Notice to YSPilots/YSFLIGHT

Notice to YSPilots/YSFLIGHT
Legacy Pack available under the YSFLIGHT category.
Any individual requests for a model must be made to my email address, see bottom of the page..

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Gingerbread things!

So, last night I made little gingerbread things. I started out with a plan to make a gingerbread log cabin, cutting a large tray of gingerbread into strips and then overlapping them to make a log cabin. In the end there wasn’t enough gingerbread so I made these things instead:
So, the recipe:
175g of Butter
175g of Sugar
4 tablespoons of golden syrup (Pretty much just emptied the pot in…)
700g of plain white flour
2 teaspoons of bicarbonate of soda
3 teaspoons of ginger
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 eggs
If you want to make a gingerbread house, double or even triple the ingredients, this is nowhere near enough for 1 house…
Stick the sugar, flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger and cinnamon together.
Melt the butter in a pan, then pour it, and the eggs, and the golden syrup together with the rest…
So everything is together. Mix it like crazy so it makes a paste, sometimes it’s thick, sometimes it’s runny… Doesn't massively matter as it’s going in the oven anyway.
Leave the ball of dough in a bag in the fridge for half an hour, it’ll get cooler and expand a fair bit.
While it is doing this, grease a tray, the one I used was too big, but just choose one you think will fit, if not, make 2. Then put the dough in the trays. Roll it out with a rolling pin till it’s about 1cm thick, can be as thick as you want really. The thicker the longer you’ll have to cook it for, the thinner the shorter…. Still with me?
Great! Pop it in the oven. 180C or gas mark 6. If it is about 1cm, leave it for 15 minutes and then check it. If you prod it with a knife and some comes out still on the knife, you need to leave it for another 5 minutes or so. It’ll look nice and brown, but not dark brown… then you’ve messed up and burned it, but light brown… Sort of… coffee coloured.
Then, bring it out of the oven, and while it is still warm, cut it with a knife into what ever shape or size you want it, can turn it into a gingerbread house or just make little biscuit things like I did, they taste nice as hell if you like gingerbread….
Happy… Last week of advent?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Birdhouse with someone….

Okay, apparently I’m not even allowed to refer to people by their initials anymore… So… I now work with a Mr X, a Mr Y and a Mr Z in the afternoons, as well as Gilberto and Tom… because they’re not vulnerable adults and I can call them by their names…
So, Mr X and I were building a birdhouse. It is meant for a present for his brother, and instead of buying one for £10, we decided to make one instead.
So I spent a good morning designing a birdhouse in Google Sketchup. Making all the dimensions nice, and working out how many pieces we needed to cut etc.
These I then drew out on paper, cut out and used to mark off onto pieces of wood. These were then cut out:
Somehow my precision engineering from my plans, translated into plywood resulted in non symmetrical parts… and pieces that no longer fit… But no matter! We shall prevail!
I didn't realise how freaking big this is...

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

I have the best job in the world.

I have come to this conclusion a few times in the past week. First was during the evening when Tom and I were moving a trailer. It was a cool, clear evening, just about 4 o clock. The sun was just setting below the horizon, and from the other side, the top of the moon was just peaking over the wall. It’s times like these where you wish you were carrying a camera at all times. It was beautiful.
The second time was on Monday (12th). Tom and Gilberto were out at training courses, so I had the farm. We had all finished work at 12, and the villagers went in for lunch. My work wasn’t entirely finished as we have two heifers at the back of the dale, about a km away. These heifers needed some hay, so I loaded up the tractor and drove up. It was also a beautiful clear, crisp day, just before lunch.
It’s times like these I love to be a farmer in Botton Village. We have the best job in the world don’t we?

Saturday, 10 December 2011

First Snow!

So, a few days ago we had our first snow fall. I can’t really call it a real snow fall as it looked little more than frost, but it was actual real snow!


Didn’t last for very long, but it is certainly getting colder. Was around –1 this morning, with the bull’s drinking trough being completely iced over. When I took the ice out it begun to refreeze almost immediately. Warmed up to +4 during the day though… Well, I saw warmed…..

Yesterday the sky at about 7 in the morning was really amazing, such cool colours:


The light on the ground was really golden, was very odd. Cool, but odd…

What else… Oh, Honey Bee Nest have woolly pigs:


And no, they’re not a cross between a sheep and a pig, that’s not biologically possible.. Or at least I doubt it is…

Muck Heaps

No I have not posted in a long time, I am sorry.

