept coming across Land Rovers and particularly Discoveries. I started to look at straightforward deisels for pulling power,so I started bidding on one or two but it usually led to being outbid and very often the car was miles away which meant tedious journeys to not only to go and see it but then you have to go back and bid on it. So I came across one that was local - went to look at it and from the outside it looked stunning and at the right price. I nearly gave the bloke the money there and then but on further inspection it was rotten as a pear so I walked away disappointed. Another one came up in Bridgnorth which is only half an hour away so off I went with a mate in the dark to have a glance. Looked ok and I made an offer but the Guy wanted more and to let it run on the auction. So I went back home and watched on the auction. Yes I got quite excited in the thrill of it and did go above my price I originally wanted to pay but coupled with 'urgency' regarding time faffing about with vehicles I was content with it. Up it went again and then the bidding ended and I had won!!! All very exciting and then the 'What the hell have I done' moment came... I had just spent my little savings pot in an instant and I had only seen the car in the dark! Felt awful for a bit and then organised to pick it up. Got dropped off at the addresss of the car in the next couple of days and saw it in the cold light of day... It looked great! Sorted the stuff out with the bloke and off I went in my Land Rover Discovery! Wow it felt great and then I started to feel sick with the ride... Soon passed and I was feeling great again!

I am extremely pleased with the purchase .

The snow
When the weather turned the temperature plummeted at Mahorall... It was relentlessly cold for a long time, more cold than snow. It stopped us making cider for a number of reasons and it was very hard work. We had a number of pipe breaks and wood had to be flung on the woodburner at home like a steam engine going at full speed! We have been devouring wood furiously and once again I am faced with searching through the woodland in the hope of finding some dead wood suitable for immediate burning. Ash trees will be in the firing line as they can be burnt green. It leads to a wider picture of tree management on the farm and also some plans of reigniting an old coppice woodland (which is a pig to get at)


A number of people have been asking us about where our horses have gone. A very unexpected event happened back in October. We originally had a 'deal' with a 'friend' of mine called Oliver Garrard of no fixed address near Ludlow. Some of you will know him. The arrangement was back in 2004 for us to look after a mare called Dobbin and we would get about three foals of her to sell on and to split the money when they were sold on. This would probably raise several thousand pounds which would be helpful to split as we were providing the free keep, supliment feeding, hay etc etc. The deal however became a bit one sided as Oliver Garrard did extremeley little and rather me ringing to remind him that it would be nice for him to do something I left it to see when he would make an effort. Months and months went by and then he suddenly turned up at the farm as if he was possessed. He had organised a horsebox to take the horses away. All he did was to swear abuse at me and was obviously off axis. I dont care who they are - to verbally abuse us and then to physically threaten me is one step to far. He refused to talk to me about it but was prepared to ring my wife later on several occaisions when he was drunk to swear at her. And then to top it all the person he sold the horse to - he gave him my wifes phone number to ring her up and offer her the chance to buy back the horse for £1500 !! It beggars belief... There is something wrong with you Oliver Garrard and you know it. There is no excuse for that shocking behaviour that showed you up for what your are really are. You should be ashamed of yourself to do that to anyone, let alone your mates.

Christmas arrived in amongst the snow which was lovely and quiet and the period between Christmas and New Year has been so very relaxing. After a hectic cidermaking and relentless cold it has been nice to do very little indeed.
It is now somehwat challenging to get back into the groove now the New Year has started... Despite this we have lots of plans which will hopefully lead to an exciting new year!!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The last few weeks have been very busy indeed and also a lot of fun. We have attended a few shows and also hosted a show at the farm in conjunction with the Titterstone Clee Heritage Trust. The TCHT event required a lot of preparation as there was not only an afternoon event but there was a party in the barn afterwards. The weather during the day was glorious, we could not have wished for better weather. The event itself was great fun but we were very disappointed in how many stall holders let us down at the last moment and did not come. Despite this we felt the day went well.
The evening event in the barn was also enjoyable however as with the day event it would have been better if more people attended. The talk about the trust was well received and the band (called Hagglebag) was excellent. It was a shame that it was only really in the last hour that I could drop my responsibilities and let my hair down and do a bit of dancing....
The week after the event was light duties only. There was a certain amount of beer left over from the Autumn event and as a result had to be consumed... this further compounded the week of only light work.
I have also recently started dipping my toe into the world of Twitter! There is now a link on the website and one or two people have started to follow me!

