Our cow gets a new friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Our cow got a friend.

Maali is excited as she finally has a friend at GlenMyu Estate to accompany her as she grazes at the 5 acre estate.

Read on to find out how this came about.

If you want to read about how Maali arrived at GlenMyu Estate please read our articles “We got a Cow” and also “The Cow, a year on (almost)”.

Malli our Cow

Dogs and ducks as friends and playmates?

Maali was a little confused. She cleary was lonely and decided that her playmates were the dogs, ducks and chickens. 

Maali would graze for the morning until mid afternoon and then we would let her free to room and forage.

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

So cute, but such bad behaviour.

Maali settled into GlenMyu Estate quite quickly. She was let free on the estate to forage and eat what she liked. Life is a learning curve and we realised that we would have to tie Maali to one spot for a few hours to concentrate on feeding in one area. She had a tendency to flit from one place to the other. Sometimes she would come bounding towards us when we were working on the land. It was funny, but sometimes scary and dangerous. 

When we started to take her to forage in one part of the land she was quite stubborn and wouldn’t move. I used to play rugby in the front row so there was often a tug of war to get her to move to where we wanted her to go. Luckily I still have a bit ion technique and she hasn’t neaten me yet!

When Maali was released in the early afternoon she would run around like a crazy cow. The puppies would run after her and she would try to butt them with her small horns. This was the same for any ducks or chickens that she came across. We think that this was play rather than anger as she appeared to seek them out when she was loose. 

She would bound around the land running more like a cheetah rather than a cow.

Although this did provide some entertainment, I was worried that she would create an accident either to her playmates or herself.

There needed to be a change at GlenMyu Estate

A little bit of research - Our cow needed a friend.

We did a little bit of research and found that when cows are alone they sometimes develop bad behaviour. They are herd animals and really should be with other cows. 

According to Farm House Guide “The truth is that cows are herd animals, and they need friends to help keep them happy and safe”.

We had known for some time that Maali really needed a friend.

So spoilt!

Doesn’t the first one always get spoilt? Maali was certainly spoilt and given a lot a leeway at GlenMyu Estate. 

Here she is waiting near the outside kitchen for a snack. 

An opportunity arises for our cow to get a friend.

One of our neighbours has cows which are used to supply milk. One of his cows had a bull calf. His mother had been sick when he was born an he was not fully weaned on his mothers milk. This left him with a pot belly which is normal in these circumstances.

Another neighbour had told us that the owner of the bull calf was looking to sell him.
We asked him to get in contact with us.

After a discussion with the owner and the vet, Ru asked the bull calf to be brought along to meet Maali and see whether they would get along with each other.

What was the alternative for the infant calf?

Unfortunately, if we did not buy the calf, he would have been sent to the butcher. This is the normal outcome for these animals in Sri Lanka.

Ru met the calf when he was brought to the land to see whether Maali would accept him.
Both Maali and Ru made a connection straight away and there was only one choice.
He was going to have a new home at GlenMyu Estate.

We try to do our bit.

Unfortunately, we cannot save all the animals we would like to from the fate that this calf would have met.
We have limited space at GlenMyu Estate to allocate to the animals and being on a hill limits our capacity.
However, at least this animal will have a good life ahead of him.

No room at the inn?

We did not plan to have a second cow.
In early 2023 we had constructed a new home for Maali where she was now settled. We had not planned for two animals and there was “no room at the inn’ so to speak.
Therefore, we had to identify a suitable site for a home for two.

A big move and a some investment.

The land at GlenMyu Estate is bisected by a stream that runs through the middle of the land.
The stream runs alongside the swimming pool and forms a natural barrier for each side.

Maaili did some major damage to our flowers and other plants that she found tasty. We used to have a beautiful array of flowers alongside the lawn in front of the house.
Maali used these flowers as a buffet when she wanted some variety from the grass she normally eats. This has left our flowerbeds devastated and not looking very attractive! 

The site is identified.

We decided that we would site the two cows in a new spot across the river. A gate would be placed at one side of the stream to protect the plants we have nearer the house.
This would result in the cows being focussed on one side of the land where we would be happy for them to forage.

More work to make a new home for our cow and her new friend.

The arrival of the prodigal son.

Here are some videos we took of the big moment when Maali met her new friend.

