Thursday, July 04, 2013

Who's a handsome dog?!

New phone!

Which should make posting to my blog so much easier! Here are some recent pictures, although if you follow us on Facebook they may look familiar...

Our poly tunnel in full force...

First strawberries of the season...


My sad little watermelon. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Pictures!

One of our chickens that hangs out in the barns went broody. Curious to see what would happen, we let her sit on her eggs. Tada! Chicks! 

Blossoms in the orchard.

Duck pond.

Hello chicky!

Sunset. Sadly we often see sunrise as well.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Lots of pictures for my mum...

Some of these are rather slanted...there was a terrible glare on the screen and I couldn't see what I was taking pictures of!

Howe Farm at sunset.

Cows hanging out in the sun and my trusty companion...

Our orchard which is coming into bloom...

Hopefully all these apple blossoms mean will get some apples this year!

Our newly dug pond. Sadly one of our ducks is missing. Have no idea where she went...

Our little piglets, growing up so fast!

Inside the poly tunnel. Pretty soon tomatoes cucumbers eggplant and all sorts of veg will join the lettuce...

Our outside garden where it isn't so hot. Garlic and onions in front and beans, strawberries, gooseberries and brussel sprouts in the back...

This doesn't look like anything right now but I have just planted 8 rows of potatoes and 4 rows of corn. Will also plant some pumpkins and courgettes...

See, corn!

Our new pig field. This is where we will put all of our pigs for fattening. Lots and lots of electric fencing!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

We've got chicks!

Finally! We have been trying to hatch eggs since February and were about to give up when low and behold our chicks finally started to hatch! We have ten brand new additions to Howe Farm and they are very cute!

We also have four new pigs! We picked up these little ladies last weekend. They are British Lops and they have settled right in...

Spring has finally arrived on the farm and the last week I have been able to go outside without multiple layers on. Today I am just wearing a t-shirt! Warmer weather has made such a big difference and everything feels a lot happier and enjoyable. It is so warm I am even making some ice cream! Just in time for things to cool off for the weekend. Ah well. It is England after all.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Happy Birthday Howdy!

Last week Howdy turned 1 year old! I can't believe he was ever this small!

Howdy has recently realised there are some new additions to the farm and he is very very curious about the piglets. He runs all around their ark, trying to get a better look. Mom Tilly doesn't seem too worried. I think she knows that electric fence will keep him at a safe distance.

"Who the hell are you?"

Monday, April 08, 2013


Tilly has finally had her piglets! Mom and babies are doing fine, although it has been quite an emotional ride.

Tilly went into labour on Saturday around 16:00 and gave birth to her first piglet at around 20:00 (the sun was just going down) Martin and I were with her the whole time and we have to really hand it to Tilly. This was her first birthing experience and labour seem to go without a hitch.

However, Tilly was rather surprised when the first piglet came out. I don't think she knew what to expect! We broke the air sac to make sure our little darling could breathe, and then let her go find Tilly to suckle. Tilly however, was not on board with this idea and sadly, killed her first piglet. We were horrified. We had not expected this at all. Looking back we can kind of understand. She was probably in a lot of pain and distressed and then she had this little creature trying to latch on. We quickly removed the piglet from Tilly's ark and she laid back down to get on with birthing.

I got on the phone with a farmer friend who recommended we keep the rest of the litter away from Tilly until she finished giving birth. Tilly then preceded to give birth to 10 more piglets! (well done girl!) We put them all in crate with straw and let them huddle together to keep warm. I cannot tell you how cute they all were!

When we thought Tilly was done we put all the piglets inside with her and then went to bed. By this time is was about midnight and below freezing. Nature had taken its course and there wasn't much more we could do.

At first light Martin went to check on mum and babes and sadly discovered only two had survived. Tilly had also given birth to an additional piglet during the night (we should have waited for a second after birth) however it was much too late to save it. We were devastated.

This whole experience has been great and awful. I feel so guilty and although I think we did the best we could with the knowledge we had, I hate that so many piglets were lost. I just feel awful. However, Tilly and the two remaining piglets seem to be doing well. Despite her initial response to motherhood (perhaps not that uncommon!) Tilly seems to be a good mum. We spy on them all the time (mostly to make sure Tilly doesn't squash them, which is very common) and I love seeing their little family unit.

We would definitely go through this process again and will hopefully have better results next time. Meanwhile we plan to keep a very close eye on these little fellows!

The other piglet is camera shy.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Any time now....

Tilly is due to give birth any time now! Hopefully my next post will be of cute little piglets. Tilly has gotten massive over the last week and her belly is so big it almost drags on the floor. I am looking out for signs she is in labour and plan to be there for the births. Even if it is in the middle of the night! (please Tilly don't give birth in the middle of the night. It's cold out there!)