|Friday - ground starting to appear|
|This Monday: I do believe I see grass!!!|
The swans flew in this week, I heard them after Ian beckoned me outside the greenhouse to listen, he actually saw them flying. Heralds of spring! Stupid birds! They should have listened to the weather forecast first before flying in. The snow certainly has been melting quite fast and there are, or I should say were, definite patches of green appearing, unfortunately they have just all been covered up by some rather heavy snow showers this evening. The melting snow, however, means that the Spring time ritual has ensued of channeling water to where we don't mind it ending up and away from where it will create havoc. Our greenhouse is doing okay as the drainage system is now working properly, although Ian has had to use a mattock and spade to chip away the ice as the ground is still frozen but at least it is all flowing in the right direction. The question we ask though is, where is it all flowing to? The channel of water runs neatly to our top pond from which we draw water for the greenhouse in the warmer months, but ....... it isn't building up in that pond, it is building up in the pond below it and we don't know how. Sometimes we have had a structural failure on the side of the top pond, but that would mean the water runs straight down to the bottom where it makes a quagmire, not so this time - well not at the weekend anyway. Somehow the water is going straight through into the second pond and so there must be a different breach of our defences. Ian tried to relieve the pressure on the top pond by breaking through the ice so the water has somewhere to flow and preferably not through any holes created by animals earlier on in the year. After breaking through a spades depth of ice i.e. about 20cm there was still no build up of water in the top pond, now all we can do is wait for the ice to melt and try to see where the breach is.
|The new attachment for the two wheeled tractor|
|A path to encourage water to move past|
the barn and into the forest.
|Path past the orchard|
|A path down to the pond. That looks like a lot of fun|
red meat is harmful, surprise, surprise! Is that really news at all? That statistic has been bandied around for ages. The one thing I do find is sadly missing is the details from differently raised kinds of meat. Is the meat from corn/soya fed cattle as detrimental as meat from those allowed to range freely on good quality grass? Feed animals well and they will feed you well! And it seems that the Soil Association were listening to me as they posted a report too later on in the week stating that most meat in the UK is grass fed beef and that is different to the report from an American university. Well that's a relief, but it means that vigilance is still required, as companies try to introduce, so called efficient forms of producing meat and milk. But do tell me, how is it more efficient to have someone feeding animals and tending to them because they get sick when they are all cooped up together, when they could be out in the fresh air, gathering their own feed? Saves tractor time too in cutting all that hay etc. when they can gather their own feed. Anyway when we get some eggs and hence chickens I shall be eating a lot more chicken, as I don't really fancy raising a cow just yet and although they will not be free range, they will be allowed good access to the outside in their movable ark, hopefully safe from predators.