Articles from August 2011

What to do with that lane?

The smallholding at Ffos Yr Ewig was originally a much larger farm but as often occurs the surrounding land was sold off to neighbouring farmers and the house with a smaller piece of land sold as a smallholding. This consequent sale meant the flat level lane into the farm could no longer be used and a steep twisty track put in to the south – great fun in the snow.

Anyway what to do with this ‘dead end lane’ – well the addition of 300 tons of soil & shale dug out from beside the cow yard had raised the level sufficiently to provide a dry level surface. Either side of the lane are fields so I had a brainwave, why not build pig arcs down the length of the lane, making feeding and watering easier (as all on concrete!) with access gates out to the fields so the piggies get to play in all the muddy bits!

So work commenced :

First the concrete base was laid (under the watchful eye of Kez!)  then the walls built up using 9″ concrete blocks – this was the sows & boars house! thought I’d build it strong!

The addition of a couple of coats of render, an angled timber roof, a concrete path, an extra yard area for feeding and fencing and its nearly done!

A place for all the muck!!!

Once the cow barn & yard was finished the cows came in a did what they do best : eat and poo!! Lacking any form of front loader or bobcat the job of clearing cow muck was left to the trusty fork & wheelbarrow. The yard and the strip of concrete at the front of the barn was cleared weekly and a layer of new straw added inside the barn where they sleep. The realisation soon dawned that there was not enough space beside the cow yard to store the winters silage bales and the ever increasing ‘muck pile’

So outside contractors where brought in to dig out the bank and increase the storage area.

The use of the ‘track machine’ & dumper truck quickly dug out the top soil and shale subsoil, leaving a large level area. The soil that was dug out was ‘dumped’ into the adjacent ‘sunken lane’ that was waterlogged all year round. The extent of the soil dug out raised the level in the lane by 4-5 feet, and after a bit of levelling from the track machine and repeated times up and down with the roller & tractor (improved my reversing skills no end!!) the end result was a dry level compact surface.

The addition of £1200 of hardcore & scalpings (its so expensive!!) spread very efficiently with the track machine then repeatly rolled by my trusty Fergy & roller, made a compact surface (ideally to be concreted at some point in the future) leaving plenty of room for silage bales, that 20 ton load of fodder beet at Christmas and last but not least the muck!!