September 2019 Meeting

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 11th Sept 7:45pm for 8pm.  Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Bee Keeping – A beginners perspective
One of our members Adrian will talk us through the process of starting to keep bees.

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

August 2019 Meeting & Events

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 8th August 7:45pm for 8pm.  Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Agrisgôp Courses
Elen Pencwm from Farming Connect will come and talk to us about what is available.

Sunday 25th August 11am. Farm Walk Brechfa
We are invited again to Dawn and Martins holding where they keep water-buffalo among other animals. For those that visited last year it is an opportunity to see what else they have been doing in the last year. Please can we ask no dogs are brought along.

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

June & July 2019 Meetings

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

PLEASE NOTE THERE IS A CHANGE OF VENUE FOR JUNE & JULY MEETINGS

Wednesday 12th June 7:45pm for 8pm. Monthly meeting at Carmarthen Mart (Carmarthen Livestock Centre), The Market, Carmarthen SA31 1QY
Tour of the Facilities
There will be a guided tour and a chat about how it operates for those who haven’t used it before (or even those who have). Please meet promptly at the Mart, which is very close to our normal venue.

Wednesday 10th July. Monthly meeting is the Annual BBQ. Same venue as last year, which is a members holding in, Llangynog, Carmarthen.
BBQ basics will be provided-burgers, sausages, bread rolls, all cooked for you. Everyone is asked to bring along supporting eatables-salads, puddings etc. for the communal table.
You will also need to bring your own crockery, cutlery and something to sit on. A £2.50 charge to members and £5.00 to guests will be collected on the night. Directions are available in the July Newsletter or by contacting us

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

May 2019 Meetings & Events

 

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 8th May 7:45pm for 8pm.  Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Hay Meadows
Andrew Martin, Chair of Carmarthenshire Meadows Group will be a talking on managing this precious resource.

Sunday 12th May 10:45am for 11am.  Themed Farm Walk on a members holding near Blaenycoedr.
Woodland/Hedgerow
The holding is in the third year of “Glastir Advanced’ so has been managed with conservation as a priority.

Wednesday 29th May 9:30am–5:00pm. Bishop’s Palace, St David’s, Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire Wildlife Day
This is a day to showcase the best of the wildlife in Pembrokeshire as well as the way in which people can live and work on and with the land. It is designed primarily as a ‘learning’ day for visitors to find out more about the area. Held in the grounds of the ruined Bishop’s Palace in St David’s, more details at can be found at: https://cadw.gov.wales/events/allevents/wildlife-out-west-st-davids-bishops-palace-may-2019/?lang=en

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

April 2019 Meetings & Events

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 10th April 7:45pm for 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Introduce Yourself
This is intended as a social evening with tea/coffee and biscuits and an opportunity to find out a little about other members and what they do. Don’t worry you don’t have to take part if you don’t want to! Just enjoy an evening in the company of like-minded smallholders.

Sunday 28th April 10am onwards at Blaenycoed 
Goat-keeping Day  
Margaret and Alan your hosts will concentrating on all things goaty. They will look at breeds, housing, milking, fencing, feeding, breeding and general management issues. Along with cream separation, cheese making, butter making, yoghurt making and ice-cream making.
Consideration will be given to slaughter, meat production and produce storage.
For those who have never hand milked, their trusty ‘practice goat’ “Boardy” will be on hand. They will be at the end of the kidding period–but there is a small chance that something might pop out on the day!
More details on how to be involved are in the April Newsletter.

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

March 2019 Meetings & Events

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 13th March 7:45pm for 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Polytunnels
We will be having a talk on growing in polytunnels by Cliff and Tim, the writers of our regular newsletter article ‘Horticulture Corner’. This is your opportunity to come along and ask any questions you have on this topic of interest to all gardeners.

Saturday 23rd March. Carmarthenshire Meadows Group Spring Meeting at Drefach Felindre. Details on this link

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Further details of all the above activities are available to members in their DSA monthly Newsletter. For non members who would like to find out more please use our ‘Join or Contact Us’ page.

 

November 2018 Meeting

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 14th November 7:45pm for 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Keeping Cattle One of our members Peat will give an overview of this extensive subject with advice for the new keeper.

 

Report
The talk covered the following:
♦ Legal such as herd number, ear tags, passports and TB test.
♦  Housing which is dependent on size of breed and what you are using them for.
♦ Food ranging from grass, hay, haylage and concentrates dependent on breed and end product.
♦ Equipment that is useful such as cattle crush and tractor for moving large bales.
♦ End product such as breeding, milk, meat or buying in store cattle.
♦ Breeds, many traditional breeds generally perform better on poorer land and are often dual purpose, which make them ideal for smallholders.

