well it was more a case of 8 days, rather than a week!

Autumn leaves

Autumn leaves

Just to give you a flavour of how a week can pan out here….

  • I had occasion to wear make-up FOUR times this week!  A very unusual happening, and most especially so as 3 of those occasions were for social events.
  • I’ve discovered it takes me twice as long to recover from a late night/early morning!  Getting old or out of practice?
  • I’ve been saving all my duck eggs for a neighbour’s sickly calf…. we’ve also contributed garlic powder and home-made cider vinegar to help with his treatment.
  • We’ve been to Dublin once and Galway twice….. again a very strange occurrence.
  • The Christmas ham list must be on draft no. 20 at this stage, it has been edited and re-edited so many many times.  All very head wrecking.
  • We’ve been working on a new 3 day bee-keeping course we will be bringing to you next year.
  • I’ve finally got back on track with making Christmas gifts – Limoncino and Cointreau are in the making.

All of the above are on top of the usual taking care of the animals, shipping out orders, shipping calendars and generally trying to keep the house going.

And the rain and the wind continue!

How’s your week been?

Friday Photo

In bloom today, Friday, 27th November :)


Friday Photo

This is from November 2013 when I was on a trip to Achill…. and that is Clare Island off the coast.



Our 2016 Calendar

For the second year we’ve produced a calendar.  This year we’ve got lots of photographs included in the calendar that haven’t been published elsewhere.

We think you’ll like it.

There are photographs taken here at Oldfarm during the year, but we’ve also included some of the neighbourhood.

Oldfarm Calendar 2016

Oldfarm Calendar 2016

If you’d like to order one – it’s easy – just click here.

Winter Stream

We’ve had a ton of rain in the past week.  It has hardly stopped raining at all… and there is more rain and storms on the way this evening.

Getting out to feed the pigs is a nightmare.  They really don’t like the rain.  They come out to eat and then go straight back to bed – sensible pigs.

The ground is sodden.

We shouldn’t really complain when you think of people in other parts of the world not having enough water.  In one sense we are lucky, despite the drudgery of the mud.

We have underground springs everywhere.

Winter Stream

Winter Stream

The outcome of all this rain and increased underground spring activity?  Since Friday we are back to having our Winter Stream.

It is not there in the summer.  It is perfectly dry in the summer, but once the rains start to fall it appears and will now probably stay until late Spring/early Summer. We spent the morning raking all the debris out of it so that it could ‘flow’…. it is almost knee deep in just 2 or 3 days.

The ducks love it, you can just make out a couple of them off in the pond in the neighbouring field!

Friday Photo

I never tire of this view from our kitchen…. here it is a ‘moody’ view from earlier in the week.

Kitchen View

Kitchen View

I miss the ‘maaaa’

We do an awful lot of bartering here.

I swap eggs for a haircut…. it works … don’t knock it.  We recently swapped pork for some line caught tuna, and we used to swap bacon for lamb.  However, our neighbour decided not to keep sheep/lambs anymore.  We were devastated.

I love lamb almost as much as I like pork roast.

There was only one thing to do, we’d have to start keeping sheep ourselves.  So we jumped in head first.  Neither of us have had any dealings with sheep, but figured our neighbour would be on hand if we ran into difficulties.

The only consideration really was that the area that would be best to keep the sheep in gets very wet and soggy in winter so the decision was made to be summertime sheep farmers.  (Oh, how nice it would be to be a summertime pig farmer!  Just saying.)

Decision made, we spoke to our friend Suzanna over at Zwartbles Ireland, and ordered 4 sheep from her – 2 for us, and 2 for another neighbour.

Handsome sheep

Handsome sheep

The sheep-herd number was applied for.  That is a laugh in itself, the amount of questions you are asked, it is quite hilarious.

In mid-May we picked up our 4 lambs.

These guys are so very friendly – that, of course, was a worry – were we going to become too attached!!!

Bosco - the jumper

Bosco – the jumper

They settled in well.  Three of them were really friendly, and came running the minute any human appeared.  I spotted lots of people who stopped to buy eggs from our honesty box, wander over to chat to the sheep too!  They became a bit of a tourist attraction.  Well, they are handsome sheep.

Every morning they would be lined up at the fence waiting patiently for me to appear and give them some grain.  I know we all say that the sound a sheep makes is ‘baa’…. well these Zwartbles it is more of a maa.

We didn’t name them all… there was Timmy Tag (the nervous one), and then there was the one I named Bosco.

Bosco was a hoot.  He learned to jump the wall.  Yep, he was a jumper.  He regularly jumped the wall… trotted along to our front gate, and settled in on the lawn – just on the other side of the fence to his brothers!!!  He never went anywhere else.  It was very much a case of the grass on the other side of the fence was sweeter.

Now that they have gone to pastures in the sky (or the freezer), I have to say that I do miss their bleating.  However, the meat is so totally delicious.  We will be doing this again.

There is nothing quite like knowing where you meat comes from, or better still growing your own.