It seems typical that just as the pastures and puddles dry up and the grass begins to grow that the weather suddenly turns cold, grey and probably wet. Such a pity in other ways as well – the hedgerows are looking increasingly an attractive mix of white and green, the verges hereabouts have clumps of primroses, cowslips and authentic English bluebells while the fruit orchards with their rather bizarre looking spindle forms (created by using short lived dwarfing stock) are now also starting to colour.
Here life has been a mix of highs and lows over the past week. Though our lamb losses are well within the expected range, even after all these years, causes hurt. In fact this year for the first time ‘watery mouth’ a usually fatal affliction has hit us severely for the first time. It is one of those things that is omnipresent but usually only a minor problem. This year for some reason the colestral our ewes have for their lambs seems to be of poor quality – why? Who knows, any number of possible reasons can be adduced.
Very hard for the farm team Chris, Tim, Katya and Leslie, especially given the hours and emotional commitment they are putting in. We have now thank goodness that we have passed the half way stage in the process. In a normal year this would be the easier time, but given the need to act against ‘watery mouth’ every lamb has to have far more time given after birth than we could possibly have programmed for. Though our local vet will in all probability not read this I do want to say what first class support and advice she gives us – thank you Anne!
What did go particularly well were the four visits of school children – three groups sent by Land Ed and one from our local Waldorf school and we have further visits programmed in for the coming week which culminates in the AGM of the Stockwood Community Benefit Society.
The visits not only included hands on experience of lambing but also, thanks to grandson Brendan, an informed tour of the wider farm. Good experience for him and the young people visiting.
On the garden front Becky and Jasper are looking forward to support this week from Katrin who joined us yesterday for the coming week. Our links with Worcester Roots and others are developing nicely helped by the fact that we increasingly have our own produce to supply.
Ulula is approaching the end of its second month of trading and it is very exciting how many are interested in once again being able to buy Demeter baby foods.