I am very happy to report that our new calves appear to thrive as do all our other animals apart from a young heifer who has a swollen hock and may need a visit from the vet.
New additions to the farm this week are 27 pedigree Lleyn ewe lambs and eight Guinea fowl. Compared to our existing sheep and chickens these are very feisty creatures!
The home for the guinea fowl was made by Chris and Tabitha and has to be their home for some two months after which they will be set free and hopefully use the willow trees by the pond as their roosting base.
The new sheep will have to have a quarantine period after being drenched and having their feet treated before being released onto one of the fields. We collected them on Sunday afternoon from Phyl Hale’s farm near Tibberton in the Forest of Dean
Tim and Joaquin completed the task of bringing in from the wood all cut timber and this now sits in the compound waiting to be cut and sawn into wood for burning.
Our compound is not the most beauteous space but one piece of antique equipment stands out having been rescued and then lovingly restored. It does work but in truth most cement mixing gets down in one of our two more modern machines!
Field four has had to topped yet again. As can be seen in the the photo below there are areas where there is either a blanket of thick clover or thick thistles alongside the ripe oats left for wild life.
The scrape does at least now have some water in though much less than usual which is, I guess, hardly surprising since the main ditches contain no running water. That said I confirm we are in the happy position of having far more grass than we need. If we were a conventional farm we would, of course, have bought in stores for fattening – both cattle and sheep – but that is out of the question given our status.
Yet again we did not manage to carry out any spraying – sometimes the Marie Thun calendar – just does not sit comfortably with other imperatives. However we have pencilled in new dates and are reasonably relaxed as we have already carried out far more than the minimum requirements. I write that very conscious of the fact that inspection time cannot be far away!
Not sure what the week ahead holds other than a need to get my orange trees indoors – grown from Demeter pips they are now nearly 40 years old and only very rarely achieve more than sweetly scented flowers – on the other hand this year we will have home grown olives!
– Farmer Adrian