Welcome to GLYNELWYN - a smallholding in South West Wales

Glynelwyn - News

2018

November

Here we are nearing the end of November and as always - WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?? We've been busy of course and so full days of busy, busy, busy, probably make it seem like the time is racing past.

The summer. of course, was glorious albeit a little fraught at times with those concerns over lack of rain but we came through it and thoroughly enjoyed that rare hot summer. Everything has a price to pay though and as a result of the lack of rain and thus lack of growth in some areas, the price of all animal feed has rocketed. Thank goodness for the home made Haylage, at least we have a good stack of forage ready for the winter.

On the plus side, we had a bumper yield of apples and plums this year, as well as a good supply of gooseberries and autumn raspberries.

The Wool side of the enterprise is going well and we again took the stand to the West Wales Wool Show in Narberth. We're stepping things up a gear - or 6 - this coming year though and have been granted a place at the famous "Wonderwool Wales" which is held at the Royal Welsh Show Ground at the end of April each year. It's a fabulous event and 'grows' each year. Very excited about this but lots of planning to do over the coming months. We've also moved into 'colours' in the yarns too and a brilliant Indi-dyer on 12 miles away is producing some fantastic colours for my yarns. 7 colours are 'in the bag' and 3 more to come out.

Alongside the excitement of the yarns and wool, you might remember that one of our Luscious Leicester Longwool fleeces won the 'Champion Fleece' at Pembrokeshire County Show this year. This fleece then went on to be judged for the Golden Fleece Competition this coming December. We are utterly DELIGHTED to tell you that the said fleece has won "Specialist/Knitwear fleece for WALES" …. how amazing is that. The final FINAL for that "Golden Fleece" is on 13th December and we have been invited to that Awards ceremony to receive our prize for winning the 'Welsh' country fleece. A very special evening and the first time that we will be away from the farm overnight in over 10 years.

The 3 Dorset Down girls are due to lamb at the end of December and into January, so looking forward to that little lambing session. None of the rest of the flock have been 'tupped' and so those glorious fleeces on the Longwools will once again be completely unstressed and therefore perfect in their structure.

Our Berkshire sow, 'Bracken', is due to farrow in the next few weeks, so we are hopefully looking forward to a good sized litter.

All for now but we'll report back after the British Wool Marketing Board's Golden Fleece Awards Ceremony.

 

July

Well, rather like the rest of the UK, we've had very little rain for the past two and half months. The horses are back on hay as there is no grass and I'm not sure what the sheep are living on but they seem to all be well covered still, although the meat lambs have dropped off and so won't be ready next month as planned. As much as its fab to have a wonderful summer, this is getting to be too much of a good thing. Our green and pleasant land has turned into a brown and scorched dry landscape. A bonus, however, was haylage cut one day and baled the next!

We are however, luckier than a lot and have had a drop of rain over the past 2 or 3 days. Roll on Autumn !!!

Aside from the lack of moisture situation we've trundled along quite happily in our corner of heaven. The holiday Annexe has been busy and we've again met some lovely new people as well as welcomed back quite a few 'returners' which is always a delight.

The swallows are certainly depleted in numbers this year and we've only had ONE family in the feed shed which is normally home to at least 6. The barn normally houses a further gang of 4 or 5 families, but none to be seen. Its a mystery to us as to what's happened to them this year. On the other hand, the sparrows have flourished BIG TIME …..and there are positively thousands of them.

The polytunnel is not heavily employed in the growing of vegetables this year although we do have the obligatory tomatoes coming along nicely. Its main use this year is one of an addition area for sorting fleeces and drying lots and lots of hand dyed wool for the "Faithmead Felt, Fleece 'n' Fibre" enterprise, so its certainly not going to waste.

Having had a year off from lambing has resulted in so sheep to 'show' so we've had a year free from that too. However, the time has been equally taken up by travelling to our first Kennel Club Dog Agility Shows. To date we've been to 3 and Pip has been placed each time (2 x 2nds and 1 x 3rd). Its a great day out although sadly we're only able to compete on one day even though the shows are generally run over 2 or 3 days. Might have to find a tent next year and leave Derek at home looking after everything. Its a very addictive sport and the people involved are just wonderful.

The goats are all milking well and all the kids that were for sale have gone off to their new homes. The males have spread far and wide which is fantastic. Anubis, the new buckling from last year has proved himself to throw some stunning kids and have kept back 2 of his plus one from Bacchus who is getting on in years now and certainly beginning to slow up.

 

April

Ok, so Spring has come and gone and I've been rather lax in updating you with all that's been going on for the past few months. So, no lambs this year which was a big decision to make last Autumn, but judging by the weather we've had this winter (in fact, since last July !!!), it was definitely the RIGHT decision.

However, Bracken pig farrowed a lovely litter of 9 piglets in February and all have subsequently gone off to their new homes other than the 2 we are keeping back.

Kidding started in March and we've had 9 lovely kids to date although sadly, one little female had to be PTS as for some bizarre reason (which even the vets couldn't fathom out) she lost the use of her muscles over the 2 weeks she was alive. Very sad outcome but we did all we could to try and not only discover what the actual problem was but more to the point, what was causing it. We'll never know.

However, some cracking kids this year including some fantastic males, two of whom went off to their new breeding homes over the weekend. Just 2 more Does to kid. Dear old Jeni who is due in about 3 weeks and then the lovely Galaxy in June. Both these will be last kiddings as the Does are getting quite old now and Galaxy especially, struggles with arthritis and lamenitis.

The garden is bursting forth and Derek has been going hammer and tongs with the brush cutter....the quickest way to cut the grass....and some fantastic friends came over to stay for 4 days early in April and helped us hugely by clearing out the polytunnel, building us a new compost and generally cutting back and deadheading everything that needed it. We have some wonderful friends here in Wales.

The Yarn side of things has been very quiet over the winter and I've not actually pursued it myself as its such a busy time of year anyway. Having had a day out at Wonderwool Wales again this year, we're now re-inspired and have our thinking hats on to work out a new and better way of displaying the yarns. Very exciting year ahead as we'll make an appearance at Llandovery Sheep Festival this year in the craft marquee and then of course the one and only West Wales Wool Show in October. At the time of writing, there is a whole bunch of fleeces at the Mill being processed into some exciting new yarns and I can't wait for the email to say they're ready.

 

January

Here we are mid January and we have a litter of pigs due from Bracken again at the end of the month, which is brilliant. The goats are due to start kidding in early March and having had 6 of them scanned, we know we are expecting 10 kids. Sadly one of the girls who was pregnant is in the process of re-absorbing her kid/s which is a shame, but she is certainly none the worse for it and hopefully will come back into season and she can be covered again. The older girls weren't covered until December and so too early for them to be scanned at the moment.

Well, the "Farmers Country Showdown" is currently being aired and our 'slot' was on Monday 15th. We were really pleased with the result and have had endless lovely comments about it, which has been just fabulous. Derek certainly wouldn't want to do it again but I rather enjoyed it in the end.

The woolly side of things has slowed down, which was to be expected but having now got 2 lots of lovely fleeces (from the October shear and the January shear), I'm about to start sorting them in readiness to send off to the Mill. I am also introducing a new "collection" which will be announced in the Spring.