Emma Heseltine blogs during her placement at Hadrian Organics
May 2012 - Posts
The Goslings are crazy for goose grass. Not surprising given the name, it’s the weed with sticky buds on that caused so much hilarity when we were kids. If you go pick a bundle from the orchard (yes we have lots of weeds/random flowers/general undergrowth in our orchard, the chickens love it) and take it to them as a treat a feeding frenzy ensues. They love it, it’s like chocolate to them, and boy does it make them squeak in happiness.
Alex, one of our Monday helpers and I are checking the ewes and lambs at Wallacefield. It doesn’t quite add up and I can hear a plaintive baaing coming from the vicinity of the river, someone is lost. We wander over and sure enough there is a lamb on the wrong side of the fence in the field that is basically a bank to the river Eden. He has slipped through a gap and now can’t remember how to get back. I don’t fancy catching the little blighter, broken pinkie aside it’s a steep bank covered in undergrowth, not fun.
There are reeds appearing in the big field at Houghton. There weren’t any last year but they seemed to have popped up from somewhere and need tackling. Thankfully for a change this isn’t a digging job but a strimming job. The Honda strimmer is big and unwieldy and has a very blunt blade, but the boss has got a new one so I’m optimistic that I can do a better job with it. So if fill it up with petrol, get geared up in my harness and ear defenders and head out to massacre the reeds.
This week we get the Goslings. They come up as day old chicks and we raise them for the Christmas market. I had one last year and it was a rare treat indeed. There is another farm locally who is getting some too so they go meet our man in Newcastle and then we pop over to get them from the farm. We have ordered 40, that’s the limit we can sensibly house. They are very free range and have the run of the farm on a day time, but like the chickens they need to be locked up on a night to stop out four legged friends running off with a goose-shaped snack or two.