Our first Christmas at Noltland, celebrated with a houseful of family - mum and dad and Sam and Danny and their 2 kids Ben and Maggie all the way from Sydney, Aus! Ben is only 22 months old but we managed to get him hooked on farming already. Good times. We were sad to say goodbye to everyone, and look forward to seeing them all again soon! Thank you for coming so far to see us.
Work continued in the buildings over the festive season, sometimes with the help of our visitors - this is what happens when you come to visit us. The creamery, bulk tank room and hygiene control area are now really starting to take shape. Due to the bad weather at the end of December we had to postpone the second part of concrete pouring - for the milking parlour and cheese store - until the 10th of Jan. This has now been done, our thanks again for the great job to Daniel Harcus Construction.
Orkney Aggregates concrete truck
Concrete being taken into the building. (Noltland Castle in the background.)
The new floor for our new cheese store.
Coming together - where our bulk tank room, hygiene control area and creamery will be.
There is a huge amount of bricklaying to be done and equipment to be installed. And of course the deluxe flooring that has to be laid on top of the concrete.
As regards our cow housing we found that our idea of using sand in their cubicles was not working. They stayed clean for about 3 weeks and then it all began to get a bit messy. So, with the good weather over Christmas (we had some seriously beautiful days, mild and crisply clear) we put them out for a bit to clean up while we freshened up their housing. The rubber mats we ordered took ages to arrive so they were out a bit longer than we anticipated, but on the upside, when the time came to get them back in they were waiting at the gate! Good girls. Each cubicle now has a thick rubber mat in it. So far so good.
Stay tuned. We are expecting the calving to start at the end of March - it all has to be ready by then. Wish us luck!