Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Easter Holiday Ideas. Save 20%.

From famine to feast!


There was a definite temperature lift this morning and a smell of spring. Partly this was due to my daily faceful of hay as I fed the pregnant sheep and alpaca at the crack of dawn, but mainly life just felt a tadge different. The chickens have finally started laying and now from a famine, I'm in feast mode desperately thinking of what to cook next! [Never happy, me]

In the greenhouse my dahlia seedlings are happy and alert and throughout the garden, stuff's emerging. Love it. 

In an effort to be organised I've looked at my yearly diary and planned ahead. Circumnavigating lambing and alpaca birthing carefully so as not to cause an issue, I have booked a holiday with the sproglets. Dad, unfortunately will be promoted to Director of Farming while I'm away, though he has kindly declined the role of Head of Poo! (Drat!)


Crabbing at nearby Padstow

So, early summer we three and mates shall depart for our favourite spot in Cornland..... (Cornwall to you) Trevella Park near Newquay. Last time I stayed with Trevella I confess that it was as the guest of the Park in return for my bloggy opinion of their service, facilities and accommodation. It was a dream assignment - we loved it and the kids (aged 12 and 10) have nagged and nagged to return (at our own expense I hasten to add) ever since. 


Wonderful Eden

I've been thinking about what makes Trevella so special and here are my top banana bullet points. 
  • The site feels safe
  • The site has interest for the smallest child to the biggest child (me) with fishing, pond dipping, games room and tons of space to play outdoors. 
  • The caravans were spotless and roomy and warm, with all mod cons. We were last there when it was rainy and muddy and we still had a ball. 
  • During the rapidly approaching two-week school holiday break 3-17 April 2015, Trevella are offering free Park Ranger Adventures, with guests challenged to discover local insects and wildlife, learn to fish and develop their survival skills. 
  • Also this Easter Holidays on offer are night-time moth and bat walks, insect hunts, rockpooling, shelter building and map reading. [Hopefully the little darlings will be exhaused after all that, leaving parents to sip a wine on the balcony in the evening.... ahhh bliss...) 
To watch a fab video of Trevella click here 

NB. Savings of up to 20% are available on Easter holidays for bookings made and paid in full before 28 February. Prices for a four-night midweek break from 6 April start from £196 for up to four people sharing a static caravan.

Contact Trevella to book your own adventure www.trevella.co.uk or call 01637 830 308



Thursday, 5 February 2015

Archie. RIP.

When Archie was a boy!

On 10th November 2010 Archie Archer was born. The only chick hatched from a brood of 6 with an adopted broody mum, Archie was our first ever hatchling, one of many but definitely the best.

I'm not sure when he turned into a she, probably when she laid her first egg! We were so ignorant in those days (not so bright nowadays either come to think of it.) She was a miracle in my eyes. She was always bonkers; I'll miss searching for her on warm summer nights when she'd rather climb into the rhododendron to sleep than the boring coop. I always put her to bed, climbing the old gnarled trunks to carry her down from her perch and off to her usual bed, while she gently chirped her annoyance at my ruining her fun. I kept her safe, well fed and happy, till yesterday.

She was a splendid mum and a wonderful nosey-parker, especially when I was gardening. I'll really miss her, as will all our visitors I'm sure.

She'd not felt well for a week or so but every time I thought she may not recover, she rallied. However, I think the combination of the cold, the sharp wind and her underlying ill health got the better of her and she passed away yesterday.  

So long little friend.


Thursday, 29 January 2015

Romantic Bedding....Would you like a tiny sample?




Valentines Day is just around the corner and I've noticed a spike in demand for one of my products on the website: the alpaca bedding is flying out the door.... whooooosh!



In particular the alpaca pillows are the most popular with customers choosing to change from standard pillows (filled with feather or synthetics) to luxury alpaca fleece. Turns out there are a range of reasons: Many customers are telling me that they are beginning to have issues with allergies or sore throats in the mornings and are changing to alpaca fibre products due to a friend's recommendation.

