From the farm – the mammoth task of toe clipping the sheep and the launch of our share offer!

A very wet week as can be seen from this picture of the bridle path!
wet bridle path
Despite this Tim managed to grass harrow two fields and Chris cleared from the bridle path a huge branch that had broken off one of the willow trees along the brook.
Perhaps the event of the week took place on Saturday when all our ewes were brought into the barn for a ‘health’ test and any necessary toe clipping. A tedious and onerous job which took Tim and Chris most of the day.
sheep, post nail cutting
On Sunday we went to look at some pedigree traditional Herefords with a view to hastening the process of building up our herd to an ecomically viable size. We had a lovely drive to Much Markle – the countryside is really beautiful at this time of year and because we have had chilly nights but warm days the colour of the leaves is very eye catching. In the event we decided to take all six heifers that were available – all pedigree English  traditional Herefords and representing three ‘families’ of the breed we do not have.
While we were there a traditional cider making event was taking place. A belt driven press from 1896 was doing its stuff though today hitched to a tractor and not a horse. It was the custom of course for cider makers to travel from one farm to the next making the cider which would keep the farmer and his men in liquid for the coming year. It was lovely to see a real cider apple orchard unchanged for many many years. Sadly given the cost of collecting the fruit it is probably the cattle that are the main beneficiaries.
apple tree
The non-event of the week was of course the postponement of our Demeter inspection for very understandable reasons from our inspector – we very much hope his mother regains her health
The negative event of the week, aside from the chickens doing serious damage to Anne’s cyclamen bed, was to get a report from our vet that some of our lambs are carrying a heavy worm burden. Until they have gone through the race, been condition scored and weighed we cannot be certain how many need treatment
As regards the wider picture the big event was clearly the launch of the second share offer! Our friend Rita – a niece of the Hillmans who farmed here until the 1980’s – rang in great excitement to say that at the Archers Exhibition at Hanbury Church there was a scrapbook containing photos of Dan and Doris sat at the table in our snug following a recoding session. Rita was very excited to see the settle she remembered so well from her childhood in the photo as well as other smaller items. She also purchased a book by the actor who played Phil Archer which had a picture of the the same scene taken from a different perspective. As Rita said Rush Farm was not the only source of material. Sheep were never farmed here in her memory of that time.
Finally we finished off the day by moving our four rams onto new grass – they are going to need all their strength in a few weeks time!
– Farmer Adrian

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