Not a great week on the farm. One of the team in hospital since Monday, our own home bred ram dead, increasing fears that we have no more calves this autumn, and increasing doubts as to whether sheep can be economically viable on this land when farmed organically. This relates not just to cost but the increasing mortality rate year by year for our lambs
Some minor successes, we now have plenty of beetroot and celeriac stored for the winter, sales of Ulula continue to grow (but this has to be against the ever falling pound), grandchildren doing well at school and hopefully 56 lambs go to Meadow Quality this coming week. Compost spreading for the year has been completed – only our second spreading in ten years!
Hard to believe it may be, but next week sees both Alessio and Sebastien leave us. They will both be much missed. Sebastien has completed both his projects and now has only some tidying to do ahead of his presentation back at his university.
The cold, grey and windy weather has been causing the last apples to fall and the three moorhens together with the odd jackdaw have been feasting on them every day.
Conversations on the “Pasture Fed” site has drawn our attention to a new hazard – acorns – also now falling widely. They are, it seems, dangerous to calves still on their mother’s milk if eaten by the mother. It really is a wonder any life survives on this planet surrounded as we are by life threatening dangers – salt, sugar, red meat, processed meat etc etc and that’s just for us humans! For animals continuing existence is even more of a miracle.
News from my previous ‘life’ brought me reports of yet another colleague who has passed away, and shades of one’s own mortality lengthen – the approach of winter is not a help!
On the other hand, the display of autumn leaves has been almost as dramatic as fall in New England and provides some balm. As does the rediscovery of jazz on a Saturday afternoon.
Given that I have written this, watching England lose a test match to Bangladesh, perhaps the air of gloom is slightly overdone!
Wednesday sees our annual Demeter inspection and though the inspector is all that such people should be, it would be idle to deny that there is no apprehension – not for any valid reason that I can identify but you never know! Will let you know how it goes next week.