I confess I was a tadge skeptical about the hypoallergenic qualities of alpaca fleece so I decided to carry out my very own tip-top scientific experiment to test the theory. First I hunted down three itchy, scratch, allergic-type people.... one a lovely builder, one a gorgeous farmer, one a wonderful (though sneezy) sister. I forced them to place raw (unwashed) alpaca fleece next to their skin to see what would occur....[Evil me!] Boringly nothing happened; no spots, sneezing or itching took place. All were gob-smacked. All are converts. I am convinced.


If you feel you'd like to put the allergy theory to the test contact me at aathelarches@gmail.com and I'll send you a tiny sample of alpaca fleece that you can keep close to your skin. Maybe an alpaca pillow would suit you or another family member. It's certainly a gorgeous Valentine gift for a loved one.



Other customers are telling me that they are changing to alpaca just for the luxury. Even my 10yo sleeps better with his alpaca pillows because they are firm yet so, so soft.

Happy sleeping.....





Monday, 26 January 2015

Learning to blog again.....





If you don't use it, you lose it.....and it is with these words ringing in my head that I will now attempt to blog a post or is it post a blog?

It's not that I haven't anything to say, anyone who knows me is patently aware that I can't shuddup! No, it's time; it keeps escaping me. In the early days of this blog, when I managed to write quite often I was busy too but it was a different kind of busy. I mended fences, painted walls, created gardens, pruned jungle..... if I didn't do these jobs, no one died, no one really suffered, lives were not desperately affected. Sure, there were a few well-loved chickens pottering around the property that I cared for, a couple of rat-catching cats and two lovely sproglets I was obliged to feed and clothe (kids not cats), but now there are many more mouths to feed: Pregnant ewes and alpaca insist on love, attention and a good feed at least daily. They look at me reproachfully if I'm late and I put myself under pressure daily, trying to keep up with PB of twice daily poo picking! (Sad.)



Spring 2014

2015 should be good for increasing my workload. Our ewes have all been scanned and all are carrying lambs; most are carrying twins, though there are a few triplets on first-time mums so I'm a little nervous for them about that. They are all healthy and so far we have had minimal poor weather with odd days of snow (I may regret that statement,) and the girls are therefore all fit and well. We're also hoping the alpaca have gorgeous cria in late summer.



Fitbit Flex

I recently gained a Fitbit thanks to a change of phone. The Carphone Warehouse in Malvern couldn't have been kinder btw and this free technological bracelet came as part of the package. It's amazing to track your life while merely wearing a bangle (and without committing a crime) the thing interacts with the computer and tells me the steps I've taken during the day (generally 10,000+) how much undisturbed sleep I've had (not enough!) and whether my BMI is any good (not so much!) It tells me that I tend to fall asleep within 6 minutes of hitting the pillow, a record I'm rather proud of, though hubby's less keen if I conk out before him, then snore. #sorryhubby. Anyhoo, I think the 6 mins illustrates that I've generally had a busy day.

My website is doing well with plants, alpaca bedding, knitware and more all selling well. Sales of Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure exceeded all expectation this Christmas. Merry Chrimbo to you if you got a bag this Chrimbo.

If you'd like an idea on how to use the product, look no further. I've just started sowing seed for this year's flower display and have sown trays of dahlia seed (as I'm too mean to buy or overwinter the corms and I love the fact that I can get many more plants flowering by using seed.)  Dahlia are hungry critters so as soon as I'm ready to pot them into their final containers - probably June, I'll pop in a good handful of Lou's Poo Dried Alpaca Manure to their planting hole, and this will help keep them fed for the season. If they flower well I'll also treat them to a Lou's Poo Tea! Deeeee-lish.

2014 Toms


If you'd like to purchase some Lou's Poo either use the website or toddle off to your nearest retailer. (More retailers joining the throng next month):


BTW If you think you know of a retailer near you who'd like to sell Lou's Poo! Let me know and I'll ask them nicely. Ta.

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon