September 2017 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 13th September 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
A talk by Rob Thomas, Head of Development at the National Botanical Gardens Wales. This will cover the history of gardens, the organic farm, charcoal and their green technology.

Sunday September 24th 11am. Farm walk in Meidrim.
Visit a small plantation of young Christmas trees and see how the experiment growing biomass (Willow) is progressing. With easy care sheep & bees to add some animal interest.
Meeting Report
About 20 of us were welcomed with tea & coffee to the last farm walk of 2017. The holding is rather steep, which makes clearing the bracken and gorse in order to succession plant their Christmas trees challenging. Other members talked about how they cope with managing steep ground. The up side is that it makes a good site for solar panels, which in turn provide shelter for their small flock of easy care sheep that shed their wool naturally. The bottom of their holding meets the river and after a lot of rain can flood its banks causing erosion and we could see how they had been working on trying to stabilise the bank with willow as well as plant it for biomass. Unfortunately they also have the very pretty but invasive Himalayan balsam growing along the banks, which is dealt with by cutting before seeding. As with all farm walks there is plenty of discussion and exchange of ideas as well as a sense of camaraderie. A very enjoyable day thanks to Adrian and Marion.

Further details are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our Contacts

August 2017 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 9th August 8:00pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Mr & Mrs Rose who are Rhosyn (Carmarthen Market) will talk about making sausages.
Meeting Report
The August meeting saw a really packed house all eager to listen to Emma & Neil Rose of Rhosyn Farm Produce talk about how they make their Sausages. First was an introduction to the animals they have now, followed by how from small beginnings, through sheer hard work and determination to produce the best that was possible, they developed the thriving Award winning business that they have Today. For more information head to their web site www.rhosynfarmproduce.weebly.com
The technicalities of making sausages from their Gloucester Old Spot pork was discussed in detail from the importance of at least a small amount of rusk, the source of flavouring, to the types of casing used and the final packaging, all helped by two important pieces of machinery and governed by lots of food safety rules & regulations. Thank you to Emma & Neil for giving up some of your very valuable time to inspire us all. A more detailed report is available in your September Newsletter.

Sunday 20th August 10:30am. The Big Kit Show & BBQ near Blaenycoed
An opportunity to spend a day looking at all the equipment that DSA Members can gather together that a smallholder might use. From hand tools to tractors, kitchen scales to milking equipment, apple peelers to cider presses.
If at all possible there will be demonstrations of equipment in use and an opportunity to compare different approaches to farm tasks e.g. scything versus mechanical hay cutting, an axe versus a 13 tonne log splitter, hand milking versus machine.
Some of the equipment will have been bought new, some second hand from dealers, some bought at auction, some built by our members, or it might have been adapted from something quite different
We will have a sort of Car Boot sale for smallholding equipment – but please keep it relevant!
There will be a BBQ going with various burgers, sausages and possibly some other things available – but contributions of other foodstuffs would welcome.
Event Report
From hand held seed/fertiliser spinners to tractor winches for pulling 4 logs up hills. It was all there as were a large number of members as it drew a different cross section to a normal farm walk. From tunnels within poly-tunnels and tomato support structures to having a go at welding. In the animal shed if the bedding builds up too much just mount some more bolt on gate hangers higher up the post. Lots to see and think about plus a boot sale and a barbeque. A good day. Well done and thank you to Alan and Margaret

Further details are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our Contact page.

July 2017 Events

Wednesday 12th July 7:30pm. Barbeque near Llangynog.
There is a cost of £2.50 per person, £5 to guests/non-members. This includes burgers sausages, veggie option, buns, tea, coffee and soft drink. A contribution to communal table, in form of salads and sweets would be appreciated.  Bring something to eat from and with, something to sit on and something to drink from. If people want to enjoy a tipple please bring your own
Event Report
A good time was had by all who attended, with the gas BBQ proving a success.

