Oh wow where do I begin… 2011 has been very kind to us and we have learnt so very much and yet are very aware that we still have so much to discover, overcome and master 🙂
Firstly we are so very delighted with where we have landed Littleblackpig……… Willow Farm …. between Worcester and Kidderminster is just such a brilliant location.
The soil is a sandy loam so very free draining and easy growing, and fairly good for keeping livestock on. The position has easy access to the local towns and Worcester City and the motorway network… so most places are 2 hours away except Edinburgh ! But the best thing about the location is that we are close enough to Kate’s sisters and Mum and Dad that we can share everyday life with them … and take our washing over to them too. Peter and Susan have been wonderfully supportive, I mean having us live with them for a year can’t have been that easy, but they made us feel very much at home. My Mum has now moved up to Droitwich, which is fab and I have seen more of my brother Stephen and his wife Welna as they are now 2 easy hours away, and my Sister is closer too 🙂
Another good thing is that our friends have not given us up as too weird…..and we have had lots of lovely people visiting and pitching in. We hope that we will see lots over 2012… especially now we have stopped moving chicken houses around…. that was a horrible job.. however positive we tried to be about it.
Getting our planning permission to live on site was huge this year! I have never ever been so nervous or had so much hanging on a decision. Kate was great and kept so positive, working away at the application, dotting i’s etc. It is a huge thing that we are trying to do… and we know it wont be easy… it is not easy … but crazily enough we still think we can make it happen… with lots more hard work!
Living on the land is a definite high, but slightly more of a high in the summer. Having no working washing machine is my most frequent low 😦 We have a machine just not the electric to run it. We don’t think the generator is man enough to run the water pump and the machine… but one day we will have mains power.
Lambing was a definite high, although it also had some lows and was very emotional.
We are approaching lambing time again and are looking forward to it. Lambing 2011 was saved by Jenny coming and looking after us for a few days. She took charge and made us drink drinks whilst they were hot and made us eat meals at meal times. She was truely wonderful 🙂
The 2 main lows of the year are with regard to the fox and the chickens and our non pregnant pigs. 😦
We were under fox attack from early Spring, with too many chickens lost to day time fox attacks. It was horrible, one of us was always on watch and Kate dare not leave the farm unmanned. It was very stressfull. The solution was Hentonville.
And so far so good and we have expanded the flock and now have even more egg customers:-)
Is she or isn’t she pregnant was a common thread of the blog a few months ago…. and they were not just too fat. So diets and back in with the boar so wait and see. I will try not to get too boring and just blog when we actually have piglets too blog about!
Another high must be our bacon and ham curing success 🙂 A low is the fact it sells so quickly I never seem to get any but Kate tells me that is a good thing ! We also won a prize for our traditional saddleback sausages 🙂
I have also got involved with sausage production… I am now allowed to pack them 🙂 I had thought I would find it a bit weird to see the pigs in the butchers…. but actually I find it fascinating to see the end product of all that work. We have just been to the butchers today to see next weeks sausages, these are the first cross bred pigs… saddleback crossed with large white pigs, we have tried… and they look good. Sausages for us on Wednesday night 🙂
Oh my goodness there are so many highs…..
Hog Roasts 🙂
Fabulous eh !!
and our website littleblackpig . It actually gets more hits than my blog ……….not that I mind of course 🙂
Also the blog 🙂 we have had over 1000 more hits than last year !! 4,000 + 🙂
Another real plus has got to be the addition of Russel to our team 🙂
So many highs and so little time. My tea is nearly ready and I am going to finsh this blog now… I think the long and the short of it is… life has been good to us and long may it continue, and long may people want to share it with us, and eat our fabulous littleblackpig products:-)