So, what have we been up to? Well, a while ago I mentioned that I had taken the muck pile from the barn into the field. In order for the muck to break down properly it needs to be kept warm and moist. Too much water and it’ll wash the nutrients away, which kind of defeats the point of muck spreading.  The muck heap is finally complete, and the other day we added the biodynamic compost preparations. These are 502-507.

  • 502: Yarrow
  • 503: Chamomile
  • 504: Nettle
  • 505: Oak Bark
  • 506: Dandelion
  • 507: Valerian, which is the only one that is sprayed around the edges of the muck

502-506 are incorporated into a small ball of mud or muck and put into the centre of the muck heap, each one separated by around a metre from the last in the order above. My job was to make the little balls and pass them to people to put inside the heap. I think we made around 50 balls in total.


The muck heap, before the fleece

We added the fleece during really high winds, which made moving a 25m long, 4m wide fleece into position under 40mph gales was rather challenging. Finally we got it on and weighed it down with tyres:


Completed muck heap. Oooh look at all those tractor marks though… Luckily we’re ploughing it soon!

Looks rather good too!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Free shower….Clearing out the liquid manure system

Okay, here is a little map of High Farm, where  I work. The point on it is a field, which according to Google Earth is 30m below the level of the farm in altitude. The point is at the approximate position of a liquid manure hydrant.



So, attached to these hydrants are sprayers, like these two:


and attached to the other end is a pump dipped in the liquid manure tank. For the past couple of months it has been draining out about 120000 litres of liquid manure… Or about that… onto the fields. The tank is now empty, and with winter here, and frost on the way, we need to drain the system and bring everything in, which was my job (I stupidly rejected the offer of Tom doing that and I doing the pigs….). So, to begin with the pump went into the moors water storage tank, and was switched on, this pressurised the top with fresh water, which we let out through two sprayers in the top fields. To drain the system the lower hydrant needed to be opened. Figuring that the two sprayers and the distance down hill to the hydrant, I thought there would be at least a second between opening the hydrant tap and the liquid coming out.


The hydrant is designed like this. There is a hole dug in the ground, about half a metre deep, with a pipe coming up through it. At the bottom of the hole is the tap as well to open the flow. To get to the tap you need to reach down, and in doing so your face passes in front of the hydrant.

My calculations of how long it would take the liquid manure to travel down to the hydrant, and the pressure drop from the 2nd hydrant open were not exactly spot on….. I got the full force of the pump, 30 metres of gravitational potential energy and about 10L of liquid manure squarely in the face. Oh the life of a farmer.

Still, could be worse… At least there was running water in the hosepipe to wash everything in Open-mouthed smile Oh 4 degrees of temperature outside too.. Chilly when you’re wet…

Paper Stars and Advent time

I love this time of the year. The traditions and festivals in Botton and in all other Anthroposiohical communities, like Michael Hall when I was there, have been a part of my life since… Forever. So it is now this time of year again, and we’re all busy making things for it. Amongst these is my favourite, mainly because I can make them… Paper stars:



In other news… I’ve killed both my dive camera, which I was using for everyday snaps, and my phone camera as it fell off the back of the tractor… Oh dear…. The last photograph my phone ever took:



What else.. Oh, it’s quite pretty at the moment, but then again, it always has been:


And I think that is about it for now! Have a good day y’all!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Morning Milking and finding a wagon for Pokey the goat

24th November 2011
Oh my dear friend Ulrike… I don’t know how you talked me into this.. surprisingly easily in fact.. But this morning I found myself doing morning milking on a farm that is no longer mine…So, good old Botton Farm herd….Oh how I missed you girls. Cherry, Damson, Rose, Belle, Lady, Laura, Queenie, Royal, Maypole, Ruby and Socks! But I digress, E.U. (As I now have to refer to the villagers..)was serving at the Church, so someone had to stand in for him in morning milking and I stood up to the mark. Had a rather good cup of coffee made by Ulrike, payment for getting me out of bed at JEZUS o clock, and breakfast in New Botton Farm, very nice to be “home” or what still feels a little like my adopted home.
After breakfast it is work as usual. Tom found a wooden hand trailer cart thing behind the barn, and we had a good clean of it, pumped up the tyres and oiled it all up and decided it was too heavy for our initial plan of making Pokey, the resident goat on the farm, pull the wagon. With no other purpose for it two of the villagers pulled each other around the yard during tea break time… And then we popped it back in the barn. I do have photographs, but am not allowed to post them for obvious reasons as you can recognise who they are. I tried masking their identity, but then it looks like a Special Ops photograph….So I shall not post it.
Instead, the cat, Ninja, brought a dead rabbit into the boot lobby:

