Veggie tales and the battle of weeds.

The past few weeks of glorious weather has meant the vegetable garden has finally had some TLC. It was seriously neglected over the summer as the Crofter had quite a lot to do while I was often out of commission or in a reduced role (forget any ‘pregnancy glow’, and less so when exhaustion/sickness has hit). The little and often concept of tackling weeds was turfed out the window when sickness hit early on. That has resorted to a full scale weed war last week when I finally got a burst of energy and the ability to bend over without … Continue reading Veggie tales and the battle of weeds.

Stanley the snowflake

Yep, since that ‘Beast from the East’, I’ve been waiting to name our snowflakes. So, Stanley finally arrived on Saturday. Nae bad for October but hey, not much effort in terms of snow cover, it didn’t even provide the grass with a blanket. Never mind, just turn to the media and we find Belinda the blizzard has buried us until Easter. I really should quit my sarcasm… Due to the cow’s jail break last week and their show of determination for getting closer to the byre, having seen the forecast for rain/sleet, we decided that Friday would be their moving … Continue reading Stanley the snowflake

Just another Crofter’s tale…

Today the Crofter and I were down in Forfar to give a talk on ‘A Smallholder’s Tale’ at the annual Scottish Smallholding Festival in Forfar. When we had agreed to it, it had been highly unlikely that the Crofter would have been home for it so I took the decision that as much as I don’t see myself as a public speak, it would hopefully give encouragement to particularly women or those who have no background in agriculture. The journey down did not start off well. After the Mini Crofter having to have his weekly bath early, he promptly went … Continue reading Just another Crofter’s tale…

Never put off till tomorrow…

I had never realised our cows knew this saying. Until they decided that today was the day to change fields, not tomorrow, as the Crofter and I had planned. But today. And not just any time of day, when the neighbours are out and about do the cows go have a jolly. They have been down on one of the neighbour’s newly seeded grass for the past two weeks with tomorrow being their moving day to the byre for winter. Having satisfied themselves with the lovely green, green grass, I have no idea why they decided the road verge and … Continue reading Never put off till tomorrow…

Fry me a liver

I have no idea what the rest of the words to ‘Cry Me a River’ are, but know that the first line can easily be adapted. Yes, this post is to explain another of the photos in the ‘Spirit of Crofting’ video. Correct, the picture of me gralloching a deer (also known as gutting). And hence why I haven’t put up the same photo. I may be a theatre nurse that can handle blood and guts but I am aware it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Nor will you see the picture of us trying to get it into the … Continue reading Fry me a liver

Whay-hey, New Holland.

A ‘picture’s worth a thousand words’? Hmm, sometimes. But not always. Multiple photos were put in the video for the Scottish Crofting Federation (which you can see on the Birchwood Croft Facebook page). Oww, lovely, I hear some say. Aye, well, may I give a bit more detail on these two. OK, a tractor (with loader) and a baler. The tractor had been bought at Dingwall Mart’s Implement Sale (yes, women buy implements, even if auctioneers keep saying ‘boys, boys, boys’ at the mart). Because what else do you go and buy when you realise you are pregnant? Yep, not … Continue reading Whay-hey, New Holland.

Not the end of the story…

The recent Spirit of Crofting event has opened up several conversations and questions from people that I feel that I now need to explain. The information supplied by the Scottish Crofting Federation for public view, what the panel had, what was put and said in newspapers, and a few more beside. Question one, yes, I did apply for the award. That was after I was adamant I would never do such a thing and if someone thought I was worthy of it, they could nominate. Fast forward to getting told by said someone that they had printed off the form … Continue reading Not the end of the story…

Rock and Roll

Friends arrived this week all the way from Switzerland. When asked what they would like to do while visiting the Highlands they responded with: “Pick up stones, as we’ve read your blog and want to help”! Err, that’s great but not really the response we were looking for (so no pressure on all future guests arriving, other than you will now be compared in how many wheelbarrow trips you have successfully moved rather than have you seen Loch Ness or visited Tomatin distillery!). I can say though, that I really appreciate the help. Spending even just 10 minutes a day … Continue reading Rock and Roll

And the winner is…

So Friday night was the awards dinner for the Spirit of Crofting held by the Scottish Crofting Federation. Best Newcomer Crofter and Young Crofter of the Year were awarded. Being a nominee meant going and needing to get dressed up. No excuses for getting cold feet, even if I couldn’t wear my insulated wellies. Now, the Young Crofter of the Year award was the David and Goliath of the ‘young’ crofters (yes, we are classified as young if we are under 41). The shortlist was between Donald Macsween and myself. Having seen Donald on TV (yes, he’s got his own … Continue reading And the winner is…

Cheese to please.

Sometimes life can be hard going (more for some than others). Having friends about can really make a difference. And some go over the odds so are given special titles; such as The Green Fairies. Well, of these Green Fairies (there are two), one happens to have a gluten and lactose intolerance. This can make adaptations to cooking a bit more experimental. Such as cheese making. Yes, that’s right, I quite like making cheese and having made a soft cheese (goes really well with smoked salmon), I started to wonder if it was possible to do a lactose free cheese … Continue reading Cheese to please.