Friday, 25 July 2014

The smell of hay. A moment in time.

It was a long day yesterday but I wouldn't have swapped it for the world. With happy, healthy children and similar animals, I can't grumble. The weather has been astounding; blue skies, belting sunshine and the merest breeze just to remind one not to moan about the heat.

After the madness of the alpaca mating, [not sure I'll ever get the picture out of my head of one splendid lad mounting our fawn alpaca, huge sound effects, a thin appendage making its way to the correct spot, my girl's tail held high by the stud owner and my 9yo boy looking on with disbelief,] it was nice to return to the usual noises of the smallholding, a lost lamb calling for mum, the cockerels cock-a-doodle-dooing and our neighbour haymaking several fields away.

We three played cards in the garden, while the cats rolled in the grass and the hens enquired if we had any spare food. Later we sat with the alpaca, petting their dusty coats, we tested some almost-ripe plums and picked the sweet peas for the house. We missed dad; mad-busy in the office in a hot city.

At 8pm our haymaking neighbour brought bales of fresh hay, our winter feed for sheep and alpaca. This is the first time we've bought enough to get us through. It feels good to be ready and is a much cheaper way to buy, though it feels odd to plan for winter on such a hot balmy day.

With hubby finally home, fed and changed, we all donned gloves and began stacking the hay in a stable, one on top of the other, raised on pallets to ensure the bottom bales don't rot. The smell was so amazing, almost bread-like. It was so fresh, so alive, it's wondrous to think of this summer goodness being able to sustain our animals in the bleak months. My babies; the 11yo and the 9yo are so strong now, a small bale being no issue. They are growing up so fast and I must remember to capture more moments with them in this blog, to describe in such finite detail so that I'll be able to return to see them in later years.


Well, I'm off to check on the alpaca, particularly Connie who may, mysteriously, be about to drop a cria, if her rejection of the boys yesterday is anything to go by!

Love to hear from you if you get the chance to comment here. Lou x

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Did you know that there is just one of me? .....

I'm ashamed that I haven't blogged for almost a month. A-Shamed!

I've been busy. You've been busy. We've been busy.

In summary (precis; remember that term from school?) here is my abridged version of the month, the 'Reduced Shakespeare Company' version of events here at The Archers at The Larches.

Following the 'shaved the farmer incident' I have since taken my clip (6 fleeces) to the wool board for weighing and payment. It cost more to take it there than I'm getting in dues. Hmmmm.

The alpaca herd are now naked girls (should get me some additional readers!!!) thanks to the best shearer in the world (other shearers are available) Colin Otterly.

We have had a visit from some sexy boy alpacas! and look forward to more healthy cria in 12'ish months' time. However one of our girls totally rejected the male advances and could actually be pregnant already, NOW! It may have been in her tummy before she came to us. Yikes. There could be a babby on the way at any time....... we'll keep you posted.

Lou's Poo, Dried Alpaca Manure sales are going from strength to strength with several more select outlets signing to sell the product. Yay! website is now being supported by Richard Branson's Virgin Start-Up Team (soooo exciting) and Lou is being Branson'ed with 'Remarkable-ness' [Totally clear if you've read Seth Godin's Purple Cow]

The weather is good, the tomatoes are enormous, the sweet pea insane thanks to Lou's Poo, life is occasionally tricky but hey-ho, that's life.

So, what have YOU been up too?

The Archers at The Larches

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Lou - Chicken whisperer....

Snowy and Moon

Snowy and Moon