Another busy week not helped by my asthma lingering! Others however worked very hard outside and I was at least able to complete anew paperwork for our postponed Demeter inspection which takes place on Tuesday. Incidentally we now have a date for our Soil Association inspection – 12th January.
A heavy week for Tim and Chris with the animals. Firstly the breeding flock had to be split into five groups each of which now has not only a field of its own but also an impatient ram! That task done, which to use Chris’s words, involved the equivalent of walking round the farm three times, the next task was to move all the cattle into the barn and at the same time split the eight calves born in the spring from their mothers – weaning time in other words! So now we have the bull, Jupiter, in with his ladies in the east side of the barn while all the young stock are in the west side – it certainly makes an impressive sight, 49 animals all grouped together.
The lambs also had to moved and in their case this required some medical attention. Blood samples showed that this year, as happened some years ago, the lambs were suffering from a cobalt deficiency. A problem easily solved but drenching over 150 animals is no sinecure!
Returned analysis of this years silage shows how much the farm has been improved since we started but in passing identified that in certain circumstances a cobalt deficiency was possible – sadly, neither we or anybody else, seems to know what these circumstances might be!
The weather has not on the whole been kind but, as they say, nature smiled on us both last Sunday and this Friday.
Last Sunday we hosted a small, but obviously distinguished group of host Wwoofers from the midland region. Chris took them on an extended walk so appetites were really good. After lunch, with the odd interjection from Chris I did my best to share what is involved in biodynamic farming and answer questions. Overall I think it was very much a success.
On Friday, on the other hand, we had a large group of eight year olds together with parents and children on the farm for the best part of five hours. The young people had their packed lunch in the wood after a hedge cutting and laying display and then had a chance to enjoy some large and extensive puddles as well as see our cattle close to.
I had a lovely thank you letter:
“Thank you for providing us with a wonderful experience of the farm today. Some of our children have never visited a farm before and our activities were completely relevant to our recent farming main lesson.”
“We really are blessed to have such a wonderful connection with you and Rush Farm and I look forward to returning in the spring.”
Really does make it all worthwhile
– Farmer Adrian