Even more new life …
Following the birthing explosion of late April and early May, we were presented with another litter of 7 mini pigs by first time mum Ruby and a litter of 14 baby rabbits by our newest female rabbit, Popsy. The last litter of piglets have all been sold and we already have sold three of the new litter, which is great because we are trying to find room for a male and female turkey in the next couple of weeks.
Our pregnant goat Lolly is due to give birth literally any minute and we have been on watch for the last few days checking her every two hours throughout the day and night. We have set up a rota system for the night checks between myself, Rosemary, Emma, Nick and my brother John, who is visiting us for a few weeks to help out on the farm. This is the first baby goat to be born on the farm and whilst we are excited, there is also a level of nervousness. One thing is for sure, we are really looking forward to making goat cheese from our own milk.
It has been great to have an extra pair of hands for a few weeks and it has enabled us to catch up on a few things. The most important being the replacing of the roofing on all the animal housing. The housing suffered a fair amount of damage in the high winds that we experienced in April and we have been carrying out, time consuming running repairs ever since. We have now re-roofed all the houses with, well secured, corrugated metal sheets. They look great and the thunderstorm we had last night showed us that they are watertight, so we shouldn´t have any problems for the next couple of years (I am touching wood as I type).
The vegetables are all looking good and we are already picking radish, carrots, peas and beans on an almost daily basis. The tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes are all in flower and we are looking forward to the first crop.
Since we caught the last escapee baby rabbit the lettuces have also perked up and we have quite a few ready for picking and can get the secondary crop planted safely.
Interestingly, we have noticed a fair number of potatoes showing in the areas that we planted them last year. We had a dismal crop last year and decided that this year we would give potatoes a miss. Well we obviously overlooked a few when we were harvesting and lo and behold they have come up this year – and they look better than when we planted them on purpose. Who knows we may well have a successful, if accidental potato crop after all.
You may be aware that we have a stall on the Los Llanos market every Saturday, selling a range of olive wood candle holders, clocks, rustic, hand painted signs and a range of natural herb based cosmetics and moisturisers, together with a selection of herbal pet products.
One of the questions that we are frequently asked by our customers is whether Olive Tree Farm is open for visits. We are now looking at the possibility of hosting visits for small, private parties. The visit will include a look around the farm area, meeting the animals (goats, pigs, sheep, geese, ducks guinea fowl and chickens) and some light refreshments , in return for a small donation, which will be used toward the animals feed and upkeep.
We recently held granddaughter Jessica´s 4th birthday party in the farm area and it was such a success with her friends and parents alike that we have also been asked to host other birthday parties in the future.