Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.
Navigation
Wednesday
Nov162011

16 November 2011

Well, to all of those who noticed there was no weekly update last week – well done!  Patricia and I were simply too stretched to do everything and the email fell off the list of things to do. The launch of the tearoom to which so many of you kindly came was a great success and followed up last week by a very encouraging proper opening. Patricia and I, Sarah and Shirley, were all delighted with the nice things so many of you said about our new venture. Our future success depends on you, so please spread the word.

Hopefully most of you were not aware of the various minor crises that afflicted us during the first few days. These were mostly related to the extractor fan which controls the working of the stove. When the stove is working at full capacity, the extractor fan also demands more air – so much so that it started sucking it down the chimney in the tearoom, along with the smoke which consequently set off the fire alarm. On the first Saturday the oven went out and the cooking had to be relocated to our kitchen. The second time it went out it did so in the middle of cooking Sarah’s pavlova. (My Dad always used to warn me that cook’s can turn suddenly and inexplicably murderous. Maybe they just had dodgy ovens to work with. Sarah just bit her lip.)  Now that we understand the problem, we hope to limit its effects and in the meantime the various people responsible for the design of the kitchen are consulting.

The other problem you may have been aware of is the door handle on the way out of the garden room not working. This has now been addressed and customers are no longer being held prisoner.

Once again, thanks for coming and tell your friends!

Regards

Tom

Wednesday
Oct262011

26 October 2011

The new Tearoom – almost ready.

Any parent who has ever driven to a holiday destination with their children will be familiar with the refrain ‘are we nearly there yet?’  Patricia and I have been re-acquainted with it over the last couple of months by customers anxious to know when they can avail themselves of our new Tearoom. We really appreciate all the interest and enthusiasm so many of you have shown for our project and though there are still many i’s to be dotted and t’s to be crossed we feel confident enough to go ahead with our subdued ‘Grand Opening’ on the 4th and 5th of November – For loyalty card customers only.

BALLYLAGAN LOYALTY CARD CUSTOMERS [THIS MEANS YOU] PLUS ONE GUEST ARE CORDIALLY INVITED TO VISIT OUR NEW TEAROOM TO ENJOY A FREE TEA, COFFEE OR SOFT DRINK WITH A HOME BAKED SCONE OR TRAY BAKE.

DATE:          FRIDAY 4TH NOVEMBER AND SATURDAY 5TH NOVEMBER.

TIME:          10.00 A.M. – 5.00 P.M.

VENUE:      THE NEW TEAROOM AT BALLYLAGAN ORGANIC FARM.

If you could possibly give us an indication as to which day you hope to come, it would be very helpful and possibly ensure that Patricia, I, Sarah (our new catering manager) and Ashleigh (our new catering assistant) avoid nervous collapse.

WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!

Regards

Tom 

Wednesday
Oct192011

19 October 2011

This hen thinks I don’t know she’s there, and that if she keeps absolutely still for the next three weeks or so the fox who frequents these parts of an evening won’t notice her either. She is sitting on about fifteen eggs and with luck they will be fertile. As a matter of fact she is a very naughty hen – she, in common with about 10% of her colleagues have found a way of escaping from their designated territory. The nett effect of this freedom to roam is lost egg production, as I never find where they are laying their eggs until after they become unusable – ususally when I reach down a bale of hay a year later and am hit by a cascade of eggs from a long derelict nest. This can be an unpleasant experience.

(I have just re-read the story of Jemima Puddleduck, who had similar ambitions to rear a brood of her own. She was rescued from her foolishness by Kep the sheepdog. If anything, our dogs are even dafter than the hen and in any case I suspect their sympathies would be with the fox on this one.)

Regards

Tom 

Thursday
Oct132011

12 October 2011

We had a choice. Either issue the cattle with water wings or bring them in for the winter. Had conditions been drier we would have had sufficient grass to keep them out for another couple of weeks, but the reality is that as the ground becomes ever more waterlogged, so it becomes more susceptible to damage by the cows. The cows are quite happy to be in – they are after all, only human and the prospect of foraging for ever smaller quantities of grass in increasingly inclement weather is less enticing than being waited on hand and foot by dafties like me, while staying in a relatively warm shed bedded regularly with fresh straw. I suspect the cow at the front of the picture would ask for a cup of tea and a cup cake if she knew how.

This photo was taken just after the cows were brought in, and is the sort of image people associate with straw bedded cattle from what they see on the TV. The cows are unfortunately not house trained and within about three days this golden straw will be half-way to becoming farmyard manure. About twice a week, a new big round bale is brought into the shed to keep the cattle comfortable. This is going to be an expensive pasttime this year – we still haven’t got our oats cut and when (and if ) we do will be unable to make straw. With many farmers in the same boat, straw is going to be expensive this year.

You can see why most farmers bed their cattle on bare concrete slats.

Regards

Tom