Sunday 30th July 11am.  Farm walk near Horeb.
July’s farm walk is a visit to Barry & Julie Gwilt at Horeb. Meet 10.30 for 11am. start and don’t forget your picnic. Barry and Julie will welcome you to their 27 acre smallholding on the edge of the Brechfa forest.  They keep horses, sheep and chickens. Walk around holding followed by lunch, then a small quiz. Hope to see lots of you.
Event Report
Barry and Julie took us around their holding where they indulge their passion for horses. We met the exceeding tame sheep, which do an excellent job following their many lively horses’, so helping to keep the fields sweet. Once back at the stables we met two more horses who are shown. Then having feasted on sandwiches and various cakes we had a flower recognition quiz that got quite serious as there was chocolate for the winner.

Further details are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our Contact page.

June 2017 Meeting & Events

Sunday 11th June 11:30am. Visit to Down To Earth Project on the Gower.
An opportunity to visit this worthwhile project, where smallholding, sustainability and eco builds are used to help the disadvantaged. SA3 1ED will get you in the area but not to the site!
Event Report

We would like to thank Jon and Amanda for giving up their Sunday to show us around the Down to Earth Project. It was very interesting and as one who cannot even saw firewood straight I was very impressed with all the carpentry. Amanda also supplied us with excellent cakes.

Wednesday 14th June 7:00pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Mart, 200metres further up the road from up the road from Carmarthen Veterinary Centre
A visit to Carmarthen Mart where we will be shown the facilities available and the process of selling and buying your stock at the mart will be explained by the auctioneers. Please note the start time will be 7:00pm not the usual 8:00pm.
Meeting Report
The market is owned by Bob Jones Prytherch & Co Marts Limited (BJP marts). We were shown around by the Manager and his Clerk who explained how the market is run and what we would need to do as buyers or sellers of livestock.
All of the details about sales (including sale catalogues) can be found on their website www.bjpmarts.com. Further notes by Amanda are available in your Newsletter.

Sunday 25th June 10:30am for 11:00am start. Farm walk at East Williamston on two neighbouring smallholdings.
1) Approx 17 acres, with sheep, poultry and ponies. 14 years of environmental schemes with extensive tree and hedge planting and a wildlife pond.
2)  Approx 10acres, with wildflower hay meadow, fruit orchard and woodland. Large veg plot, one chicken and beehives. Glastir for 5 years.
Event Report
Our farm  walk with Cliff & Tim and then onto Sue next door gave us a chance to see sheep horses and chickens with a walk around fields, orchards woodland and ponds. Cliff and Tim have done a lot of work and had photos mounted at various places so that we could see how their holding was when they took over. Good productive vegetable areas making full use of poly tunnels with automated watering systems using collected rainwater. The otters in their pond make life dangerous for toads which they skin before eating. Sue has a big problem with her pond with one of these foreign invasive weeds taking it over.

Further details are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our Contact page.

May 2017 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 10th May 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veternianry Centre.
Pig Keeping for Beginners.
Meeting Report
There was a full room for the talk about keeping pigs aimed at the newcomer to keeping these animals. We were advised to start at the end of the process before getting pigs so that aspects such as slaughter, transport and sufficient freezer space are all sorted before the day they are needed. Types of housing were then considered from temporary straw bale to permanent constructions, all with correct insulation to ensure food intake is converted to growth. It was highlighted that access for pigs and keepers is important as what is fine when they are weaners may not be adequate when they are porkers. Methods containment of were discussed as pigs are powerful and dig well. The advantages of weaners against buying a sow were covered. Feeding and diet were explained along with options on inseminating sows. Finally health and common diseases were discussed.

Saturday  20th May. St Clears Show
We will again be in attendance and this is an opportunity for members to sell non-perishable produce. Volunteers are needed to man the tent on the day and to help set up on Friday evening. If you can help contact a committee member.
Event Report

This year DSA won shield for best stand at the show. Thank you to everyone who came and contributed to our win. One visitor said it was the liveliest, or did they mean noisiest, did they mean noisiest, marquee there!

 

Further details are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our Contacts

January 2017 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 11th January 2017 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Weed control with Andrew Spenser. Prepare to defeat those weeds before the season starts.

