As things get a bit busier here, with more animals having arrived, winter setting in, and a bit more land being given over to the growing of things, it was time to make a new acre field layout. On it there are some indications of future events (bees, raised herb garden, paths), but for me the most important is the movement of the various animals throughout the year. Next year will hopefully see us begin the task of breeding our Pilgrim Geese, large Light Sussex pure breed and bantam Light Sussex pure breed. This means clean ground, and careful rotation of animals. There are also the three call ducks to fit in somewhere!
To this end we are removing some fencing, adding more poultry-proof fencing (note: bantams and ducks laugh in the face of sheep-netting, just before they pop right on through it) and adding some smaller gates to make it easier to move to the acre field when the ground is wet. There is also the plan for a new path to the main patch, though unfortunately this won’t happen until the new year, so one more year of mud is forecast. Then there is the need to bring the animals as close to the cottage as possible, making feeding and watering an easier chore, but also making it easier to keep an eye on them. I think we may have cracked the barebones of a plan, but no doubt there will be tweaking. In theory we will have enough space to breed two pairs of geese, the large and bantam flocks, and keep most of them near in winter. Plus the various pieces of ground will get a break between grazing.
We also keep a record sheet of the trees planted in the orchard, and I’m going to now publish this on the website, to make it easier for me when I’m down the patch and can’t remember which is which! To have a look at both of these documents, visit the new page on the website – you can see the link at the top of the page, or click here!