Monday, 27 April 2009

Out on the Croft

We've finished planting potatoes for now. Well, when I say "we" I mean it very loosely. Actually it was my other (more active) half who got out the spade turned over the ground and did the planting. Because there is so little depth of soil here the earth is banked up into long barrows which follow the contours of the land for drainage purposes. These are called "Lazybeds" - though there's nothing lazy about preparing and maintaining them. All around the lazybed is a deep ditch - in the old days when people grew corn for over-wintering the cattle, it was extra important to have good drainage, so the ditches could be waist-deep. Very few people now actively croft but the lazy beds, though overgrown with grass and heather, can still be seen. If you look at "Google Earth" for the area - zooming in a bit - you can see evidence of a lot of cultivation in Harris and Lewis.

It was pretty muddy down on the lazybeds and little Heather, only having short legs, came back sporting a set of brown ankle boots.....
As befits a working dog, Bramble's feet were just a little off-white even after galloping through the ditches at speed.......
The flea market in Tarbert on Saturday went well - there was an excellent plant stall there and I bought a tub of lilies for the front door and some echinops (globe thistles) plants to put in the loomshed garden once the sheep have departed for the common grazings the Saturday after next.
Next Saturday we have a party of weavers from the US coming for a visit. The Singing Weaver (follow their travels through the hidden textile world of Scotland by following visits us every year, and we are always delighted to see them. Nadine, the tour organiser, is a talented weaver and musician. This will be the third year we have entertained the party, and this week we are busy cleaning and dusting in the loomshed to make sure everything is spick and span. Their visit marks the official beginning of our season. So after that we must get into gear and start working really hard!

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