A smallholding in South West Wales

Glynelwyn News - 2021


February to July

So, what happened to the last 4 months? I have no idea. We seem to never really stop as there are always a multitude of jobs to do on a smallholding and combine that with the holiday annexe and the Wool business, time flashes past. I often wonder what the word 'Bored' actually means!

Faithmead LongwoolsAnyway, all the sheep are sheared and fleeces have been gone far and wide and there are still more to sort out. Lots of them have already been sorted and not only gone off to the Mill for spinning, but have come back and even been sold as yarn already. My passion is wool and everything to do with wool, so the fact we seem to finally be getting a little more known is an absolute joy.We've had several customers arrive whilst they've been on holiday in the area and wanted to come and meet the sheep. The sheep are generally more than happy to come chat to people especially if they are bearing gifts such as pasta twirls. For some, being able to reach out and touch a sheep is something they've never done. Brings a smile to everyones face, especially mine when I can see the pleasure in someones eyes when they've been able to stroke and pet a real live sheep.

The polytunnel is bursting with all sorts of goodies and between Derek and I we've planted: new Strawberry plants (not before time), Celeriac, Mange Tout, Sugar Snap Peas, Spring onions, Lettuce, Broad Beans, French Beans, 2 types of Melon, Leeks and 3 types of Tomato plants. Outside we have new Potatoes coming along, and some new Raspberry canes.

Glynelwyn Polytunnel

We sadly had to make a decision to send Bracken the Berkshire sow 'off' as she had clearly become barren. We discovered she was the reason for lack of piglets when a friend brought his Berkshire Faithmead Berkshire pigsSow along to run with Oliver (our Berkshire boar) for a couple of months and who went home happily in-pig much to all our delight. Molly May farrowed 5 piglets and then in her weaning heat, made the journey back again from her home in Cwmbran to run with Oliver again. In mid May she produced a further litter of 9 piglets. At least one of the first litter had a boar piglet who was up to breed standard and was therefore eligible for registration. He subsequently went off to Ireland to the Semen Centre Farm where his very precious semon will be used to continue the Oliver (I mean, Orlando) line. The breed line is SO rare that there were only 4 listed in the whole world, of which Oliver is one. His son makes it 5 and I'm hopeful there will be a further top notch boar piglet in that last litter to increase the number further.

Glynelwyn ChickensThe chickens and ducks carry on much as normal. However, at the end of May we homed a little "family" (although I don't for one second think they're actually related !!!) that ended up at Greenacres Animal Rescue centre through no fault of their own. The group included one Black rock hen, a Light Sussex hen, a Speckley hen, and little Pekin bantam type hen and a magnificent Cockerell who looks a little Croad Langshan type and whom we called "Romero". He is a very friendly chap and they all seem to happy to be here. On fine days they're all allowed out into the big wide world although never stray far, especially when the goats sheds are within easy reach and which are always places to have brilliant 'scratches' around. I was told they were about 2 years old. If they are......that makes me about 25 !!!!!!!

Glynelwyn Storm DamageAs if. In other news, when we had snow at some point back in the winter/spring, the weight of it caused a slight collapse of the stable barn roof. As the horses come in every night right through the winter, we had to get our local builder to come and shore it up to make it safe. That of course is now one of the many jobs that needs to be rectified before the winter of this year. We also lost the roof to one of the field shelters and so that's another job to get done before winter. It seems to be one of those years for things requiring a builder to intervene and of course everyone is so busy since lockdown.

Post lock down, the holiday annexe www.thehideawayholiday.co.uk went into overdrive. We've had several 'returners' which is fabulous as these lovely people all become 'friends' and we keep in touch regardless. I think we ended up with just 2 couples who cancelled completely last year and have not as yet been able to come back. One long standing regular couple are from Oz and we were so hoping they'd be able to make this year, but alas its not to be. Fingers crossed for next year.




January to February

Glynelwyn snowRain, rain and more rain seems to be the order for this winter, with a little addition of the occasional snow fall. This sort of weather makes it very difficult to carry out so many of the day to day chores and the animals certainly get fed up with it too.

A couple of losses of the older sheep this winter too, which is par for the course sadly when you keep an ageing flock. However the younger ones are all coming along well and we'll be able to shear them for the first time when the weather finally dries out a bit and my shearer has finished lambing his own flock.

We're currently still in lock down but every indication is that the confinement is indeed working. We heard yesterday that there will be a very slight easing of lockdown rules although we still can't open the holiday annexe www.thehideawayholiday.co.uk until at least Easter, but we still have to await confirmation of that in 3 weeks time.

Apart from going to collect animal feed and the vet to pick up supplies, we don't go anywhere or see anyone. However, we look forward to summer and with luck some more re-opening of businesses and events.

Faithmead Berkshire pigsOliver the boar has once again got the luscious Molly May staying with him. She produced a small litter of 5 cracking piglets last time and so decided it was worth giving them both another go. We certainly witnessed them 'in action' on 11th January and nothing since, so hopefully she is once again in-pig. We'll leave her for another few weeks to be sure.

We are currently awaiting goat kids. Manuka and Peony are both due next week and then Lyra in early March. Only 4 in total this year and I'm really pleased that I decided to reduce the numbers especially because of the appalling weather. However, seeing new goat kids appear is a wonderful experience especially as we no longer lambing the sheep.

Nothing much else to report.

Stay safe and well everyone and catch up again in the Spring.




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