Henry and Winnie hitched to the Norwegian walking plough, having a quick break, whilst we document the progress on camera.
Yesterday was on of the best days in about nine months - plenty of sunshine, mild air, and a dry breeze - if it continues like this (with the ocassional rainfall at nighttime...), I wont complain! But knowing that this is very unlikely, we pushed through with the ploughing and finished the potato plot yesterday.
We used our Norwegian walking plough all along, as it is wider and therefore the job gets done quicker, and the horses handled it fine, although they did work hard at it. But that was more down to the sudden warm weather and their level of fitness. On average, we ploughed 4 inches deep - not very deep at all with today's tractor ploughing standards, but sufficient for us. We just wanted to break the surface and cover the weeds, and we'll use the potato ridging plough later anyhow to make trenches. We found that last year, after the pigs had gone off the field, and we decided not to plough that the soil was quite compact, and in hindsight it would have helped to plough. Harrowing with the spring tooth harrow at a deep setting just didn't do the job after all. So, we'll see how this year's approach will work out.
But now, I must go outside and harrow over the ploughed field, to prepare for today's potato planting. A few friends will lend us a hand, and all going well, we should get a big portion of the spuds in before a late lunch...
Job nearly finished...just about time, as the midges went mad after the wind dropped.
Finally, the field dried off enough to make a start on the ploughing. With the heavy clay soil we have down here, it would be a miserable struggle to attempt this job in wet conditions - the horses would slip, the soil would stick to their hooves like honey to toast, and it would all be a big mess. So, it paid off to have patience...and patience was asked off us again when the plough broke after about three rounds! So it was back to the barn, welding, angle grinding, screwing, filing (great to have a husband who's so good at all this).....and finally, today, we were able to carry on. But in the end we lost the light and had to stop...fingers crossed we'll have a dry weekend...
Meanwhile, the lambs have the time or their lives - racing, jumping, bouncing and generally looking as lovely and cute as they should. It's my favourite time with them when they are still small enough to be carried around and held tight, and there's always some excuse to do that for some reason or the other. I think if we all held a lamb in our arms more often the world would be a better place....
Henry looking his best in his spring outfit at the Kealkil St Patrick's Day Parade
Again, we were lucky with the weather for St. Patrick's Day - and what a nice day to be out and about with the trap! This was our first time taking part in the parade in Kealkil - our theme "Spring with a horse". Henry seemed to enjoy all the cheer and attention and appeared to grow inches when walking through the village with cameras flashing and children clapping all around him! He wasn't so keen on the noise and fumes (us neither!) from some very nice vintage tractors, but was more interested in the donkey who was carrying some lovely hand-woven turf baskets.
It was a busy weekend all around with all lambs arriving just within two days - five altogether this year.
On a more cloudy day on Bank Holiday Monday we went to our West Cork Trec League - outside for the first time this year. Thanks to a very dry arena, it was much fun to do the obstacle course - the field was still very wet and slippy though.
Fingers crossed it will start drying up - all those potatoes need planting soon!
Winnie and her rider Selvi doing the Trec obstacle course - here they are apporaching the ridden corridor...don't touch the wooden poles, Winnie!