Maali was not aware re at first but in the end she looks very happy.

Happy together -Our cow got a friend.

You can see from this photo that Maali is making her acquaintance with her new friends. 

The start looks good, let’s se if it continues and they become good friends and companions.

Our cow gets a new friend.

Our hopes for the future for our cow and her new friend.

Our aim is to provide both Maali and her new friend a good, safe life at GlenMyu Estate.
In exchange we expect lots of manure to put on our organic garden.

How can you help?

Income we generate from guests staying at GlenMyu Estate when they are on holiday in Sri Lanka is the way we fund the costs to run the property.

By choosing GlenMyu Estate you will support what we do.

You will also have a great experience when you stay and explore the fantastic sights in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.

Your spend with us help fund the following:
Maali, our cow and her friend.
The cost of feeding and providing medication for our rescue dogs.

Stay at GlenMyu Estate, meet our animals and explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country

A stay at GlenMyu Estate as you explore the Sri Lankan Hill Country and see sights like Horton Plains National Park is a unique experience.

We only have three bedrooms and you will need to book early during the peak holiday season.

The estate is usually within an hours drive of the major sightseeing locations such as Nine Arch Bridge, Ella Town, Upper Diyaluma Waterfall, Lipton’s Seat, Bambarakanda Waterfall and many more,

GlenMyu Estate is listed on and Airbnb.
Contact us by the WhatsApp button on our website for direct booking rates.

Our cow got a friend. Read More »

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

We got a cow!

We got a cow!

In December 2022 we got a cow.

I didn’t want a cow however, my wife was determined to get a cow, so we have a cow!
If you know my wife, she normally gets her way.

We had several discussions over the last few years about a cow and I was adamant that we would not have a cow at GlenMyu Estate.
I had several concerns about taking on this responsibility. One of the main ones was the terrain which is quite steep in places. I was worried about a cow having a fall and breaking a leg. Also, I was concerned that we would start racking up vet bills if the cow fell ill. Many of our neighbours that have cows (mainly for milking) appear to have the government vet visiting them often.
The other main concern was that it was another level of responsibility that we would be committed to.

Organic Farming and Cows

Cow manure is an important part of organic farming. It has high levels of minerals and nutrients which are one of the best natural fertilisers used in organic gardens. Using cow dung to nourish the soil eliminates the requirement for chemicals and pesticides.
By having a cow at Glenmyu Estate we also do not have to use fossil fuels to transport manures and compost to the property reducing our carbon footprint.

There are many articles providing information on the benefits of uing cow dung/manure in an organic garden or farming.  Home Biogas outlines these benefits.

Science Direct provides a good history and data about cow manure.

This cow is not for milking

At GlenMyu Estate we are happy for Malli just to provide us with manure. We just want her to lead a good, stress free and comfortable life. There is no need for Malli to go down the route to provide us with milk. We have plenty of neighbours that have cows where we can buy milk when we want to make ice cream or cheese. As Malli was premature she may not be able to produce milk successfully and we do not want to put her through that stress.

Malli our Cow

Eating our flowers

Initially we were really pleased with what Malli was grazing on. Having been confined to a small shed before arriving at GlenMyu Estate’s 5 acres, she was fed grains as there was no where to forage. It was like having a smorgasbord with the offerings at the land. She went from place to place sampling new tastes and didn’t stay in one place for too long.

I was pleased as she was eating some grass where I would normally have to strim with my brush-cutter to keep the growth at bay.  

She also provided the manure that we were after for our organic garden so all was good. 

Well, it was, until she decided that flowers were tasty. She managed to destroy quite a lot of the planting alongside the main lawn at the estate which had been painstakingly maintained by Ru and the gardeners.

Shouts of “Malli No!”became a new sound often heard in the garden.

Imprisoned - for part of the day.

In order to get Malli to concentrate on what we would like her to graze on (and protect our flowers) she is now tied in an area for a few hours a day. She does a good job there and is later released from her bondage to roan freely. There are still cries of “Malli No!”, however, they are getting less frequent.

We have come to the conclusion that losing some flowers is a compromise that is worth making.

Funny Cow anecdotes are starting to pop up

Malli has only been with us a short time but already there are some events that are making us laugh.

