Here’s the latest update from Farmer Adrian here at Rush Farm:
Anne and I have much enjoyed the Cardiff singing competition this week – a welcome offset to the hay fever Chris, Anne and I suffer from.
A very busy week just gone with time taken up not only with the sheep but also in “topping” – one of our main means of keeping on top of the thistles and docks – and in replacing fence posts. Posts put in only four years ago have already rotted! Thank goodness the powers that be relaxed the rules on how posts might be treated – those going in now are alleged to have a significantly longer life.
Our Wwoofers have done really well this past week – fencing, either with Chris or Tim, cutting back brambles and digging thistles. They both have come to terms with the fact that our cows are very curious and so are now resigned when working in a field which has stock in it to suddenly finding cows standing just behind them!
All the animals seem well though we continue to fret over how fat some of our cows are. Nothing we have tried so far seems to work, we are even thinking of trying to make them go for proper walks each day!
Depending of course on the weather, we are hoping that three of our bigger fields will be cut for silage which should, given the 102 bales made the other day, meet our feeding needs for next winter. We had hoped to spray 500 and 501 but just ran out of time. New dates have been pencilled in for the week after next. Our spring oats, which were direct drilled as an experiment, are clearly there but battling against black grass and other unwanted growths! At this stage it is not at all clear whether we shall actually get a crop or, instead, just cut and bale for feed.
More boringly I seem to have spent a great deal of time on accounts, queries and or returns from or for the Rural Payments Scheme and Natural England while starting to think about readiness for our annual organic inspections.
The big event of next week is not actually going to be on the farm but in London. We have been invited to be one of 15 farms to meet with the All Party Parliamentary Group for Agriculture on the 24th. Both Chris and Sebastian will be representing Rush Farm. In the week to come Tim will be moving the cattle onto a recently cut pasture, the boys will be digging up yet more thistles and Anne and I will be popping our anti-hay fever pills!