We are expecting to start cidermaking towards the end of October. This is about normal time for us to start. We are however STILL waiting for our tractor to be fixed after what seems like weeks of being messed around. Most disappointed but we will have to wait for the return of the engine ( and fitting) before we can start making cider. This is because of the front end loader system is crucial for us to be able to move the apples around.

There are lots of apples around this year and it appears that they are of reasonable size. The 'wholesale' price of apples have remained the same this year which is actually no surprise as there are so much fruit about.

Quite looking forward to making cider this year and it heralds the end of the years different seasons for us. I am doing a cidermaking day on the 27th October which hopefully will be quite fun. This will be a ticketed event only and is being funded by the AOAB office at Craven Arms. Further details will be available soon. The next post will be reporting on how the cidermaking is going.

Monday, 13 September 2010

I have at last managed to make my hay for 2010! A week of fine weather arrived at the end of August/start of September. Makinh hay at this time is a bit late really and the heavy dew and cooler nights meant it took longer to make. The old baler started off very badly and I had to even resort to the instruction book... Eventually she sorted herself out and the last field the bales were brilliant.
Bridgnorth food festival went very well and the atmosphere was terrific.
Ludlow Food Festival was another ggod event. Very big and very tiring but we were very pleased with how everything went.
The tractor engine is still being fixed up and we have missed being able to use it particularly during hay making.

The days are now drawing in and the nights are getting cooler. Just over a week ago we asked someone to come and process all the wood that I had collected over the winter. This machine was brilliant. The wood was loaded onto a conveyer where it was cut to a given size and then the wood was split and a conveyer loaded the wood into a trailer. We estimated that we manged to do 9 tons of wood. It is a very nice feeling to be more prepared as we go into the winter.

Plans are coming together for the the TCHT Autumn Fayre at Mahorall Farm. Fingers crossed for a good day.

Cidermaking is soon to be with us and this years crop seems to be a very good one.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Cider sales are doing well! We are only just keeping up with the bottling... The van always struggles coming back loaded from a bottling pick up but we have now 'tweaked' the engine and it it seems to be doing a whole lot better. It used to be embarrassingly slow even when empty but that has all changed which is excellent news! We have also repaired the rot on the back door which is a brilliant job done!! I hit the rear door with our forklift some time ago now and coupled with the classic transit van rot on the bottom of the rear doors it looked awful. We have now cut off the whole bottom of the door and replaced it with a new section and painted it! A very good job done indeed!!!

I am still waiting to do my hay and there has been no real decent slot of weather for me to have a go. I am not planning to do that much this year but it is still fairly important to get some done for the winter for the horses.
Had a go on the Porsche the other day which was both exciting and disappointing. We had a fiddle on the engine to establish that we had the right leads connected in order for the firing and had a go starting it. Away she went on the first attempt and then died again. This has always been the case and it seems we cant go any further. We then pulled it out of the shed and had a go at towing the beast and again got her going only to do on us again. So near yet so far!!! After abonding it again it seems as if we may be on an uphill struggling. The origin of the car is a rescue from severe flooding. Water went over the roof in a garage... I think it may be a case of the electrics being a problem and may well always be a problem. Even if they are sorted now then they are likely to fail in the future.... A bitter pill to swallow and a whole lot more work and I have to be sure it is all worth it...???

July is usually a fairly quiet month regarding shows which gives us a bit of time to regroup and brace ourselves for the shows in August and then a whole raft of them in September. However looking back on july it was quite hard work. The engine on one of the tractors gave up and we were told that we need to recondition it. Quite a big job and it has to be taken out and sent away... Our water supply stopped working too which was a nightmare. After much panicking and checking of the system we had to eventually call in the professionals and they identified a blown capacitor at the well head... Not something we could have done but it was a real joy as you can imagine to have running water again. Our fertiliser spreader fell apart too and after discovering the parts for it were pricey to say the least we had to go and buy another one... And one last thing was that the computer went down... So with a bit of encouragement from my good friend Bob we have now built another one from scratch. That is why the website has been on idle for a few weeks... All in all July has been a bit of a challenge but I am feeling a whole load more positive now about everything!

