They’ve Arrived!!

Well we didn’t have to wait long for Smudge to deliver the goods. Her friend Blackie had her twin kids, 2 boys, on Monday  morning the 17th of September, and Smudge followed suit and had her twin kids, a girl & a boy, on Tuesday the 18th of September also in the morning! Our ‘Guess When‘ competition didn’t last very long, however, in its stead we will now run a ‘Name Them Twins’ draw! There are two ways to take part. You can drop into to the Shop, fill out the ‘Name Them Twins’ form and hand it in. Alternatively you can leave a comment in the comments box on this post, (it’s the little speech bubble on the top right!) saying which Nanny goat’s kids your naming. The draw will take place on Sunday September 30th at 5pm and entry is free. The winner will be the first two entries to be drawn out of the hat. (You will name two kids on each entry form). So come on up and visit our four bran-spanking new baby goat kids!! Below is a pic of Smudge’s babies!

 

Farm News And Mist’s Progress

This week Michael had some fun moving a batch of bold hoggets. They had to go up the road to another field and go past a field of ewes in the process. So, the first time up past the ewes an enterprising bunch of them decided to burst a hole through the hedge. Now all the hoggets and the ewes are in together, nicely mixed up, and Michael had to bring the whole lot in. Then he fenced the part of the hedge where they burst through, sorted out the sheep into their respective batches. Put the ewes back where they belong and run the hoggets to where they were going for the second time. But oh no, the hoggets had different ideas. This time two of them jumped over the new fence into the field of ewes! AH!! Michael had to bring in all the ewes again and sort through them, again, to pick out the two bold hoggets! Now, third time lucky, Michael puts the ewes back to their field and this time the hoggets are too tired to do anything but plod out to the rest of their friends in their new field.

As you can see Mist is back to full health, her paws are healed and Nell is delighted that her work load is halved again! In the picture below Mist is the dog taking on the sheep and Nell is ‘watching her back’!!

 

In other news, Michael will be taking some sheep to the Lleyn sale in Roscommon tomorrow, Saturday 15th of September. I will report back on his endeavors next week.

Enniskerry Victorian Festival

Just a quick word on the Enniskerry Victorian Festival. It is taking place this Sunday the 16th of September, on Knocklinn Farm, Ballyman Road, Enniskerry, and I am gutted that I won’t be there! Having seen first hand the preparation that went in to organising it I know it is going to be an absolutely super day. There are children’s games, a dog show (with wonderful prizes), a tug of war, steam engines, vintages cars, food and craft stalls and loads more. It is set to be a fun family day out and the weather is forecast to be nice which is an added bonus! For more information visit their Facebook page.

Red Squirells

Red Squirrel’s (Iora Rua or Sciurus Vulgaris) are said to be in decline in Ireland that is why I delight when I see one. I haven’t seen any around the farm but I have seen plenty around my mother’s house. They are gorgeous!! She has plenty of hazelnuts, pine cones, mushrooms and berries around the place which they love to feed on. Often you will see then scampering up the dry stone walls, on to a tree and racing along its branches. Nimbly bouncing from one to the other until they are out of sight. It is just wonderful to watch these beautiful little creatures and I hope that they will start to thrive again. I just managed to get this, not very good, photo of the little guy with my phone before he vamoosed! He’s right beside the tree.

Guess When Competition!

Nanny Goat Smudge is Expecting!

One of our nanny goat’s, Smudge, is expecting some goat kids or goat kid. We want you to guess when she is due and how many kids she will have! The person who guesses correctly will have the honour of naming the babies and will win a hamper of Shop goodies! To enter the competition you must fill out the form (available in the Shop) and pop it into the competition box. It is 20c an entry or three for 50c and you can have as many goes as you like. If there is more than one correct entry, all the correct entries will be put in a hat and one randomly selected. Closing date is September 30th 2012 (or earlier if she kids earlier). Smudge had a set of triplets the last time (pictured below), which were named Billy the Kid, Cookie & Bubbles at our Easter Market.

Smudge & the Triplets

What’s In The Shop This Week!

Janet’s Country Fayre Basil Pesto is back in the Shop by popular demand. This delicious, freshly made pesto is a fantastic addition to salads, pastas, pizzas and more. One of my favourite ways to eat it is to drizzle it over freshly toasted bread, chopped tomatoes and some red onion and cracked pepper. Mmmm, delish! It’s also a great addition when making yeast bread. Janet will be at the Rude Health expo in the RDS this Saturday and Sunday, if your going be sure to visit her stand. Speaking of things that are back… Ed Hick’s (Artisan Pork Butcher) gourmet rashers and sausages are back in the Shop, but you better be fast they fly out!

Have you tried the Boilie cheese pearls we sell in the Shop? We also stock Adora Flax oil, which is great for your health, improving joint mobility, major organ function and lots of other benefits. The reason I mention these two products in the same breath is because Adora Flax Oil is said to be highly digestible when eaten with a high protein, low fat soft cheese like the Boilie cheese! Now with the weather getting that bit chillier and winter on its way people (including me) are starting to feel those joints, creaking, and eating the Boilie cheese and the Adora Flax oil together has become a regular event for me and I can highly recommend it! Of course we do stock a whole range of traditional Farmhouse cheeses such as Milleens, Durras, Cooleeney and the local Wicklow Farmhouse Cheese range, all of which are delicious with or without flax oil.

