Last week, Winnie's 6-month-old foal Daisy started her big long journey to her new home in Northern France. It all had happened quite fast in the end - a few phone calls between West Cork and France, and the journey was arranged for Daisy's move to an Irish Cob stud farm in Brittany, where she will be part of a small foal herd which will one day join the brood mare herd of the farm.
Of course, it was a bit sad to see Daisy go, but given the situation in Ireland at present, I am very pleased that it all worked out for Daisy this way and she has found a new purpose.
After three days travel, I finally received a phone call that Daisy had arrived well and was settling in already.
Again, Winnie got over the separation surprisingly fast - she called for a day, but then very quickly settled back into her quite life with Henry.
Last Saturday the time had arrived for helping to dig up the potatoes at the Brown Envelope Seed Farm near Skibbereen, which we had earthed up earlier this year.
This time, Henry and Winnie both came along, as we expected the soil to be quite heavy after all that rain. Together, tey managed the harvesting plough no problem, and soon the first potatoes were thrown up out of the ridges, and it was time for all the busy helpers to pick them off the field before the horses could do their next round. Soon, all the ridges were split, and the pile of potatoes layed out in the barn to dry had grown to a considerable size. Some of the spuds were huge! A very good crop altogether.
We finished the day over a cup of tea and some steaming potatoes with butter, whilst Henry and Winnie tried to make friends with Madeline's cattle over the fence...
How quick the stubble left after the oat harvest started to disappear amonst the grass! So the sheep were sent in and did a good job at cleaning up, and now the horses could move in.
After weeks of training with a tractor tyre filled with stones, pulling the plough seemed to the horses like nothing much. Henry quickly worked out that, yes, I really wanted him to walk in the furrow every time, and that, however much Winnie drifted to the side, he was to walk on steady and straight - which he did very nicely.
Despite the wet weather over the last few days, the ground was not too bad, although the soil stuck to the mouldboard quite a bit. As we want to sow green manure next, we didn't plough deeper than 15cm at the most, which buries the stubble and up-coming grass and other plants well.
What a pleasure, to finally, after so many difficult attempts, see Winnie and Henry work as a team in front of the plough! And how easily they pulled it through the rather wet and sticky clay - they didn't even start sweating! I remember too well the days when I dug the very same field by hand....