We have just done a couple of our favourite local shows at Burwarton and Tenbury which have been enormously successful and we really enjoyed both of them. The weather was OK apart from a couple of showers/storms but the overall turnout was very good indeed! Our next show is at Bridgnorth at the end of this month.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

I received some truly horrific news two weeks ago today when I was informed of a death of a very close friend of mine indeed. Maybe not the subject to post here on the Blog but it has to be honest really knocked me, and it has affected a great many people I know. He and his lovely fiance were planning to hold their wedding party on the farm in a couple of months and it was something we were all looking forward to a great deal. Bri I am going to miss you terribly - may you rest in peace....

The food fairs are now in full swing! Bridgnorth food festival was brilliant on the 31st of May. Fantastic atmosphere and plenty of people attending. I think a festival has the upper hand when it is free for visitors to attend.

The summer Much Wenlock festival on the 5th of June was even better. We always enjoy ourselves when doing a show at Much Wenlock and the biannual summer show on the Church Green was brilliant. Held at the same time of a longer Festival of arts at Much Wenlock it had a sprinkling of various performing arts. This made the show more of a festival than a food fayre which, was for us refreshingly different. A superman performer entertained both the adults and children and a random couple on a bike with one dressed as a mosquito making mad fly noises. Some girls dressed as sheep were wandering around bleating and also a couple of real live ducks which kept escaping from their pen. When the show began to get busy around lunchtime it was fun to be aware of some quite random things going on in the background! This included yours truly managing to hog a random 5 minute slot being interviewed on Shropshire Radio! A really good day and a big well done to the organisers!

Market Draytons farmers market was a different event and considering it starts so early and more focused on perhaps a market there is the inevitable standing around for me waiting for the magic time of booze o'clock when people become more interested in both tasting and buying cider. It is also against us that the market finishes at between 1.30 and 2pm meaning a small 'booze' window. It is however a good overall event but not quite a worthwhile market for us to attend.
Off to Dudmaston Hall tomorrow near Bridgnorth (well Peter is) for a small food fair but the next two weekends we have the Ellesmere Food And Drink Fair and also the Shropshire West Mid Show. A busy month ahead for shows!

Down on the farm

We are continuing the work in the buildings to be able to have the Clee Hill Trust evening event on September 25th. Make a note of this date and watch the website as some excellent plans are in the cooking pot. We have run two Autumn events at the farm in association with the Clee Hill Trust. These have worked very well indeed and we are going stronger this year. Not only is there going to be an action packed afternoon fair,(which there is so much planned it is going to be tricky to pull off..) but we are also including a very special evening do with a live band, talks and food. This will be a ticketed event only so first come first served!
More information will be posted soon.

The farm is looking very green now which is such a contrast to the bleak winter which only seems a few weeks ago. Disappointing to be soon coming across the shortest day soon but I reckon we have still a lot to look forward to with a good summer. The grass is growing very well indeed which is just as well as this year I am planning to drag all the ancient haymaking equipment out of the shed and try and get it working... Can be great fun but also can be a nightmare.

The horses are not quite so enthused by the long grass as it has quite simply got away from them. Because Dobbin has had Laminatus in the past PLUS she is quite simply an eating machine she will eat and eat and eat. So we have to limit her and as a result the grass gets a bit stringy in her field as we have to strip graze her. She will however hopefully have some lovely grass after the haymaking has been done on the aftermath.

I am at last almost in a position to be able to offer some still cider available by mail order on the website in a 10 litre bag in a box. This will be launched hopefully next week if all goes well. Whenever the website gets a major bolt on or rehash it involves a very late evening indeed with my good Friend Bob the website Guru. It does also involve the occasional sip of alcohol too while we explore ideas and designs. I love fiddling around on the website to bits but doing it on my own has the potential of going VERY wrong.... There will be the day that everything will just disappear into cyberspace never to return again.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

