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Apple Picking - Crabbs Bluntshay Farm

We had three cider making sessions during the winter. Friends and relatives helped us pick up the apples from our three orchards.

Unfortunately we did not have our annual Dorset Food Week Open Day which is usually on the Thursday of the October Half Term Holiday. It seems that no organising body had sufficient money to put on the event this year. Hopefully it will start up again in 2013.

Clematis in November  - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmNovember Jasmine - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmPrimrose in November - Crabbs Bluntshay Farm

With such a mild winter we were fortunate to have several plants flowering in November which included Jasmine, Primrose and Clematis.

Insulating Pipes - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmIn readiness for similar blizzard conditions to last winter we had an insulation box built around all the water pipes by the farmhouse door, by our very able carpenter. Last year we piled silage on top of the pipes to stop them freezing, which wasn’t the most attractive way of doing it but suited the purpose at the time.

My geese got nice and fat for the Christmas trade. They were killed, plucked and waxed at a local dealers and then kept in a cold storage unit until being dressed for the table.

Geese at Christmas - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmGeese in Cold StorageGoose Ready to Eat

Apple Tree Pruning - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmApple Tree Pruning - Crabbs Bluntshay FarmOver the last twenty years I have grafted quite a few scions from old apple trees onto roots stocks to generate new apple trees. This is to save varieties. They have to be fenced to protect them from sheep and deer. My cousin, who is an expert orchardist, has been pruning them in January. The cuts then have to be sealed to protect the scar.

During the last week we have had 4 lambs born in the barn. This will continue for several weeks. There will be more lambing during the middle of April.

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