It is time again to harvest our potatoes! But the first attempt with our harvesting plough two days ago turned out to be a bit of diappointment...
This year, we had decided to grow our potatoes in one of our new patches next to the new ponds which the digger had created out of wetland at the end of last year. The soil is very rich in organic matter and dried out sufficiently in the early months of spring, it looked perfect - but some vital ingredient is obviously missing as the potatoes just did not want to grow as vigorously as usual. The potato plants started dying off in July, and soon, weeds and grass took over and started to cover the ridges.
So, it now is very hard going with the harvestign plough to cut through a thick matt of vegetation to get to the spuds, of which there aren't that many either...Winnie and Henry tried hard, but the plough got stuck many times and required us to hack away the vegetation blocking it.
Anyway, we got an initial sad half-bucket of spuds out for dinner and stopped to chew over things...Another attempt later today!
Henry has a new trap, and he gets on brilliantly with it! It is a two-wheeled light trap with car tyres, suspension, and wooden seats. Very comfortable indeed!
And a handy way to get us around places - the local pub, for a cup of coffee at Manning's Emporium, to neighbours' parties, or just for a nice trip down the road on a sunny evening.
And Daisy loves coming along! She is not bothered at all about the shaft next to her or the rattling tug chains, but just happy to be part of the experience.
Last weekend, we ran our work horse course for the first time at Bantry House.
The six participants all gathered in the cobbled old courtyard for an introduction round, a slide show on the history of working horses and to look at different types of harnesses.
Then, we went to get the horses and everybody was keen to have a go at grooming them - especially Daisy, the foal, was very popular! We then learned about harnessing the horses correctly and took off to the walled garden where everybody had a go at long-reining the horses from the ground, signel and as a team.
After a tasty lunch we gathered again in the garden to learn about different horse-drawn farm implements.
Then, it was time to get down to work and do a bit of weeding with the harrow between the rows of vegetables.
The day finished with a round for the children on the sled, pulled by a still keen and energetic Henry!