Sparrows

We have hordes of sparrows on the farm .. lots of busy wee birds, raising their young.
Here is one having a wee rest from the constant foraging for voracious appetites and enjoying the sunshine.

Creating a Lasagne bed

in theory – this is a one time make to create a no dig productive growing bed . using a variety of materials to create deep beds of new soils.
The prospective layers are something like these .. starting at the top layer working down to the existing soil layer.
TOP – ready to plant in
(the newspaper layer is only 3 sheets thick, bags need to be separated)

  • somewhat untidy tunnel going into the autumn 2015 - the best bit is the small lasagne bed beyond the wheelbarrow created in March this year.

* cover with feedbags if not using immediately ??
* shreddings / straw or haylage on the top
* compost to plant into
* **new leaves**
* rockdust
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **old grass clippings**
* wood ash
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **old leaves**
* rockdust
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **wool**
* wood ash
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **slashed leaves ? – dockens / rashes / crocosmia etc**
* rockdust
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **shredded bracken**
.mixed iwth new ones, a place to put the beech leaves ??
* wood ash
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **seaweed**
* rockdust
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **paper shreddings**
* wood ash
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **coffee**
* rockdust
* comfrey water
* newspaper / feed bags split
* **straw and muck from the byre** – this is where you get DEPTH – the muck can be anything from 3 – 12 months old
* rockdust & wood ash to get the base layers as well nourished as possible
* comfrey water
* –newspaper / feed bags split– packing paper
* **seaweed**
* rockdust & woodash to get the base layers as well nourished as possible
* comfrey water
* –newspaper / feed bags split– Packing paper
* **used old leaves** all the worms etc will lurve them.
* **seaweed**
* rockdust & woodash to get the base layers as well nourished as possible
* comfrey water
* –newspaper / feed bags split– Packing paper
* **compost** at least 2 inches all over
* cardboard or feed bags on the bottom

Zero waste : a better legacy

This new world of plastic processed everything is unsustainable. It is leaving a legacy of waste that many many generations will have to deal with.

Living and working on the land where one treads in the feet of peoples going back to when the Ice Age left us 9,000 years ago, one is conscious of being just temporary custodians of this small area that once was considered important enough to have a neolithic burial cist built on it.

Plastic has no place : it has only become important in the last few decades and it is produced from the most unsustainable raw materials. However we have become dependant on it – its moldablity, its “cleanliness”, its adaptability, its colours ! its durability .. but it will NEVER break down !

so we are trying to find ways to reduce our plastics, to reduce our carbon footprint, to become more self sufficient..

We have a small farm, so are lucky to have the space to create somewhere where we can grow more fuel, more food, build more habitat, find other ways to live that leave a positive legacy here.

Hotmax

This is a brilliant product for getting you warm good and fast. Perfect for those early chilly days when you have got wet outside and need a quick warm up. Guesthouses love them for make a bright warming fire for guests arrival. And in the summer, the cleanest route to warmth, food and fun.

And its soo environmentally friendly as its made from the waste products from making the Bedmax (the best bedding for poultry we think, which, in turn, becomes a great activator for the compost). Bedmax is dust extracted, so they have compressed the dust into tubes, and these becomes little brickettes for the fire. Great recycling.

Hotmax burns hot and fast – it is not suitable for keeping the fire in, but it is the BEST at getting it lit. And very little ash at all.

In the summer, Hotmax is great at keeping you warm as the twilight comes in, perfect for firepits, and hot enough for Barbeques, odourless too so does not taint your delicious food. A clean burn means you do not have to keep moving to avoid the smoke!! And a good fire helps to keep the midges away !! very useful in the Highlands. The “logs” are clean and easy to transport; by breaking up one into small pieces you have a very effective firelighter, and then a good hot clean burn – perfect for camping.

For Rayburns etc, we have also found it remarkably effective at raising the temperature from idle to cooking in short shrift.

you can find out more here about this remarkable product here :- http://www.hotmax.co.uk/ For extra sustainability, the company is committed to planting trees to replace those they use.

Currently we can only get the 20kg bags.

Jacob Sheep Society visit

What an honour to host a visit by Jacob Sheep Society members to our wee flock. 
We were delighted to be able to offer them refreshments, a display of fleeces, spinning, and humbled by the very kind words about our girls.
We do not show, but to be told that our flock was quite good enough to stand up beside others that frequent the show ring and getting prizes was really encouraging.
The glass Society “award” will be a treasured possession for life. 

Plant Centre history

When we arrived at Kintaline there was a fence down the side of the house, and a small flower bed in the rough grass on the other side. 

The area by the house soon became a home to make shift houses for the first birds, to entertain our two Munsterlanders they thought! 

Then a caravan appeared as an outlet to sell whatever we could produce, and opened up to others with crafting talents. 

More plants were grown and a space for these needed .. a more permanent home for the shop space was built, and the plant centre area evolved. 

Avian Influenza for domestic poultry keepers

The bird flu lockdown across the country throughout the winter 2017 in the face of the Avian Influenza strain H5N8 that flocks of the wintering migrant birds from the Arctic had picked up was a new and significant change in our domestic poultry keeping regimes.

If you want to receive the alerts from our agriculture department about  exotic and notifiable animal diseases through the APHA alerts service sign up here.

Creating a Living Larder : Food, Fibre & Fuel from a few acres in North Argyll