One of those weeks where we seemed to spend more time walking to and from the village than doing anything either on the croft or indeed in the village.
Ady has been productive out on the croft – he has cleared the polytunnel site of all our containers, compost and tools as the polytunnel hoops are to be removed and taken down to the village. The polytunnel was a grant funded community project which ended up on Croft 3 due to some issues with location and planning permission. As the soil up here is poor, particularly compared to the excellent soil down in the village, which was imported top soil back when the castle was built late 1800s / early 1900s, people are not prepared to walk the mile up to the croft from the village along the uneven track to make use of the polytunnel and we are pretty vulnerable to the Rum elements up here on the croft a decision was made at the community meeting this week to move the frame down to the village before re-polythene-ing it. It is a shame (for us) as we have made good use of it while it was up here on the croft but hopefully it will be productive and well used down in the village by the wider community. We have various plans for other ‘under plastic’ options including geodesic domes and other weather resistant ideas.
Also out on the croft, between and sometimes during the many, many downpours of rain, hail and snow this week we (for which read mostly Ady) have built a new pig house on the corner of the croft where we are planning to move the pigs this year. They have been on the south west corner for well over a year now and it is tired and ready for them to move on so we can allow it to recover and graze it with the birds (and hopefully some sheep later in the year). We want to move them before Barbara has her litter of piglets due at the end of the month as it is easier to move 2 pigs than 4, 6, 8, 10 or however many it ends up being. Plus it is slightly closer to the caravan making for easier through the night checks on her when she goes into labour and is on nice, fresh ground which will provide food and be kinder to tiny new piglets than the knee deep mud they are on just now coming out of winter. The next step is to scythe a path for the fence and then move across the electric fence, battery, solar panel etc. That needs to be a nice day job as it always ends up taking way longer than you anticipate and hits a point of no return once you have moved a certain amount of the fencing.
We have a long list of outdoor jobs to do, quite aside from the cob project but the weather has prevented any of that from happening. Maybe next week…
We helped a friend load her moving van between boats and waved her off as she said her final farewell to Rum. I went to many, many meetings. I’ve been booking people in for volunteering stints throughout April which is very exciting.
We went down to the school for a World Book Day community event which was great, we all love talking about and sharing books.
And finally we discovered two goats at the bottom of the croft. There is a feral population on Rum of about 300 but they are usually only found out in the wilder areas away from the people here. This pair, we think both male have wondered along to us and have been hanging out in the small wooded area between our croft and the river. Scarlett has spent literally hours edging closer to them and trying to persuade them they should stay. A sea eagle spent about half an hour this week circling ever lower over the croft too. I love the wildness that lives alongside us here, accepting us as part of their landscape.
I’d quite like the weather to recognise it’s allegedly spring though and stop being quite so wild.