I am writing this on the 29th June. Politics is not something I normally comment upon but the decision of last week to leave the EU could have such serious consequences for a smallish organic stock farm I cannot conceal from you how shocked, concerned and unhappy we all are and indeed finding words on Sunday proved beyond me.
However, life goes on and that is as true on a farm as anywhere else. Indeed, aside from the weather – cold – we have quite a lot of good news.
Over the weekend three fields were cut for haylage. On Monday the bales were wrapped and there are now 211 to be collected from the fields. We will take a further cut in September which should ensure feed for the winter.
Yesterday the vet came to PD the cattle (scan for pregnancy) and all the 16 which should have been in calf were! While with us he checked other matters and as a result we will be sending two cows to Fordhall Farm assuming they show clear for TB.
This is also the time to wean last autumns calves and to withdraw from the herd of young cattle any females ready for the bull. Once this is done Jupiter, who had been looking rather miserable in a field on his own, can rejoin the suckler herd.
Fly strike concerns led to all the sheep being put through the race and checked and a number were found to have early signs and appropriate action was taken. We had seen lameness in a number of the ewe lambs bought in last year so took the opportunity to run the entire flock through a foot bath. There are signs that worming may be necessary but that can wait for another day. Yet more lambs have succumbed to clostridial – we may need to review our policy of not vaccinating our sheep.
The garden team had great success on their first outing at Mosley Market and all but sold out! It raises hopes for the future.
Sam had settled in very nicely though on Friday he was naturally anxious as to his position. We were able to reassure him that EU citizens were not to be deported immediately but he really was genuinely concerned. He has been engaged in a mixture of tasks – this morning, in the rain – he was out on the bicycle checking the sheep!
Ulula continues to thrive. There is clearly a real demand for Demeter baby food such as Holle. They are also now selling Weleda organic skin care products for babies. The relationship between the value of the Euro and the Pound is a new concern to take on board.
Work has continued to effect the ‘green policies’ of the SCBS or, to put it another way, half of one of the fields has had 10kilometres of piping laid in it at a depth of 1.20 metres and two vast trenches dug of carry the water to the business park. Clearly we are going to have to cultivate and re-seed the field when they have finished their work. One of the interesting outcomes has been to graphically demonstrate how the sub soil in a field can vary so much – the photos illustrate this clearly.
I referred to the rain. While some parts of the country have suffered from too much lately, we actually need it even if it disrupts tennis and cricket – swings and roundabouts!