News From The Farm

You will be pleased to hear that Mist, the sheep dog, is healing well. Michael has been putting Camrosa ointment on her paws and of course she was keeping them clean herself. I’m glad she’s healing well as she is a lovely dog. And a good worker.  One benefit of Mist being out of work is that her daughter, Nell, had to work on her own. No help from Mammy! Which was no bad thing as it highlighted the area’s where she is weak (obviously Mist was helping her out!) and now Michael can focus on her and fine tune her training. She is only two years old and now is the ideal time to brush up on and hone her herding skills.

Lamb Orders!

Michael will be taking a batch of lambs to the abattoir next week so get your order in quick or you’ll miss out. You can contact either Hannah or Michael to place and order for whole or half Lleyn lamb.

I’ve been keeping the hard word to Michael and he has been foot-bathing and worm dosing the lambs, worming the ewes, topping fields, fixing neighbours quads, selling sheep, buying rams and helping the neighbours draw in their straw. And that was just this morning!! Haha! With the weather being so gorgeous this week we have all been flat out (like lizards drinking) from dawn to dusk trying to get things ship-shape and working hard on our farmer tans! Long may it continue.

Glencree Grapes in Waterfall Farm Shop!!

In the Shop over the summer we have had a lot of locally grown fruit and vegetables. I mean really local, as in ‘spitting distance’! Of course we had the very popular raspberries from Alan Conroy’s farm just down the road. You may have read about my Jam Making Adventures! At the moment we have beautiful tomatoes, courgettes, runner beans and herbs from a little bit further down the road in Kilcoole. Our very our garden lettuce, picked fresh every morning made an appearance during the summer. But, wait for it…. at the height of the summer we had peaches! Yes, peaches! Grown by our neighbours just beside the farm, in their glass house. They had a short season but were very popular while they lasted. And now we have ………(drum roll please)….. ta ta ta dah!!!!!!!! Grapes! From Glencree! These are also proving popular with people buying bunches not just to eat, but also to juice and make into jelly and perhaps wine!! This pic is of the lovely juicy grapes ripening up for their Shop debut! 

I love having the locally grown produce in the Shop, as the song lyrics go “It gives me an enormous feeling of well-being and I’m ‘appy for the rest of the day!“.

Harvesting & The Shop

While Michael has been quite busy getting the silage made and now helping to bring in the straw, I have also had a little harvest of my own.

Earlier in the year we planted a small amount of onions and other vegetables. When the stalks of the onions flop over they are ready to be picked. Ours flopped over this week so I picked the white ones that were ready and all of the red ones (there wasn’t many reds). A good way to dry out the onions and store them is to plait the stalks together and hang them up to dry. I had a bit of fun doing that, and with the red onions they didn’t last long enough to dry out as they went straight into several dinners and delicious Red Onion, Tomato and Basil bread. It was eaten so fast I nearly didn’t get a picture of it. It tasted all the better because they were our own tomatoes and the basil and cherry tomatoes are grown locally and we sell them in the Shop.

 

Admittedly I am a terrible gardener (God loves a tryer though!). My Mum is much better and this week I helped her harvest her plums.

Due to the rubbish weather we have had this summer the crop haul was well down on last year, but still enough to make her fantastic tasty plum jam and plum sauce which is divine with duck! Not surprisingly none of the apple trees have any fruit as the frost in spring destroyed the blossom. No flowers, no fruit! Having spoken to our apple supplier for the Shop he said his harvest is also well down (he used a rude word), and the same applies to the honey man and the grain harvest for our Porridge oats! On the plus side Mum had loads of onions, a bit on the small side, probably due to the colder temperatures this summer.

Quite surprisingly and I think, most unusually, Mum’s strawberry plants have suddenly sprung fruit and are ripening rapido style, and are very tasty. Who ever heard of summer strawberries in September??! There are loads of tomatoes in the glass house and this sunny week has been helping to ripen them too.

One of the most interesting things Mum has in her garden is the fig tree, which does produce figs! Apparently if the fruit doesn’t ripen this year, you just leave it and it will ripen next year! Mum hopes to have a homegrown fig or two in the Christmas pudding this year.

I have also been keeping an eye on our blackberries and they seem to be plentiful and ripening well in the fields around the Shop. I feel a blackberry jam adventure coming on! Speaking of jam, my Aunt gave me a heap of redcurrants and I am going to attempt my first jelly! Watch this space!!

This Week’s Report!!!

The Waterfall Farm Shop’s Stain Glass Course went really well with participant’s having an eye to the future and making several Sun-catchers as Christmas presents! We may run this course again at the end of September, you can contact Hannah if you are interested.

Michael was at the 1st Annual Lleyn sale and he reported back the sheep he brought sold really well and he was pleased.He will also be attending the 2nd Annual Lleyn sale in Roscommon on the 15th of September with 20 ewe lambs and 2 rams. I can report that the deep hole the hoof trimmers made in his hand is healing well! He will be dosing the ewes for worms this week so they’ll be ready to meet the rams. The last of the silage is made and stacked. Finally! The beautiful sheep dog Mist hurt her paws last week but they are healing well and she is having a well earned rest. Nell, her daughter, is working solo at the moment but she’s a real flyer and keeps the sheep on straight and narrow! From our scenic vantage point I can see all around Glencree valley and I see that our neighbouring farmers, the Burton’s, have baled their straw. I spoke to Pat Lalor last week, who supplies the Shop with his delicious Kilbeggan Porridge, and he told me that the harvest is done but the yield is down. I think this year will be an expensive one for anybody buying grain and I hear potatoes are going through the roof because the harvest was bad, on account of all the rain!

Back to the Spanish Inquisition I suppose!!