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The clean up with cattle

Since the beginning of January it has been very wet, now along with the rain we have a fair bit of mud around the place. The cattle have had to stay in the hanger as they would only wreck the track down to the woods where they can hang out during the winter weeks.
Last week the hanger flooded due to mud at the entrance rising higher than the inside. The cause was the digger work a few months ago, the levelling of the earth needed to be a bit lower. This meant a lot of digging out of mud for farmer J and making channels in the hope water would drain away. We then had to get rid of the water inside the hanger which meant shovelling very watery cow poo. This week another challenge as the hanger needed cleaning out with the cattle inside.

The hard standing was cornered off with a line of bailing twine where the cattle stayed one side (apart from Emilie's calf who has no fear of us due to him being handled when he was ill) so the tractor could come in pick up most of the poo, we still need to shovel  some of it as well, making for sore backs and arm muscles.

With no escapes it went a lot smoother than we thought this weeks cleaning would go but we did have our cattle supervisor on hand overlooking us all the time (apart from when he felt the need to play with the bailing twine). 


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Demounting a hanger

Farmer J has brought a second hand hanger. It's an extension to be added on to the farms hanger which  up to last year housed the cows in 2/3rds and hay in the other 1/3. As we now have more cattle and calves the hay space is being converted to house the cattle giving them full access to it.
Only thing is the extension has to be dismantled (and erected when planning permission is granted).

He managed to take down the road crash barriers on the side of it but need my gophering skills today to start taking off the roof. Cold, foggy and damp it was a bit chilly standing around however we did have a visitor, a old lady hunt dog. Once fed and watered (doesn't everyone carry dog food in their car or is it just me?) she found a draught free spot between the hay bales to have a sleep before being called back to her hunter once hunting had finished.

So a 1/3 of the roof is down with the rest to be completed on Monday ready for the metal structure to follow.

Laguepie chestnut fair

Yesturday was he annual chestnut fair at Laguepie, a small village in the Tarn et Garonne. The sun shone which made for an enjoyable time amberling round the market stalls, drinking coffee and eating hot chestnuts. Traditional dances and muscicians put on a display. In previous years there has been a mushroom display showing edible, toxic and fatal fungi in appropriate coloured boxes of green , red and black (leathel ones). I imagine no mushrooms could be found as it has been dry here for a while.

The many varieties of apples grown locally along with walnuts and chestnuts were laid out on tressel tables, so many different types of apples were displayed. As well as chestnuts for sale there was apple juice being made, which at this time of year many villages and organisations invite you to take your non treated apples along to have them pressed into juice for a small fee. We didn't stay for the set menu lunch, each course is chestnut based so you really have to love your chestnuts.