How time has started to fly....
With the start of spring everything kicks off and we have been very busy to say the least. The shows are starting and it appears that there is an evergrowing list of jobs. That said we feel that we are more or less keeping on top of everything but just as well the days are longer!
We have had several shows and an open day with varying success but generally it is positive. We hosted a farm walk in conjunction with Worcestershire County Council on the 8th of May which went well. The weather was good and the Bluebells albeit later this year were putting on a good display. We started off hosting the 12 people who came and took them on a guided walk on our nature trail. The member of staff from Worcestershire County Council then continued on with an extended circular walk through two parishes and then ending up back at the farm. We then gave them a talk concerning how we make the cider and then the enevitable tasting! As the 'theme' of the walk was Nature trail and Cider everyone 'appeared' to be interested and had a good time.
The next day was an early start up to Market Drayton to have a stand at the Muller 10k fun run. Quite different from a normal show as the theme of the run was of course fitness and being knacked afterwards. The whole idea of tucking into a cider before or after running 10k was going to be unlikely! Anyway as soon as the race had started the 'supporters' then flooded into the marquee so to say it was a sudden rush was an understatement! The show was brilliantly organised and trade was pretty good.
The weekend after I went to the Staffordshire game fair for a two day event. Lovely weather and the show was well organised but not that many people turned up. Main reason probably was that it was the first one and it takes time to build up. Enjoyed the weekend and hust as well the weeather was good. The same saturday Peter went down to the Teme Valley food fayre in Tenbury Wells. VERY successful and a brilliant day. Weather of course helps but this is the same at every event.
The weather is certainly helping cider sales and late last night was sorting out the mail order section of the website. Looks a lot better and cleaner. Thanks once again Bob!
Next month is definately show month, one more this month at Bridgnorth and then attending a total of 7 days of shows in the month of June. Really looking forward to it all.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

I attempted a job that I have been wanting to do for years... On the nature walk there is a wooden footbridge that I built over 12 years ago that crosses a stream. Underneath the bridge is a lovely old stone tunnel that was the original bridge and was wide enough to take vehicles. The start of the tunnel I assumed was blocked and the stream had made its own way around but was starting to erode the structure. So I had a dig around to try and find the start of the tunnel. It was a lot longer than I had thought but eventually found the start and tried to open it up. I was hoping that it was just sediment or a log that had blocked it but unfortunately I think the structure has collapsed. I think that it is a very old structure as it is made with stone rather than brick. The local brick kilns were in operation in the early 1800's so I would assume it was made before then. Anyway I have now got the water going through it again which was a very nice sight to see!
At the end of last week we managed to get away for a few days holiday up to the Lake District via Alton Towers. Much as I love the farm it is always nice to have a break! Had enormous fun and the weather was great.
Now back at the farm we are having a big spring clean in the cider buildings. Lots of painting and general glitzing...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Spring is here and I am managing to do many of my plans on the farm. I know I keep going on about collecting wood but at present I have probably got about 7 tons back at the farm ready to be chopped and logged etc. This is a very pleasing sight as we are so dependant on wood to keep warm during the winter. The other fact is that the farm is being improved with the tidying up of hedgerows.
I have also being 'improving' one of our old orchards. It was quite a sad job as it is a very old orchard which interestingly enough was the spark of how we started making cider over 11 years ago. About three years ago we had some very strong winds and we lost three lovely big apple trees - probably the best we had in the orchard. They were blown over and split the roots which killed them. It was like tidying up a battlefield and I have now removed the remnants including the stumps. It looks so empty now as the trees we have replanted look so very small.
We are more or less up to date with the fencing work with is just as well as the cattle have arrived and enjoying the lush grass.
Dobbin and Whinny have now come up from their tired field that they have been in all winter to a field in front of where we live. They are having to be strip grazed in order they dont overdose on the lush grass.
I managed at last to remove one of my many 'surplass' vehicles and to take it to the scrap yard. Quite a trip but I was very happy with the price I got for it! As my mates know I have always been very lucky with picking up cars that are useable for next to nothing. And now as the price of scrap is good I am almost making a profit and getting a free car!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Spring has certainly taken hold and the sound of lambs bleating mixed in with birds singing is certainly confirmation.
Last weekend was a tasting at The Granary Shop at Weston Park. The park was open for Easter and we were asked to provide tastings of the cider that we sell there. Lovely weather and there appeared to be a good turnout. A lot easier than doing a show for us and I of course enjoy meeting new people. Three other producers were there and I thank them for allowing me to graze their produce for the entire day for sustinence!
Thanks also to my great buddies in Newport for entertaining me again for the friday night!
We are continuing with spring jobs including the lopping of overhanging tree branches around the fields. We are doing this for two reasons - overhanging branches damages the tractor with any field work we have to do and also to continue with the quest for collecting wood for next year. The small twigs and branches are the pain but our old silage grab helps to remove them. Essentially it is a mechanical grab with prongs on and and can be used as a large meachanical hand. The brash can be buldozed into a pile and then picked up and put onto a trailer to take away for burning. One field boundary has been completed and probaly we have managed to get a ton of decent size logs.
In the last cople of days I have managed to grab some spare time and go for a couple of walks around the Wildlife Site on the farm. An ideal time of the year as the vegetation is minimal. Managed to take some lovely photos, identify some more potential wood to harvest as well as considering a new potential project to do -more on this if anything happens.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I have at last got the Land Rover's four wheel drive system working! I am very pleased indeed! Most times I have attempted to use the machine I have ended up getting stuck. Not what I expected from the best 4 by 4 by far.... Anyway a special effort of finding out what was the matter was definately needed. Took the floor plate out and had a look at the gearbox linkage system and attempted to see how it works and the whole thing just came out. How it was meant to work was a mystery so tightened it and put back together as we found it. Jacked it all up off the ground and started it up and fiddled with the front hubs and managed to get the system working. Quite exciting. Took it out to a wet patch in the field and drove into it and instantly got stuck. Pressed the four wheel drive button which had appeared to do absolutely nothing mechanically and... as if by magic the vehicle just drove out as if it was invincible! So dont quite know what we did to it but fingers crossed at last I have a 4 x 4 that works!

