In Animals, arigna, sustainable living on December 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm
Well what a year that was! So many changes for us. Some of you already know our biggest news of the year which is that we are on the move. Prospect Cottage is sold and we are leaving Arigna. We will however still be in Roscommon but that is all I am revealing for now. We move to our new place at the end of January and I will start a new blog shortly after that.
Changes too as regards animals. We have both become intolerant to goats milk so when we sold the house Bella and Enid, our 2 milking goats, went to our friends Paul and Deborah in Co. Clare. They have an organic smallholding and the girls are happy there. We know they will be well cared for and we can see them when we visit. Apparently they are both smitten with male goat David who also resides there.
That left us with Smokie the Goat and Daphne the donkey to accompany us to our new place. They had been companions since we got Daphne 8 years ago. Sadly it was not to be. Smokie passed away rather suddenly in mid November leaving us very sad and poor Daphne alone. Donkeys love company and it really is’nt fair to keep a lone animal. We decided to try and get Daphne into a sanctuary. We were so lucky to find a permanent place for her at Sai Satya Sanctuary for donkeys and ponies in Castlebaldwin. That’s not too far from us so we can visit her there. The sanctuary is run by an amazing woman called Sue Paling. Sue has a genuine love of animals and has devoted her life to them. Daphne is settled in well there. She has made friends with two older ladies, Esmerelda and Bonnie. You can check out the sanctuary at www.donkeys.ie .
Gardening has always played a large part in my life. I just love growing flowers and veg and get immense setisfaction from harvesting vegetables and herbs and using them in our meals. Our new place has about an acre of land with an already established fruit, veg and flower garden. At least I won’t be starting from scratch but of course we will make changes and put our own stamp on the place. We are moving at a good time as a full gardening season will be ahead of us in our new abode.
All that remains for now is to wish you all a wonderful 2013. May you have love, happiness and abundance in the coming year. Hopefully many of you will continue the journey with us in the new place. Happy New Year! xx
In Animals, sustainable living on March 28, 2011 at 9:54 am
Enid and daughter Bella in playful mood.
We have kept goats sice returning to live in Ireland in 1996. They are such characters, each with their own personality. All animals have their own personality really but if you are involved in intensive farming you won’t want to see that. You can’t eat your friends!
Enid, who provides our daily milk.
We are so happy not to be buying milk from the supermarket. Not part of the chain that kills the calves after birth to get the Mother’s milk. Not part of the chain that kills cows when they are past their peak production. Not part of the chain that routinely feeds antibiotics to the animals.
Andy and Smokie.
Keeping goats is of course part of our self-sufficiency plan. In return they are well looked after. They have a nice shed with a straw bed, this in turn provides manure for the garden when it rots down. They are part of the ongoing cycle of Nature here.
We will never kill them for food, they will be looked after in their old age.
Goats of course do need to be well-fenced. They will eat your shrubs, flowers, trees and vegetables. That is the nature of the goat so it’s up to the goatkeeper to keep good fencing, then all will be well.
Andy and the girls.
All in all keeping goats has been a good experience for us. Of course there is sadness when animals die, but their life span is shorter than ours so we must cope with that. C’est la vie!
In Gardening, sustainable living on March 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm
The first Daffodils opened here yesterday. Things happen a little later here as we are 110 metres above sea level. The bees are in ecstacy to have a supply of nectar again. It’s lovely to watch them flitting from flower to flower.
I wonder why so many Spring flowers are yellow?
The fields are greening up again, almost recovered from the hard Winter frost. Daphne is delighted to have fresh pickings again. No artificial fertilisers are used on the land here so no pollution runoff. Actually we are very lucky here as our smallholding is bounded by an organic farm. The only thing we put on the land is lime every few years. The land here is fairly acidic because of the high rainfall. The application of lime helps to sweeten the land and improves grass growth. Everything here, vegetables, fruits and animal health is dependant on soil health so it is incredibly important to look after it.
These hyacinths were some of my January sales buys. They were brought on in the polytunnel. The flowers started opening up yesterday so I brought them into the house to get the full benefit of their glorious scent. This morning the heat in the house had coaxed the flowers to open fully. The scent pervading the whole house today is gorgeous, I love it.
The weather here today is great, sunny since early morning. It feels like Summer. It’s the first day this year that I am only wearing one layer of clothing. Yippee, I’m off now to sow parsnip seed and continue mulching the fruit area.