Papaya - No it’s for the chickens!

We normally give the leftover or spoilt papaya to our chickens. Malli loves Papaya.
Our Walli Amma was taking some Papaya peelings to the chicken shed but met Malli on the way. It is quite a narrow pathway and therefore is single file only.
Malli wouldn’t let her pass until she had given her some of the Papaya peelings! After a while Walli Amma realised that the chickens would be without their snack if Malli had her way. She dropped some Papaya on the floor and managed to slide past Malli and make her way to deliver the remnants of the fruit to the chickens!

A taste for Jackfruit

Ru was trying to take Malli around the pathway in below the house to graze on some of the foliage there.
As soon as she let go of her rope Malli went tearing off completing the circuit to where one of our staff was taking a Jackfruit off the tree.
Malli loves Jackfruit!
When Ru found her she was just standing by the Jackfruit Tree looking upwards. She wouldn’t move until she was given a chunk of the fruit!

Customer feedback about the cow!

The reaction from our guests so far has been great. They love the story and that she has been rescued from a dangerous situation.
Malli looks great in the environment and adds some additional life and colour to the Estate.

When guests have found out we have a cow they have immediately asked to see her and be “introduced”.

One of our guests had to say a last goodbye when they were leaving.

We have a great picture of one of our guests feeding Malli some Papaya. It was a special experience for both parties!
She is becoming quite a character
Malli has quickly become one of the family here at GlenMyu Estate.

Our Cow and a dog. Wandering around GlenMyu Estate. Inspires my though for the day

A turnaround

I must admit that I have changed.

Malli is a real asset for the Estate and has become part of the experience for guests at the estate. My fears of Malli destroying large parts of our work and making lots of unwanted noise has not come to fruition. The main issues are whether we can keep “some” of our flowers and whether we can dodge the cowpats before they are picked up and added to the compost.
Unfortunately, during my brush-cutting, I have not seen one of Malli’s fresh offerings and been “splattered” which is not a pretty sight!

My concerns have been lifted

The main reasons why I didn’t want a cow have mainly disappeared.
Malli bounds around the property without fear or concern. I have been really surprised on how she manages to get up to steeper parts of the land when she forages.
She appears to have settled into the climate and environment quite quickly and despite being premature she shows no sign of needing a vet.
It also turns out that one of our staff has experience in looking after cows and he has taken on the main part of this responsibility that I was concerned about.

Early days - don't speak too soon!

We are still in the early days of Malli being at GlenMyu Estate but most of my concerns have been lifted.

Meet Malli, our chickens and our ducks

If you want a holiday with a difference in Sri Lanka, then maybe GlenMyu Estate is the experience for you. To find out more please visit our website  or contact Ru on WhatsApp for direct booking rates.

We got a cow! Read More »

Ducks at GlenMyu Estate

The Good Life

The Good Life in the 21st Century

Are we living “The Good Life” at GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, Sri Lanka in the 21st Century?
This is something that I have thought about often as I strim the lawns & pathways around the 5 acre estate in anticipation of our next guests.
For me, it’s very important to keep the grass height. At a low level to make a walk around the land an enjoyable experience. It also makes the Estate look fabulous and me particularly proud of the work.

The Good Life - the sitcom

British sitcom “The Good Life” consisted of 30 episodes running from 1975 to 1978. As there were only a few television channels in the UK during the 1970’s and 1980’s the hit series was rerun often. 

The Series starts with the midlife crisis of Tom Good, a 40 year old plastics designer. He and his wife Barbara attempt to escape from the “rate race”. The couple try to become self sufficient in their suburban house in Surbiton (a neighbourhood in South West London).

They change their gardens into allotments to grow fruits and vegetables. Tom and Barbara introduce chickens, pigs and goats into their garden. They try to make their own electricity, clothes and sell and barter their produce reducing the amount of money they need.

Their neighbours, Margo and Jerry, are horrified by what Tom and Barbara are doing next door. This is where a lot of the comedy for the series is generated. They are often placated by the Goods very strong homemade wine.

An enjoyable watch.

When I watched the repeats of the sitcom in the UK and I remember finding it a little bit boring and frustrating as a young child who preferred his comedy in the form of cartoons.