25th November 2011
Sadly I didnt take any pictures today as some of them would’ve been purty! We were down in the lower fields by the beck cutting down overhanging trees and loading them up onto the trailer. The sun was just setting over the back of the dale, and casting beautiful shadows, and with the blue clear sky it was really nice. Very cold though. Evening I had my scarf, bookmark and dog tags stolen and hidden under the kitchen table by a very cute kid. The dog tags got slightly chewed as well, just as well they’re metal eh… And then I had a great conversation with Miss De Boer Smile

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Been a bit lax of late…

So, the last thing that happened was that we had a new calf on the 18th of November (2011). It’s been nearly a week since then, and what a lot has happened! A lot of stuff is going down here in Botton with the new manager, but I am not at liberty to discuss any of it, so last weekend was a bit of a “Oh your god is this really happening” weekend. Always nice to know I came home to a battlefield.

But, what has been going on on the farm (Would you put 2 “on”s there?)

17th November 2011

So, on the afternoon of the 17th we shifted a bunch of reeds that were cut in one of the fields. The aim of this was simply to clear it all off so the grass could grow underneath. They’ve been lying there for so long now that some of the grass is dying under. We were supposed to be clearing it by hand, around 2 tonnes of the stuff… Maybe 1.5T… And initially that’s what we were doing. The farm trainee, Tom, went and asked a guy working on the drains in the field, “Steve” if we could borrow his dumper truck on tank tracks, but he said no, so we carried on. After lunch, the main farmer (Gilberto) came down to the field, up came Steve and offered his dumper truck Smile Tom was not best pleased.


So, we shifted the piles in one afternoon, rather than a few days, and got them all squared away by the walls to pick up with the tractor later. During milking I found out how to make the bull do this rather amusing thing with his nose:


I did know the name of this as I did a project on cattle behaviour in my 2nd year of International Wildlife Biology, might post it up at some point….

18th November 2011

In the morning I figured out how to upload blog posts from my phone… Hence the calf post, which was actually written on  the 14th of November 2011.

We shifted all the reeds from the wall where Steve had stacked them with the dumper, and we picked them up on the trailer. Steve gave us a hand again with the digger to get them into the trailer…Little bit of overkill… Tom had his first go with driving the trailer, though not officially…. image

19th November 2011

Farmers market! Didn’t take many pictures here as I was kind of busy. In true farmers market tradition (As the ones I’ve been to before were in the summer….) I had an ice cream… It was about 4 degrees C… Still, tasty ice cream…

In the afternoon Ulrike and I went for a walk up onto the moors to eat chocolate and take photographs:




These were all taken with my dive camera, so I’m rather pleased with the results Open-mouthed smile

20th November 2011

Just a normal Sunday… Relaxed, had lunch, played with bows and arrows in the forest with Ulrike…image


I wish they’d put my LG Viewty camera in an Android phone…

21st November 2011

Didn’t really take that many pictures, just one where all the cows were sleeping in the same way:


Even the calves:

imageI think it must be inate.

22nd November 2011

Mucked out the barn using the front loader, the field was so slippy, so when I was emptying it onto the muck heap I really tore the field up….


So, and now it is the 23rd….

Friday, 18 November 2011

New calf - another one!

Last cow of this year, furrow, had her calf, another heifer, got about 7 now, excellent!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Game released: The Elder Scrolls Skyrim

TESV 2011-11-11 07-15-32-52
So, today is the 11th of November, 2011 (11/11/11, in Day Day/ Month Month, Year Year, not Month Month Day Day Year Year… Nothing goes big, small, big it’s silly… Stop using that system USA…)  and on 11/11/11 Skyrim was released. I’ve been preloading it for a couple days now from STEAM, and this morning I got up at 6 to play for a couple hours before work. And may I say, what a couple of hours it was! OOOOOOhhh my I love The Elder Scrolls games, and so far Skyrim is no exception. DRAGONS!
But yes, I am looking forward to playing this game properly on the weekend. Gonna close everything running and slam the settings up to max Smile
Anyways, enjoy your day,

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The carrots are done!


So, we moved the last box of carrots into the cold store yesterday. This isn’t actually it… I moved it in with a fork lift truck, this is one of the first to come of the field last night, with Hans driving the front loader. But yes, we got a very decent haul from the field, not sure exactly how many boxes there were, I heard 18 half tonne boxes, but I think there were more.


Another thing we did last night was peppers. I dont claim to know what it’s all about, but peppers seem to be burned seeds of weeds and thing, these are then sprayed on the field, and apparently stop weed growth… Not sure how… Maybe they ask nicely. But ours is not to reason why….

