Down on the Farm

Japanese Pheonix bantam

Japanese Pheonix bantam

Up before the cock crowed this morning. Not difficult really ‘cos the cockerels only really start making a noise when they are let out in the morning, because they know they are about to be fed.

All the birds are shut away at night, to keep them safe from Mr. Fox who makes regular visits. There is a fox trap at the bottom of the orchard baited with a dead turkey that is now beginning to smell a bit ripe!

Dead oak and turkey

Dead oak and turkey

There are many different types of poultry here, turkeys, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and lots of chickens.

'Runner duck'

'Runner duck'

After I fed and watered the birds it was the turn of the donkeys and goats.
It’s surprising how long it takes to get them all sorted.

"Feed me!"

"Feed me!"

Then it was back to the house to put the soda bread that i’d made earlier into the massive Aga.

The farmer has a lucrative little sideline to the main business of breeding egg layers and show birds. She sells feathers on eBay.

Want a feather for a hat, a fishing lure, or decoration for fancy-dress clothing? All can be supplied here. Even feathers for a smudging fan. http://www.pilgrimsmindbodyspirit.co.uk/

My fellow WWOOFer  here is Ryan, he’s from Ohio, a village somewhere below Canada I believe.
We have been re-pointing a wall and there are a few more in need of urgent attention to do yet.

Ryan pointing

Ryan pointing

Yesterday I prepared a bed for runner beans and peas by adding 4 barrow loads of compost, and building frames for the plants to climb. Today I planted the seedlings and made a makeshift net cage around them to keep the rabbits out.

Another job was repairing 2 punctured wheelbarrow tyres. Plenty of barrows are required on 5 acres if you’re not going to spend half the time walking around searching for one that isn’t in use.

Why the long face?

Why the long face?

Tomorrow I go to Chichester to attend my college course and take home some of the stuff  I’ve accumulated over the past month, that trailer was far too heavy!

Have just confirmed my next WWOOF farm, not going to the fruit farm now as have been offered a place for 12 weeks at  http://www.wealdenflowers.co.uk

Tomorrow the farmer is taking some of her birds to the South of England Show at Ardingly  http://www.seas.org.uk/shows.asp?ID=2, looks like it will get off to a wet start though.

Mrs Turton is making an early start ‘cos she has to first catch the birds, then get them crated up and packed into the Land Rover. After a quick look round at Ardingly (she wants to buy another drake ‘runner duck’), she has to get out before the traffic becomes impossible, come back home , then get ready for work at her practise in Brighton.

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7 thoughts on “Down on the Farm

  1. Love the picture of the bantam – my sister-in-law keeps them – I might nick it and send to her [don’t tell anyone OK?]

    Is Wealden Flowers on the outskirts of Ashdown Forest in ‘Winnie the Pooh’ country? I love that area and illegally camped there once – I got thrown off though. Those were the days when I used to cycle out of London to get some fresh air. Later on, when I was at collage, I made a film there involving a double decker bus [imaginary] and some lovers [also imaginary] – I’ve still got that somewhere – I must get it digitalised – it’s on super8 ……..

  2. The bantam is gorgeous and very inquisitive, please feel free to nick it (if I can find a big enough Jiffy bag, i’ll send him.)

    Wealden Flowers and Emerson college are indeed in ‘Pooh’ country, i’m hoping to get a photo of ‘Tigger’ while i’m there.

    You must get that film on YouTube if you’re sure you didn’t imagine it.

    I won’t tell 70s about the typo BTW………………………

  3. I visited the Wealdon website .. how fabulous to be part of it you will have a great time as part of that in the next 12 weeks just as the summer sun hits its heights … I just love flowers so any ensemble will be gladly accepted 🙂

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