 

October 2018 Meeting & Events

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Wednesday 10th October 7:45pm for 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Tanning: Emma Allum from the Welsh Organic Tannery will give a talk on what they do and the services and products they have to offer and will have some examples of their work. If you’ve ever wondered what to do with the skins from your sheep and goats or are just interested in the tanning process, come and find out how the tanning is done and what is possible.
Report
Our thanks to Steve Allum for a fascinating talk. The Welsh Organic Tannery is the only certified organic tannery in Wales and specialise in producing sheepskin and goatskin rugs, providing a service to smallholders and farmers to enable them to gain extra revenue when they take their animals for slaughter. The tannery is purpose built and is situated on a smallholding nestled on the Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire border. The organic tanning process takes a minimum of 3 weeks and can take up to 3 months depending on the age, breed and sex of the animal for example an old ram will take much longer due to the thicker skin and increased levels of testosterone.
After going through several processes the skins are then branded with our logo and stamped according to their origination. Skins that have come from certified organic flocks and herds are stamped organic and those which come from non-certified farms are stamped as natural. Another plus is that not only the rugs organically tanned, they are machine washable. For further information visit their web site www. welshorganictannery.co.uk

Sunday 14th October 11.30am. Visit to Food Centre Wales in Horeb.

 

 

Following on from the talk given by Arwyn Davies, Business Development Manager at the Food Centre Wales, in January there will be an opportunity for a tour of their facilities.
Followed by an optional lunch afterwards at the Ffostrasol Arms, cost of £14.95 for two courses.

Saturday 20th October 11am – 3pm approx. Basic chainsaw maintenance at Blaenycoed
Jon will be your mentor for basic chainsaw maintenance. For all those who have a chainsaw but don’t really know how to look after it. We’ll cover routine maintenance, sharpening technique, and safety features. If time permits, we’ll look at good practice for using your saw too. Some of the information will apply to petrol saws only but lots of stuff will be relevant to electric chainsaws too.

September 2018 Meeting & Events

Please remember that all DSA meetings, farm walks and other events are NO SMOKING, which includes e-cigarettes.

Sunday 2nd September 11am. Farm Walk Brechfa
We are invited to Dawn and Martins holding where they keep water-buffalo among other animals. Please can we ask no dogs are brought along.

Report
A sunny day saw an excellent turnout for the walk around Dawn and Martin’s 20 acre holding high up in the Brechfa forest. In only four years, they have transformed the holding from a badly pony-overgrazed disaster area into a highly productive and attractive site. They are now almost self sufficient for meat, fruit and vegetables and are working to establish a willow rotation coppice to keep them warm as well. Much fencing work and erection of animal shelters has been undertaken and there is now a patchwork of permanent paddocks and further options for division using electric fencing. The current horticultural area, with its polytunnels, fruit cages and raised beds is destined for future extension. Much of the produce is preserved for year round availability by drying, bottling, freezing and canning. Goats provide milk and associated dairy products whilst Hebridean sheep give wool and meat. Alpacas provide fleeces for Dawns craft enterprise. Water buffalo are a recent arrival and are already proving their worth as high quality meat producers. Pigs complete the four legged picture Bees, hens and turkeys are all catered for and in turn cater for their hosts.
All-in-all the assembled throng were awed by the amount of work that has already gone into the enterprise and congratulate Dawn and Martin on their achievement to date.

Wednesday 12th September 7.45pm for 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre
Farming and Wildlife: A talk on by Alan, one of our members, who will hope to persuade you that farming and wildlife, can co-exist. It just takes the right mindset for the farmer and a few basic facts of life to consider.

Sunday 30th September 11am. Basic skills event at Blaenycoed
Stock Fencing: A day to learn basic fencing techniques by actually creating a stock proof post and wire fence. This will be weather dependant so be prepared for postponement.

 

August 2018 Meeting & Events

Wednesday 8th August 8pm. Monthly Meeting at Carmarthen Veterinary Centre.
Steve Lucas from the Bat Conservation Society is coming to talk to us and give us a chance to do some bat spotting!
Report
Steve gave us an excellent informative and illustrated talk on bats. We learnt about the species found in Wales, their population status and the kind of habitats each species preferred. It would seem that Pembrokeshire is particularly well-endowed with bats both in species, type and numbers. Steve also covered bat physiology, emphasising their differing needs for feeding, breeding, overwintering and raising young. As well as emphasising that the best way to help conserve bats is to manage their habitats appropriately.

Sunday 12th August 11am. Farm Sale Mynyddcerrig, Llanelli
This is a chance to pick up a bargain or sell a no longer needed item that is related to smallholding items.
Pam has sold her holding and although her purchasers are buying it as a going concern there are still some items to sell.  This is not an auction but more of a car boot or farm barn sale.
If members have related items they would like to sell then they are welcome to bring them along.

Just to remind to members that it is normally necessary to bring a cup and sandwiches for lunch and if you wish a chair to sit in. We are often offered cake at these walks but this is entirely at the host’s discretion.