2016 The Year of the Garden

We at Rye Hill Farm have just signed up to our local parish Garden Wander on Sunday 12 June 2016.

This will mean a lot of tidying up and work in the garden starting from now. That is of course the down side of the project!

There will be lots of gardens open to view in the parishes of Slaley and Healey from about 11.00 to 5.30 on this Sunday. The churches will also be open with their own exhibitions. All in aid of really good  projects for the local community. So watch this space for more information. It should be a great opportunity to see a bit of rural England at its very best, that would not normally be accessible to you.

Blanchland Moor

015Blanchland Moors are just up the road from here, the other side of Slaley Forest. They are a wonderful place for a walk or mountain bike ride especially on a fine day like this, you could even smell the warmth! There are long distance views towards Consett and over to Blanchland. Blanchland is a very pritty village with an excellent tea room, an easy walk from where I took this photo.

Orange Harvest 2015

I have just harvest my orange crop from the tree we have grown from a pip about 30 years age! This year we got nearly 2 lbs of fruit enough to make a batch of sweet orange marmalade, This has been an idea that I have had for some time as we do not get that much fruit staying on the tree every year, you can see one of hopefully next years oranges starting to form next to this years  last 2 oranges.


2015-08-05 13.13.41The black currants have been great this year as has all soft fruit in my garden. They are so good for breakfast with yogurt or on cereals. I have been making some of the surplus into jam or freezing the fruit for later use. My store larder is getting quite full and I am running out of jam jars!

The Mud Pie Kitchen has been a great success !

P1020385Here are some of the excellent mud pies, they look so tasty with a flower on the top. Visiting children have been fascinated with our new Mud Pie Kitchen, Mary Berry and the British Bake Off watch out!

My dog is not a herding dog!!!

P1020376Barley is here having an inspection from an inquisitive lamb. Barley is absolutely useless at herding sheep but my daughter’s very small Jack Russell is far better and gets a good reaction when needed.

Though it does look somewhat ridiculous, I think it is the yapping that helps!

Sheep Shearing

P1020353Yesterday we got the sheep shawn. There were 3 guys clipping so it was hard work for me and my granddaughter to keep up with rolling the fleeces into rounds then putting them into the wool sheets.

These large sacks can hold up to 30 ewe’s fleeces if you pack them tight, which means getting into the sack and jumping on the fleeces to pack them down, a job the children love to do!

We had 70 ewes to shear,16 ewe lambs who had not been shawn before, so they had very large fleeces and the 2 boys or rams who are rather large and can be strong to handle. The 3 shearers had the whole job done, packed up and away in 2 hours including their lunch break! Shearing is a very specialize job only for the strong and fit guys, not me! My granddaughter who lives in the hills behind Rye Hill, travelled by horse, a lovely ride over the moors and through Slaley Forest. It takes her about an hour depending how much time she spends on the phone on her way!


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