The Good Life - GlenMyu Estate, Beragala, Haputale, Sri Lanka

My wife always dreamed of owning her own farm in the mountains, having animals and being self sufficient.

I must admit, I don’t remember her mentioning this to me over the years we have been together, until we settled in Sri Lanka.
We had met in London and I always understood that Ru wanted to move back to Sri Lanka to spend more time with her parents as they get older.
Maybe I wasn’t listening at the right time!

Showing our guests around GlenMyu Estate on the garden tour.
The House at GlenMyu Estate, Hotel and Bed & Breakfast, Haputale, Sri Lanka.

Did you plan this?

I had never aspired to become a farmer however, there appeared to be a movement during ones “middle age” contemporaries of ours moved out of London for a more suburban or rural life.

Every so often I read in various newspapers, magazines and articles about professionals leaving the “rate race” changing career to something more artisan and moving to the countryside.
I read books about people moving to France, Italy or Spain and renovating an old property and starting their own business. I watched YouTube videos of renovations of old farmhouses in France and Spain.

It was an attractive idea but I questioned my confidence to enter into a new venture after being part of an institution and system for so long

A special song.

A song replayed on repeat in the back of my mind which gave me some impetus in part to consider a change. “Rat Race” by the Coventry Ska Band “The Specials” really did resonate over the years.
I was however, very thankful for the experience, lifestyle, opportunities and so many more things that my career had given me. There were lots of good times over the years, great colleagues and clients that made the commitment worthwhile.

Changes made me look for a change

As with most industries, things change and some of that enjoyment (in the good old days) are not there anymore.

I also was aware that if I did not make a change my health would deteriorate.
Every morning I would go to the gym before work, sometimes have a session with my personal trainer and try to change the results of the bad habits I had picked up over the years.
Too many lunches with clients, drinks with colleagues at the end of the day and exploits after playing rugby on a Saturday had taken its toll

Decision made - lets go.

Once the decision was made to relocate to Sri Lanka it was quite a relief that I didn’t have to do the commute to work and all that a day in the office entails.

It was scary. Having been used to the comfort of collecting my monthly salary to having no pay and trying to live off savings it was a large ask. This was the big test. Can we change from being employees to working for ourselves?

Fast forward 6 plus years we have managed the challenges and struggles to create a small business that allows us to pay our way.
The huge task of building a property, managing a 5 acre estate and dealing with all kinds of contractors in a new country was something that nearly broke us. We could see why the couples that built their Grand Designs Homes were under so much stress and endured the levels of frustration trying to build their dream homes.

Challenges - but worth it.

Sri Lanka has had its’ challenges as a country whilst we have been here and it will continue to do so for some years to come until it can get itself back on its’ feet economically

However, we love it here. 

Are we living the Good Life?

My wife and I do feel that we are living the good life.

We have a collection of ducks, chickens, dogs along with a cow on the estate.
There are a variety of fruits and vegetables that we are growing that helps to feed ourselves, our workers and the guests.
Any food waste is composted or eaten by the chickens or the dogs.

Let's be creative.

Ru has been very creative in the dishes we eat and serve to our guests using as much as we can from the land. We do not add any chemical and pesticides to what we grow so are as organic as we can be. Our diet has changed to one based a lot on the convenience of meat in the UK to a more plant based diet. We eat some chicken and fish occasionally however are fully satisfied with the delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes we create.

If you look at our food menus you should get a grasp of the idea.

Mainly plant based but....

We do serve chicken or fish dishes to our guests if required but we have found that most people are really happy with the plant based dishes we offer once they have tasted them.

It is great that wee have learnt so much about farming and operating a small bed & breakfast business over the last few years.  Howver, we continue to learn.

We love meeting guests which adds so much to our Good Life.

Welcoming guests and getting to know about their lives back in their respective countries adds so much value and interest to our lives. We have met people from different countries that have different and interesting professions that we would not have met in our lives in the UK.

Would we recommend the Good Life?

Well, for us, this was the right time in our lives to make the change. We also think it is inevitable for the benefit of the planet and all who live here. More people will need to carry out some of the concepts we are practising. Some are already doing this. Composting food waste, eating mainly organic, turning to a plant based diet and planting more trees.
Since we have been living in Sri Lanka we have reduced our consumption, partly as a lack of choice available in the supermarkets, but also because we feel that we don’t need as much.

