Officially a Smallholding

It’s been a few weeks since our last update, the blossom has been and gone and life at Penybanc has changed quite a bit.

We are both now living here properly, which is a relief not to be doing the slog backwards and forwards to London on a weekly basis. We took just over a couple of weeks off our office jobs (hurray for the bank holidays) and started it all off with some visits from friends, which gave us a good excuse for a a couple of days of sight-seeing and relaxing a little, including driving to the Elan Valley to see some beautiful scenery and impressive reservoirs.

All in all we thoroughly enjoyed the driest April for 60 years and were chuffed to even be credited by one of the local farmers for bringing the glorious weather!

Then the excitement started when we went to Glyn Elwyn to collect our two 9 week old Berkshire weaners. This went surprisingly smoothly and they seemed pretty relaxed for the drive to Penybanc. We caught them as expertly demonstrated to us and put them into their new home. They look and sound pretty happy in their new surroundings, grunting and rooting around in piggy fashion. We added a scratching post due to popular demand, which is how we interpreted having our legs used for this purpose!

 The piggies are already growing very fast and it would be easy to waste a lot of time watching them. We got a little scared that they might have parasites, but actually they are little scrappers and the strange lumps turned out to be small scabs, the result of some boisterous rough play. We’re hoping that, being boars, they might be such a handful that it will make taking them to slaughter (when the time comes) a little easier to bear….

Our next arrival to Penybanc was Dusk, who is a bitch tri-colour border collie who we got from Gwinion. We had a mad dash to get her house (an old pig sty) ready for her, as she will sleep outside in the hope that she will scare off foxes and the like… although she  is a way off that at the moment. The pig sty is now water tight and has an insulated roof and floor and Dusk made herself at home pretty quickly. Our productivity in terms of getting our jobs done has dropped off somewhat since her arrival, but it is totally worth it – even if it means sleepless nights and cleaning lots of poo!! After being here only a week and despite being only 10 weeks old, Dusk seems to be learning incredibly fast, which tends to wear out both her and her trainer…

Twenty one days ago we were given some fertilised eggs that we put into an incubator. Today, hatching has commenced and we now have three chicks out, one just pipping and we can hear cheeping from at least a couple more eggs. So our number of livestock are increasing at an amazing rate!





So spring is now in full swing and Penybanc is full of babies including baby apples and baby pears.

After what felt like forever, we finally got rain just in the nick of time for our seedlings and newly planted trees, so everything is growing like mad and we are turning our attention to fighting off slugs and caterpillars.

So we leave you with a photo of our bed of potatoes which will hopefully give us some earlies in June as well as a photo from the top of the orchard. Love to you all from south Wales!

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