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The farm & cottages blog

A collection of stories about life on Eastside hill sheep farm in Scotland. Short, frequent and hopefully engaging... we’ll try our best!

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Archives for October 2012

Self catering without the hassle, Cook now deliver to Eastside!

Eating in is the new eating out with Cook.  At Eastside we are relatively new converts to Cook, a British company that has been busily producing ‘remarkable food for the freezer’. Cook is all about getting great home made meals without the hassle using quality, seasonal British produce. Their food is homemade by real chefs and it all comes frozen and ready to bung in the oven.  What makes the difference between cook and other prepared meals is that most of the Cook process is done by hand in a kitchen and not by a machine in a factory.  The result is food that tastes genuinely home-made.

Cook Lasagne & Garlic bread

Cook Lasagne & Garlic bread ↑

Image with kind permission of Cook


Clipping time at Eastside

We were too busy clipping and rolling fleeces to get this blog on time but better late than never!

The photo shows Alastair clipping. He starts in June with the 400 hoggs or one year old sheep being clipped for the first time. They have grown an early “rise” or thin layer of new wool that makes the job easier. We have to wait until July for the older sheep or ewes to produce this “rise” as they have had lambs and milk production which makes a significant demand on their resources. Ali says that in sheep that haven’t been thriving and have no rise, it’s like cutting through thick felt! Once the 1300 ewes are clipped (with a helping hand from Lance Armstrong for the last 400) it’s on to the 30 tups or male sheep that are big bruisers and quite a contract and then it’s all done until next year.

Alastair clipping the tups

Alastair clipping the tups ↑

Credit: Michael Rummey


December Cottage Holidays

Eastside Cottages will have all of their Christmas finery up on the 1st of December this year so if you feel in need of a pre-Christmas break then head to the hills. All of the cottages have traditionally decorated trees, wreaths on the doors and an outdoor tree in the farm yard. Curl up in front of a wood burning stove or take to the hills for a walk on a crisp Winter’s day.

December Holidays in Eastside Cottages

December Holidays in Eastside Cottages ↑


Cottage for long term let in the Pentland Hills

Live in one of the most picturesque areas of the Pentland Hills Regional park, yet within easy commuting distance of Edinburgh. The Howe cottage is now available for long term let. The Howe is situated at the top of the Flotterstone Glen on the side of the Loganlea Reservoir. It is a traditional shepherd’s cottage with a large private garden and out-buildings - just perfect for country living with the odd chicken or two!

Howe cottage located at the end of the picturesque Flotterstone Glen

Howe cottage located at the end of the picturesque Flotterstone Glen ↑

Credit: Michael Rummey


Autumn on the hill pasture

The autumn colours are often spectacular on a hill landscape with the purple of the heather, the orange browns of the bracken dying back for winter and the crimson and bleached ash of the hill grasses.

Autumn colour in the Pentlands

Autumn colour in the Pentlands ↑

kind permission Michael Rummey Photography