Our long awaited final autumn calf has arrived!

A rather typical week by English weather standards. Mild and damp for most of the week then cold and frosty at the end but a week in which we successfully mineral drenched our lambs and felt able to say on Friday our ewes seemed to be in very good condition, and completed our autumn calving programme, with the last, long awaited calf arriving safely.


the long awaited final autumn calf.jpeg

Contrast this with the problems many farmers in Europe are having with extreme weather and be grateful! Certainly, on a personal level we feel much sympathy for Michelangelo’s neighbouring family’s farms where the unexpected snow and hard frosts have devastated their vegetable production. At least they have been spared the terrible troubles of central Italy.

We now have some idea of when our Soil Association inspection will be and by the time that comes I hope to be rather more of an active contributor to the life of the farm. One quite unexpected bonus is that Chris has boldly sorted through my in-trays containing ‘possibly useful stuff’ and recycled a vast amount that needed throwing away; throwing things away always makes the place look better but as you might expect also makes me nervous, although I refute any suggestion that I am a hoarder!

We normally shy away from gatherings of farmers but Chris spent a day with a group of non-organic sheep farmers from all over the UK and came back with the message that mineral deficiencies are the biggest single problem facing all of us who have sheep. A lesson we have just learnt for ourselves. It is good to know that it is not just us, or this land, but a problem we all are trying to solve.

Paul and Chris apart from everything else spent the better part of yesterday repairing a section of the drive – they ended the day nearly as crippled as me but I managed to walk to view their work of yesterday and, entirely as expected, they had done a very professional job.

Liza who is taking over the field 11 garden has done some cultivation already, but the ground is really too wet to achieve much.

In the garden the cyclamen and snowdrops are out but cloudy skies do not show them in their full glory. Sadly, the garden seems to have been taken over by Jackdaws and any legal ideas on how we can move them on would be welcome!

Finally, we were all cheered to see the front cover of the Stock and Bradley Chronicle featured on its front cover the daffodils that line the drive into the farm and park – we look forward to that time coming soon.

Having moved into a world where the radio has all but replaced the television I have realised that the key bit of modern technology that radio is missing is the pause button. I have discovered the iPlayer radio but that is not the same. Also, I have discovered choice. For years CD review on radio 3 was de rigour, but I have now have found that Saturday Live between 9 and 10.30 on radio 4 is, for me, a serious rival. Perhaps it is simply the fact that the laughter seems real rather than synthetic, perhaps it is because the ‘hosts’ jell together so well, perhaps it’s because the ‘thank you’ item just hits the spot so often – as it did this morning. Last week a woman wrote to thank a doctor in a remote Kenyan location who saved her mother, some 60 years ago, after she had been born by giving his own blood. Today the daughter of that doctor replied – really heart-warming.

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