So, I made a pretty awesome fire I have to admit, and they put the seeds in an aluminium tray. This went onto the hot coals and the seeds burned. Though the aluminium tray also melted… And half the seeds fell into the fire. Ah nuts.


Gilberto, my Workmaster, went to find something else and came back with a coal bucket, which is meant to hold cold, unburned coal next to a fire, and put it in the fire…


….The paint caught fire and made some nasty fumes…..

Oops again…. Anyways, was an overall success. So, today I have a first aid course, and in the evening I’m going to see Johnny English with New Botton Farm in Middlesbrough. Should be fun!

Monday, 7 November 2011



This is a slightly better quality than my phone Smile


This was a little weird, saw it while taking the cows out, all the walls and muck heaps were covered in spider webs, which were themselves covered in dew. Looked very cool.

Anyway, in the afternoon we were harvesting carrots again. Got 4 full half tonne boxes, and 4 partially full ones, not a bad haul. Anyways, I got the forklift job, unloading them from the trailer and stacking them in the cold store. Oh I do like heavy machinery.


Didn’t do a bad job of stacking them either.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fireworks! And shopping

So, on Saturday evening (5th of November) it was Bonfire Night in the UK, and High Farm went on a house outing to Helmsley to see the firework display.


Fireworks! Yes… my phone camera sucks… I wish they would put the LG Viewty camera into other cameras… That was the best phone camera I’ve ever had, it was awesome! And an actual Xenon flash! I digress! But yes, LG Viewty, my favourite old phone, if it ran Android… I’d go back in a flash… Geddit? Oh dear…

Fireworks! Yes! Anyways, it was good, love the really deep “BOOM” ones, the slightly higher pitch common bangs were a little too much like rifle fire, not that that’s a bad thing, I just wanted something bigger, artillery, 120mm cannon shells.. that kinda thing! Was good though, enjoyed it. The food left something to be desired, was hot dogs with MRM sausages, or Mechanically Recovered Meat, which, when you’re used to high quality organic meat in Botton….. Well, it left something to be desired.

But, before that we had a normal morning on the farm, a normal morning is basically:

First off, if the cows are out in the fields (They’ll be coming into the barn soon for Winter) we take them out to the field.

Then we come back and clean the barn, the yard gets scraped down and all the muck collected. The standings, where the cows stand when they’re eating (I’ll make a drawing of this at some point to show what it looks like… Or just take a photograph) also get scraped down. Soiled bedding is taken out and fresh straw put down. The feed passage is cleaned and fresh hay put down. The bull pen also gets mucked out and bedded down.

After this, if we have time any other odd jobs get done, tools are washed and cleaned, and the place is basically tidied up in time for the next week.

After lunch in High Farm I headed back home and introduced one of the young coworkers to an Xbox 360, not sure she was very impressed… Especially by my rather limited choice in games…. Halo mostly….

And in the evening, yea, I went to watch fireworks!

On the Sunday, currently my day off doing much work, I took someone to the train station in Middlesbrough, and then went shopping, spending far too much money on 2 fleeces and a cup of very expensive, but tasty coffee… White Chocolate Mocha from Neros… Ohhhhhh you need to try it, so good! With whipped cream… mmmmmmmm


Yes, anyways, that’s all from me today, tomorrow we’ll probably be harvesting carrots again, so goodnight!


Thursday, 3 November 2011

New Calf on High Farm

So, one of our cows, Rose gave birth to a beautiful heifer. IMAG0313

Though sadly my phone camera sucks!

Anyways, I seem to be going down with some kind of cold again… Something that has been going through Botton recently, kinda a cough and a sore throat.

So, this morning after we took the cows out into the fields……



We had to switch all wood around in half ton boxes as they were in the smaller vegetable half ton boxes, so we switched them over to the log boxes, which have larger gaps, so they’re unsuitable for carrots, but fine for logs.IMAG0311

After lunch one of the calves got it’s head stuck in a fence, and was really really stuck, so we head to cut away the fence to get it out. It has bruised around it’s eye and was looking pretty poorly, but in the evening it perked up and was much more like its self.

We then moved around carrots in the root storage shed with the fork lift and a little pushy around thing… There are like 26 half ton boxes in the root store, so it was rather a lot of manual labour. When the villagers went to get the cows in they reported that Rose had had her calf, so I drove out in the little blue tractor above and we put the calf in the link box on the back. I then drove it back to the barn from the field in the pouring rain with Rose running along behind, and sometimes in front of the tractor.

Aside from feeling rough, an overall good day!