The Market Drayton Farmers Market last weekend was a bit quieter than I had hoped and had a barrage of many questions about the new cider duty and will it affect us. Well... of course it will as we are cider makers! Anyway I had a great weekend up with my great buddies in Stoke the night before but got caught out with the clocks changing and had to leave the house quicker than a fire drill...and left half my stuff there

Had a photo shoot up at Weston Park today which was to promote and celebrate the first birthday of the Granary Shop. A few producers which had supplied the shop from the start were invited and there maybe just maybe a picture of christhefarmer in the Shropshire Star in the next few days. I will be up at Weston Park again this Easter Saturday offering tastings of our bottled ciders to visitors.

Weather has not been brilliant at all these past few days and we have had to do a few 'inside' jobs. The ground is really wet now and it is apparently going to get cold again soon which is a shame as we had all thought that spring had actually arrived and we could put the fierce winter behind us.

Tomorrow I am hoping to fire up the chainsaw and fell a few trees to make an effort of wood supplies for next winter.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Managing to carry on doing spring work which is pleasing. Fixed up another trough and got the old JCB up and banging. Disappointing to see that she managed to spring a few hose leaks which cost a fortune to fix. But after the problem was addressed she did well and saved a lot of back breaking work. Did another wood run in the 'beast' which was very successful. Managed to find some brilliant dry and dead wood which burns beautifully. Land Rover is working ok of sorts - still confused with how the damn 4 wheel drive works and seems that every time I get in it I manage to get stuck somewhere... I am aware that the 4 wheel drive push button is not correctly lined up but I always thought that low box is permanent 4 wheel drive plus there is the endless fiddling with the free wheeling hubs on the wheels. I think I have managed to get three wheels spinning but by that time I have dug myself in. Anyway I am sure I will get it sorted. The roof rack is brilliant and lots of stuff can get flung on the top like posts and rails. I even bothered to get the pressure washer on to it to try and get the green nature paint off it which has helped to lose that 'freshly dragged out of a field' look.
At last the sign for the entrance to the farm has been done by one of the local pubs and it looks pretty good. Attached it to the fence and the whole 'glitz up the entrance' project has now been completed.
Today I have been doing my first bit of field work which is another sign of spring. The job was harrowing - no it was actually harrowing. Essentially it is dragging a matrix of metal around the field to pull up the dead grass and to aerate the soil ready for spring.
We have had a bit of clear out of the cider shed - sort of spring cleaning. We are hoping that a few more people will be coming down to the farm shop from easter onwards.
Off to Market Drayton this sunday for a farmers market. Hopefully the weather will be ok.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Well the show at the weekend was OK but nothing really exciting as far as we were concerned. People seemed to be about but the Rugby and Grand Prix may well have made a difference. I feel that we are at the very start of when the cider season begins to take off. Enjoyed it though and thank you to the people who turned up to see us.
Back on the farm we have moved on to dealing with the replacement of the waterpipe feed on a trough on the farm. This particular trough has been a bit of a bugbear as it has not been working for quite some time yet this last winter sprung a fierce leak which was a nightmare.
So the main line was cut and 'new size' pipe was attached with a tap, drain, and new ball valve all set into an inspection chamber. We then filled in the large hole we had to dig to remove the wet soil and to make a sink hole to drain the water. The whole job went fairly well - always takes longer than you expect but a great job to at last complete.
The list of spring jobs is always endless but it is good to cross off a few on the list and feel a little more prepared for the year ahead. Still a good few tasks to go including the 'collect lots of firewood for next winter' job. Any firewood collection that has gone on is to scoop up any wood hanging about on the farm to keep the relentless hunger of the woodburner. In fact I am off to go on exactly that theme now...

