100 Lambs sold – And to Organic buyers no less

If this is even less coherent than usual, it is not simply because I missed the Rugby on Saturday and feel greatly deprived as a result of this, but more, the reason why I missed the rugby; I have spent the weekend flat on my back coping with my lower back going into painful muscle spasms.  This is not a bid for sympathy but an opportunity to applaud the health service who sent out two doctors to help me yesterday evening, and to note what a miraculous thing the body is – very easy to understand why in non-secular times we worshiped God. Science now claims to have stripped the mystery away but since science is itself a belief system……one wonders.

The farm has had a good week. Not only have we sold early 100 lambs at a reasonable price – and to organic buyers, we have agreed the sale of another 30 and two steers. The breeding flock has been split into two and each sub-flock has two Rams with it so hopes are high that we shall have fewer ’empties’.

A ‘routine problem’ caused some rather blue language as attempts were made to weigh the remaining lambs when we found, not for the first time, some wretched sheep had nibbled at the wiring and made the machine inoperable!

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The heavy frosts, and bearing in mind that we are in a frost pocket, has meant that the majority of cattle are still on the pastures and poaching is under control, but with the forecasts for milder rainy weather approaching, the need to get the barn completed becomes a priority.

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Chris and I attended a Friends of the Earth event at which Adrian Steele an organic farmer some 40 miles south of us explained why he farms in this way. He also had with a market gardener who ‘piggy backs’ on Adrian’s set up. All very interesting especially as we have a tenant who would like to use some of the farm land for horticultural purposes. We shall visit Adrian in the new year to learn more.

The barn now has ten new gates fitted, all the hinges welded on and all the slamming posts on site. So just five holes to be dug and posts cemented in – I say ‘just’ but you will realise I am sure that this whole job is requiring much physical effort and careful measurement.

Advent is here and the two grandchildren and some of the parents are just back from attending a Christingle service at the church in the Norman church at Himbleton. Three of the parents only because Paul is laid up – in a separate bed – with even worse back problems than my own!

As for the business park, while it is true that Earth Source Energy have still not finished yet, a contract has been signed to bring fast broadband onto the site, and discussions are also underway to accommodate the needs of hybrid cars. At the same time, we are working hard to persuade tenants to use the skips properly and in support of this we have launched today a major effort to make the site litter free.

On a different note, but related to comments by Adrian Steel about Brexit, we stand ready to watch the outcomes of today’s elections in Italy and Austria with a mix of apprehension and interest. My personal calming influence this week has been gazing at a brightly burning coal fire while listening alternatively to choral music by Schutz and Stanford.

Having looked at the diary for the week ahead I think probably being stuck in bed might be the best place to be! The farm team must complete the barn this week, there is the collection of the 30 lambs, plus taking two steers – oh, and I am told three opportunities to watch some of the grandchildren in their nativity play in addition to two separate ballet/dance performances, and visits to the chiropractor!

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