Friday, 24 February 2012

Bottle Fed Lambs, Veg Growing in Polytunnels, Teifi Valley

Yesterday was just like spring! A gorgeous day of warmth & sunshine which made everyone smile. Shopping in our local small town yesterday there was air of relaxation and delight in the sun...we even ate our lunch outside the little restaurant overlooking the river.
Today we are back to grey skies and dampness!




We have started lambing now and we have had a pair of twins whose mother does not have much milk, so until another ewe lambs who has plenty & onto whom we can adopt one of the twins we are supplementing the lambs with a bottle. I go out in the middle of the day and feed them...healthy lambs feed with such zest & vigour that the bottle is empty in seconds. They then curl up quietly next to their woolly mountain of a mother and go to sleep. All very sweet.

Yesterday afternoon the Farmer & I spent a lot of time clearing out one of our large polytunnels ready for planting with this years vegetables. The tunnel in question has not been used for growing for a couple of years and was full of brambles & bracken & even some willow saplings as well as bits of junk. After a couple of hours hard work with a chain-saw, secateurs & rakes there is now a sizeable mound of stuff for a bonfire and a lovely cleared & empty poytunnel ready for the tractor & cultivator to be taken in to prepare the seed beds. The Farmer plans to get a number of different varieties of potaotes in as soon as possible. Spuds do well in tunnels we have found. He is also talking of put a smaller polytunnel inside the main one to create an even more effective growing environment for propogation. Lets just hope we don't have the same trouble as last year with rabbits getting in...just one rabbit can cause havoc & trying to shoot them (they don't come singly!) in a plastic bubble is not a good idea!

A couple of nights ago I attended ameeting with other people from the locality involved in tourism to discuss how we can better promote our lovely Teifi Valley. Despite much effort it is not recognised as a specific area like Snowdonia or the Gower or even the Towey Valley, yet is is a most beautiful & interesting part of Wales with wonderful history and spectacular scenery. The Teifi Valley runs for about 72 miles from the hills above the tiny market town of Tregaron to the estuary of the river at Cardigan & Poppit Sands. It is a little known part of Wales. I think most of the holiday makers come to the area because it is near the coast and staying inland is probably cheaper than coastal accommodation. Of course many people when they get here discover that there is a great deal more to west Wales than the beaches. It is marvellous area for castles & historic sites and many artists & craftspeople have their studios & workshops here. They find huge inspiration from the landscapes, legends & mythology of the area. For visitors who know little about Wales other than the industrial south or the mountains of Snowdonia the Teifi Valley provides a remarkable insight to real Wales where Welsh is still a living language and where small communities are still very tight-knit with a life of their own.

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