Friday, 12 March 2010

First drop of rain this morning for quite a few days. More birdsong in the morning which helps to reinforce that spring is just around the corner. No yellow daffodils quite yet - still just the leaves poking up out of the ground.

Fencing went quite well yesterday despite the Land Rover deciding that it had had enough at the end of the day and refused to start. I am hoping that this is because I did not use the tedious 'warming up' of the plugs for long enough AND I have started and stopped it about 8 times during the day and it never really had a good chance to charge. Apart from this I think the Land Rover is going to be quite a success as it enables me to get to the more remote parts of the farm to do jobs.
Today I am loading up the van and heading off up to Telford for this evening. Stopping the night and cracking on with the farmers market at Telford for the weekend. Looking forward to a couple of nights out in Newport but not so much the early mornings....

Had an intense late afternoon the other day when the foal was dealt with. Tamed is too strong a word but a head collar was applied after much wailing and gnashing of teeth. What a feisty animal - jumped a gate from standstill and it was hard work to say the least. Didn't hear much horse whispering at all more horse swearing! I even heard the word slaughter house being shouted but I am assuming that was just in the heat of the moment. We were all quite chuffed the job has been done until I went to feed the horses this morning and lo and behold the head collar has fallen off..... a very, very disappointing sight to greet me.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The days are certainly getting noticibly longer which is brilliant as I am able to squeeze more useful hours into the day.

The fencing at the farm entrance is now complete and we are very pleased with it. The entrance has been widened to make turning easier and we are just waiting for our new 'welcome' sign.

After finishing the fencing I have moved on with trying to sort out my recent purchase of the Land Rover. After initially getting excited about the project disappointment began to filter through when there seemed to be a million of things that needed to be done, and then like sun breaking through a grey dull sky things are starting to look up again. Used it today for an 'official' job of repairing fencing on the farm and all seemed good. I can know start it on a key rather than hotwiring it with a long screwdriver each time I use it. I have now got some seats too which helps the ride across the fields somewhat. The bonnet is now the correct one, which hels as the Series 2 one that seemed to come with it flapped about everytime I went over a some It has a sort of ignition light and seems to be charging the battery once running. The exhaust has been improved which means not only the noise in South Shropshire has been reduced but also has the ridiculous amount of smoke inside the cab. I have replaced the back window and rivetted a quick plate by the pedals to stop stones mud and general debris from flying up off the tyres into my face. When it starts to rain again I will probably have to try and sort out the windows in the doors but all is good now.

Tomorrow is more fencing and then preparation for the first show of the season is on Thursday. Quite looking forward to the first show which is at Greenfields, Donnington Telford.

Monday, 1 March 2010

The website is continuing to be improved and admittedly I have got carried away with uploading photographs..

The fence project at the entrance to the farm has almost been completed and it is looking fantastic - vast improvement.

I have recently purchased an MOT failure old Land-Rover which I am quite excited about. Managed to get the engine working, pulled it out of someones field and mangaged to get back home. Many thanks to my buddy Rupert which seems to be more excited about the whole project than me. Yes it does need some attention such as clutch, brakes and floor pans but the main thing is that the engine works and its deisel. My intention is to use as a run about on the farm and save the unnecessary wear and tear on the transit van. IF it all goes well I am planning to purchase a winch and will help me get firewood from the remote places on the farm.

Photograph of the Land- Rover is on the website.

Today started with locating the horses which seemed to decide to break through the fence and go for walkabouts on the farm. All very exciting (for them). Now they have been relocated in a more secure fenced area.

The weather is fantastic today - nice and bright and warm in the sun. Definately a sniff of spring in the air today.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Well at long last I am making definite progress with re doing the website and entering a whole new world. Very excited indeed by the whole project.
This would not be possible without my new freind called Bob who I cannot thank enough for the time he has spent in helping me make such progress. I have lots of things planned including.. well we will have to see how it goes!

Cider is busy fermenting away and they are all working well despite the relentless low temperatures. We are planning our show dates for the forthcoming year and we hope to do more shows than ever.

Spending time on the farm is order of the day at this time of year when things are beit quiter on the cider front. Latest project is replacing the fence at the entrance at the top of the drive. So far so good but grim weather keeps slowing the progress.