A strange lethargy has crept over us this morning despite the media’s attempts to generate excitement about the coming election. Lambing finally finished on Thursday. Katja left on Saturday, for a few days away, taking her first and deserved break from ‘orphanage’ duties for six weeks. Janine and Marisa left this morning after a very happy and fruitful stay of two weeks and saying good bye was appropriately emotional. It is not until June the 7th that Sophie joins us from France for a stay of two weeks.
Chris escaped for 24 hours but clearly like Tim and Katja needs time for recuperation and 24 hours is hardly adequate! Leslie’s name will be familiar to you all and no praise can be too great for her contribution to our successful lambing. Yesterday (in the rain) and today in the sunshine there she was feeding the 30+ lambs that rely either on the shepherdesses or in a few cases the bottle. We are very grateful!
Despite all this, there is activity. Tim returns to work on Monday. Our contractor was here on Tuesday carrying out the first cultivations to prepare field 4 before the specially selected seed for the new pasture can be be drilled in. In two weeks’ time work starts on the new green energy initiative and all the time animals have to be watched over and moved around the pastures to ensure that their growth is maintained. The fly strike season has begun already so last week all the ewes were checked and treated to reduce the likely incidence. The last batch of lambs born in 2015 left us except for a handful which we shall keep for ourselves. The Rams are now in their own field and the numbers of lambs in the ‘orphanage’ reduce as dependence on milk reduces. The need to decide on when Jupiter our bull is taken out of the suckler herd and when calves will be ready for weaning are looming issues.
We also can now start the process of enlarging the barn. The intention is to build ‘wings’ on both sides adding a further 200 square metres of covered space. The planning authority needs to be advised of our proposed action, the barn area need to be cleared and our chosen contractor gives us a start date.
The year has also started in respect of our specifically biodynamic activities. The cow horns filled and buried last autumn were lifted last week and so provide the 500 preparation we need. The cpp needs checking and, if ready, lifting. The gardens have had their first spraying of 500, we now need to start on the spraying programme for the whole farm. For the garden, work continues to follow the Marie Thun calendar.
Just as the grass is now growing rapidly, eggs are hatching and chicks are out and about. In the scrape area are lapwing, duck and geese chicks while around the pond are moorhen chicks. The hedgerows are now white with hawthorn blossom rather than blackthorn and unlike the blackthorn their blossom is beautifully scented. The horse chestnuts are coming into bloom along the drive and the forecast for the week looks reasonable. All in all, things are well!