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Autumn at Love North Devon

See our autumn colour show 

I'm making no apologies for starting our autumn page with an advert because if you want  to see the beauty of the countryside then this is the best time time to see it. Here at Love North Devon we have unbelievable views and September to November almost invariably bring some sunshine and dry days. Here's our blog from last September ....

The last few weeks have been taken up with having a clear out in the outbuildings and clearing brush at the back of our farmhouse and in the top woods ready for the pigs next year. We have had a bit of help and Edwin came to put in a fence to divide the woodland field into two to make an enclosure for the pigs and keep them away from the small plantation of Christmas trees.  Ironically the Christmas trees should have been harvested 10 or even 20 years ago and have now grown into a delightful evergreen glade, a sort of conifer forest - albeit a very tiny forest! I had thought about cutting the trees and using them for log burners but I've grown attached to them and they provide a useful habitat for the rabbits and fox and also form a windbreak for the rest of the glade. It looks as if the Christmas trees will continue on for years to come as it won't be me who'll be taking them down, that's for sure.

It was whilst clearing the brush I noticed all manner of fungii along the banks and on some of the dead wood and tree stumps. There's a spot I particularly like, between the new wood and the old pasture field at the bottom of the valley.  It's due to have a new wooden gate fitted in place of the old steel one but as you can see from the picture above it's still a super place to photograph. I'm really pleased with the image as it's not often I can get that close to an object and keep it in focus. The future looks bright for my close up photos however, as I've discovered the macro setting on the camera and I've also found the "super macro" setting so I'll be able to get some really close shots too.

In the orchard, the apple trees and black berries are delivering a bountiful supply of fruit for Mrs Budds fruit pie and crumble. We're expecting a bumper crop year on year now as the new cordans are maturing, we should have some pears in the future. As we're organic you're sure to see a few holes in some of the crop but it's ok. There's plenty for all and any spooled fruit will go into making apple sauce to sit in the freezer with the pork or into brewing cider for the guests next year.

The pigs by now are making a bit of a mess in their enclosure and they're getting to be quite a size. As the season stretches out into winter we'll open the gate and let them wander under the Christmas trees to pick out a few delicacies. The veg patch is now well and truly at it's peak - we've far too many lettuces, onions, garlic and swedes and invariably, not enough peas, beans, carrots or potatoes. Trouble is whenever I pull a bunch of carrots fresh out of the ground they're so good, they're eaten almost immediately. Every year I've planted the sweet corn earlier and earlier to see if I can get the cobs to mature before the first frosts so it's always exciting for me to check the husks and see them develop, I just wonder if we'll be feeding our hens with our very own organic maize corn this winter? I love to see the onions swollen and maturing in the autumn sun, it signals the start of the end of the autumn and a clear sign it'll be time to start stocking the barn with produce to see us through the winter.

One of my favourite sayings is "make hay while the sun shines" as it sums up the way both Amanda and I (Adrian by the way) go about our day. It's obviously a farmers saying but I have used it on many occasions, even on board ship while I was in the navy.

The other week, we found we needed some bedding for the chickens and having mown a track through some very long grass with the tractor and mower I went along to collect some of the hay. It was a beautiful day, blue sky, warm breeze and I was thrilled to actually be "making hay while the sun shines". It was even better that I was doing it all by hand using a rake and baling the hay into piles at the edge of the new track. Some jobs should be firmly catagorized under "JOBS", like washing the dishes or ironing or anything to do with drains - but making hay? put that job under the heading of "Therapy".


So, onto the reason I was in need of some hay. We've some new chickens as the other  week we took a journey to Wellington to have a look at some hens. Armed with a big cardboard box and a couple of cat baskets we came home with ten new birds and are now up to a dozen eggs a day - ample for us and our guests. The new birds are not hybrids but traditional breed birds, we have light Sussex, black French hens and Blue Morans. The Light Sussex are tough old birds, definitely in charge, keeping the rest of the birds in check and always in the front of the queue when it comes to feeding time. For a chicken, the best place for food is underneath the bird feeder and under my feet when I'm eating a sandwich or biscuit.  Quite often I'll "accidentally" drop a biscuit which causes all manner of cluckings and flapping!

 

Visit Love North Devon in Autumn and guests can enjoy......

Red Deer - it's the start of the rutting season and as the leaves start to fall stags can seen roaming across our land and in the wood

Bountiful welcome pack of home grown organic produce from our veg patch and orchard

Surprisingly warm days in which to explore North Devons attraction and beaches.

Great time for surfing the beaches of Woolacombe, Croyde and Braunton

It's quiet - all the crowds have gone home and all the attractions are still open - there's just you and I left to enjoy North Devon.

The fall colours- stunning time to visit for photographers and artists

October is the best month for carp and fly fishing on the lake.

 

Adrian looks forward to welcoming you to Down Farm and Love North Devon this autumn

Love North Devon

Down Farm,
 Little Bray, Brayford, Exmoor, North Devon, England, UK

  tel.01598 711888

North Devon Cottage Holidays Self Catering in Devon

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