Less consumption is more!

Both of us were never wanting the latest Apple I-Phone, a new car every year or the hippest fashion. The environment where we live has meant that we don’t need new clothes as often due to working on the land and on the farm.
We are too busy for our time to be consumed by the amount of television that we watched in the UK. That being said we do watch some TV and series every so often.
Our wine consumption has reduced as it is quite expensive being imported so we are a little bit more healthy.
We no longer spend hours at a desk looking at a screen as we have work to do around the property. It has the benefit of us feeling physically stronger (especially walking up and down the hills).
My wife used to fly quite a lot for work and this is an experience that she does not miss.
We both have much more interest in the environment, trees, plants and what food we can grow locally.

In conclusion.

So, in conclusion, if you are able and it is the right time for you, we would highly recommend it.

If you are interested in visiting GlenMyu Estate and experiencing the Good Life in the Sri Lankan Hill Country please visit our website to find out more.

The Good Life Read More »

The Papaya for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie

Papaya and Banana Smoothie

Papaya and Banana Smoothie

I love my Papaya and Banana Smoothie in the morning.

I feel that it provides me with a healthy start to the day.

It’s also delicious, so it’s also something that I really look forward to almost every day.

Did you know that there is more than one type of Banana?

We are very luck in Sri Lanka to have a variety of Bananas all of which have their own unique taste. Whilst living in London we only sampled the Cavendish Bananas which were imported fro the West Indies and South America.

It was quite a taste sensation trying out the different types of Banana that are available in  Sri Lanka. If you are going to visit I would recommend that you ask your guide to buy a variety of bananas and see what the difference in the tastes are for yourself.

It's never boring!

The good thing about the variety of bananas means that my smoothie never gets boring as the taste changes throughout the year as different type of banana are available.

We pick our Papayas and Bananas from the garden

At GlenMyu Estate both Papayas and Bananas grow really well. All our produce is organic and you can really taste the goodness in our fruits and vegetables. 

The Papayas sweetness does vary throughout the year depending on how much rainfall we get. 

There are also several different type of Papayas and therefore the taste of my smoothie changes depending what has come off the tree.

What happens when the bananas get too old?

When we get a hand of bananas from our tree there is too much to eat before they go all black and mushy.

Of course we distribute some of the bananas to our friends and family. Also our workers on the estate are provided with bananas when they take a break. 

Actually, some are also left near where the monkeys that forage close to the estate eat so some animals also get a share!

Even distributing bananas results in a large amount leftover which would go off. 

We peel the bananas and keep them in the freezer so that they can be added to a smoothie when we are out of fresh bananas.

As they are coming from the freezer there is no need to ass ice to the smoothie for that cool taste.

Making a Papaya & Banana Smoothie - It’s so easy!

My method for making a Papaya and Banana Smoothie is quite simple.

Peel and cube half of a Papaya.

Peel and chop two of three bananas, depending upon taste.

Add some water.

Whizz in the blender until there are no lumps and pieces of fruit.

Sit back and enjoy natures goodness!

Bananas for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
Bananas for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
The Papaya for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
The Papaya for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
The Papaya for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
The Papaya for the Papaya and Banana Smoothie
The Papaya and Banana Smoothie ready to be blended
Water added - The Papaya and Banana Smoothie ready to be blended

Other Smoothie recipes that I love

Banana and Rose Apple Smoothie

Rose apples do not have a really strong taste however it’s amazing what it does when you add it to bananas and a little bit of yoghurt to make a smoothie!

The colour turns a lovely shade of pink and It has a taste similar to a strawberry smoothie.

Here are some other recipes that I have found on the web that I like:

try our Papaya and Banana Smoothie onHoliday in Sri Lanka

If you are holidaying in Sri Lanka and are in the Hill Country near to Ella, Beragala, Haputale and Nuwara Eliya you may want to stay at GlenMyu Estate to experience the smoothies for yourself.

We have three guest bedrooms with spectacular views of the hills leading to the South coast.

The five acre estate is a calm and peaceful place for you to stay and get closer to nature.

Our guests really enjoy a tour around the garden to see what other fruits and vegetables we grow here.

Please click on this link to our website for further details.

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GlenMyu Estate
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