Monday, 17 May 2010

Smallholder Festival 2010...

We were in Wales at the weekend for the Smallholder and Garden Festival, which we went to last year and enjoyed so much that we had to come back! Its a great show, with lots to see and plenty of inspiration for would-be smallholders. I seem to have come away with a lot of animal photos so I'll start off with a few of those.

Goats first (mainly baby ones!). Here's a lovely Golden Guernsey kid...
Golden Guernsey goat kid 1

An Angora goat with her kids...
Angora goat and kids

Some Toggenburg goat kids posing in formation...
Toggenburg goat kids in formation

An adult Toggenburg having what looks like a very uncomfortable nap...
Uncomfortable goat nap 1

More Toggenburg kids (I think Toggenburgs might be my favourite type of goat)...
Toggenburg kids in the straw

Two very large and impressive goats that are trained to pull a carriage...
Harness goats

And Ade chatting up a black Anglo Nubian goat whilst knocking back some farmhouse perry...
Ade and an Anglo Nubian goat

Sheep next, starting with an enormous Jacob ram with impressive horns...
Jacob ram

To my shame, I can't tell (even after looking in my sheep books) whether these are Llanwenog or Clun Forest. There's a mean looking set of teeth on the front one though...
Llanwenog or Clun Forest sheep

And a pretty Soay ewe, almost camouflaged in the straw...
Soay sheep

There were plenty of other creatures at the show, including a noisy pavilion full of chickens...
Three black hens

A shed full of pigs, where I saw this sleepy family of Tamworths...
Tamworth pig family snooze time

A pretty Welsh pony with a little foal...
Welsh pony

And a reasonably cheery looking donkey...
Donkey in the shade

As well as taking endless photographs of animals (the full set of which is on Flickr here, or you can check out last year's photos here), we ate A LOT of food. The farmers market at the show has some fantastic food on offer, including tasty Scotch eggs from the Handmade Scotch Egg Company, amazing cakes and tray-bakes from the Love Patisserie and delicious ice cream from Wild Fig. Cider and perry fans were spoilt for choice, with Ralph's and Gwynt y Ddraig getting plenty of visits from a certain someone over the course of the day...

Here's Ade tucking into a vegetarian Welsh Oggie and some farmhouse cider...
Oggie and cider man

We watched some exciting scurry driving...
Scurry driving

Saw some shiny tractors...
Yellow tractor bonnet

Admired the Welsh textiles on offer from Jane Beck but resisted the urge to buy something (which was tricky!)...
Welsh blankets and quilts

There were also several sheep shearing demonstrations over the course of the day and we managed to get a good view of an afternoon demo. The first part of the demo involved showing us how quickly an expert can shear a sheep with electric clippers...
Shearing demo with electric clippers 1

Then he showed us how it's done with traditional hand shears, which took quite a bit longer and looked trickier but was much quieter and is obviously a much cheaper option for smallholders wanting to shear a small number of their own sheep...
Shearing demo with hand shears 1

The shearer was obviously an expert and the sheep kept very still, despite only having been handled once or twice in their lives before. I don't know how he manages to keep track of which bit he's shearing as he flips the sheep from one side to the other...
Shearing demo with hand shears 3

This is how a professional grips a sheep between his thighs!
How to grip a sheep with your thighs

Check out the size of those pointy blades!
Shearing demo with hand shears 4

The finished hand-shorn sheep only looks slightly less smooth than an electrically clipped one...
Sheep after shearing with hand shears

Mmm... big squishy rolled up fleece!
Rolled up fleece
Rolled in the correct Wool Marketing Board-approved fashion, of course.

So that's it for the Smallholder Show 2010. I was going to include the story of the exciting place we stayed at in this post but since it's become such a whopper, I'll save that for another post! :)

1 comment:

  1. Belle mecs commencent ... Je suis allé sur le site et j'ai trouvé que vous avez fait le point décente ici. Tenez-vous le sujet que chacun puisse choisir l'un des meilleurs. Merci.
    Or Guernesey chèvres

    ReplyDelete