Sunday 22nd January 2017 8pm. New Years Lunch at The Smiths in Llangyndeyrn.
More details at December meeting and pay by January meeting £10.75 per person.

September – October 2016 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 14th September 8pm.  Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Permaculture with Louise Cartwright
Meeting Notes
For those that attended the talk on permaculture Louise has sent a reading list if you require more information.
Permaculture: A Practical Guide for a Sustainable Future by Bill Mollison.
Permaculture Design – A Step by Step Guide by Aranya.
Permaculture in a Nutshell by Patrick Whitefield.
The Earth Care Manual: A Permaculture Handbook for Britain and Other Temperate Climates by Patrick Whitefield.
Guidance for Traditional Allotments and Community Led Gardening Projects – Chapter 10 Design Guide by Louise Cartwright.
Design Guide by Louise Cartwright http://gov.wales/docs/drah/publications/160321-guidance-

Wednesday 12th October 8pm.  Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Home brewing. Brewing has been an essential skill for aeons especially before the age of drinkable water supplies. Now we brew for pleasure not necessity, in most cases. Come and learn from Tristan.
Meeting Notes
An interesting presentation that included a recipe covering all the techniques, but most important were the samples for those present to taste! See your Newsletter for a full details.

Saturday 22nd October 7:30pm for 8:00pm. Dinner at the Ivy Bush, Carmarthen.
This is a dinner to celebrate 30 years of the DSA. and it would be nice to see our long standing members who could tell us “how it used to be”.  We do not have complete details as we go to press but as we need to book numbers with the Ivy Bush could you please book you places with newsletter Editor by the 27th. August. There is a carvery menu and a £10 deposit to the treasurer would help. The cost of the meal is approximately £20 with full details in next months newsletter. This event is being subsidised by DSA so please come and enjoy our celebration of 30years of Dyfed Smallholders Association.

 

August 2016 Events

Sunday 14thAugust 11am. Farm walk Llain Farm

This is your last chance this year to go on a farm walk. We will be visiting David Gearing’s 40+ acre holding where they keep sheep and a variety of poultry. A veg  plot, orchard and tree wind screen are all works in progress as is an apiary. Meet for 11:00am start. Sorry no dogs. See your newsletter for details.

Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st August. Willow weaving course near Haverfordwest.

Richard and Suzanne Kerwood are happy to return and teach us again. To include a 2 day log basket course and various 1 day options. They proved very popular last year and this is the only weekend they have available this year. Contact Peat Gleed using this link and make your message for the attention of Newsletter Editor. This event has been cancelled due to the total lack of response.

June 2016 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 8th June 8pm – Monthly meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre

Philip and Michele run scything courses and supply the equipment from their holding and are coming to talk to us about the subject. Philip was taught to scythe by the renowned scythe master, Peter Vido at the first West Country Scythe Festival in 2005. Since then, the scythe has become an indispensable tool and Philip has built up considerable experience with its use and maintenance. Philip has won medals for the quality of his scything and now teaches at the festival as well as at the Trust. Come along on Wednesday to learn all about it.

Sunday June 12th 11am – Farm Walk in Solva

This farm walk is a follow up visit to our March meeting when Alun Davies spoke about alpacas and call ducks. He has a 30 acre holding with a steep climb up to see the female alpacas who have good views over Solva Bay! There is no cover for lunch so bring a chair and be prepared for an in-car picnic if it rains. No dogs please. See your newsletter for directions.

Summer 2016 Meetings & Events

To help you plan your summer here is an outline of events. Full details of events will appear in the newsletter before the event.

Evening meetings:
June 8th Scything
July 13th Barbeque
August 10th Drainage
September 14th Permaculture
October 12th Brewing

Farm Walks and Events:
June 12th Alpacas and call ducks at Solva. A follow up to Alun Evans talk on these subjects.
July (10th. Or 17th. TBC) Janet Rodway at Rhydargaeau
August 20th & 21st August Willow weaving courses with Richard and Suzanne Kerwood at Haverfordwest