Happy Birthday Thistle!

Today Thistle turns one – how fast these year’s fly – and it is the launch week for the veg boxes. Alice and Brendan, against many testing odds, have won through, and the boxes went out today to the lucky ones who signed up in time.

On the farm, we have been able to muck spread and chain harrow some of the fields – most are now able to be driven on, at least in the middle of the fields.

We lifted the cow horns which we buried in September for the preparation 500. We lifted later than we would have usually, because of the wet weather, but actually, were very happy to discover it was a good year. What we unearthed was the lovely loam-like structure we were hoping for, smelling of the earth and ready to be used.

The swift boxes are up, and Swifts have been spotted nearby. Fingers are crossed! The fly traps are out and about around the animals, and we continue to treat some of the Young Stock for New Forest Eye. Sadly, the cases are at least a month earlier this year than last. We are also looking into what minerals or bolus we need to put into the fields to ensure the cattle’s nutritional needs are being met. This wet winter and spring could potentially have leeched minerals out of the soil. Further to that, we will be BD Spraying tomorrow so that we are supporting soil and livestock equally.

The ewes and lambs were given their boosters, and arms felt very heavy when the job was done. The barn is being emptied, in readiness for the straw and haylage we will have to buy in. The slugs are still ever-present, and having eaten the coriander and parsley decided that the nettles would do instead. So rude!

The Foraging course last weekend was again successful and is giving us another prompt to look into grants for building a visitors toilet block. The new signs to ‘bag it and bin it’ are in place and will hopefully support better behaviour with the dogs across the Business Park… and finally, after so many experiences of helping lost visitors get to the right units this last fortnight, the CBS team are also working on mapping the site for the businesses and their visitors.

An interesting article this month written by a cardiologist seems to strike a chord. The consultant is “constantly” asked about healthy and unhealthy foods, organic vs conventional, superfoods and more. She, unusually for a physician in our humble experience, noted that while great attention is now able to be paid to the foods we eat to nourish and sustain our bodies, though of equal importance, but so often overlooked, are the thoughts we live by. Thoughts which can nourish and energise our mind, lift our spirits, and feed our soul.

This gave a moment’s pause. Here we are, turning ourselves inside out to farm organically, do right by our animals, and our land. Support organic food brands and support an extensive family more infirm than healthy. All while working alongside supporting a Community Benefits project that still endeavours to deliver on, but is not based in, the capitalist principles we in the west are now so addicted to. So, the question was asked – are we having our spirited lifted?

Therefore, it was perfect timing to be treated to something rather special, and most certainly something which can be considered food for the soul. The Northern Lights overhead at night, and the pastoral scene of ewe’s and lambs in the long grass under the blue May skies during the day.

The Northern Lights, overhead in little ol’ Worcestershire! It really was a ‘spiritual’ experience, and standing under them, one could easily understand how the Norse believed the lights were their God Odin sending the Valkyries to retrieve the souls of fallen warriors.

During the day, when sunshine has won through, the flock, beside us here in field 7, amongst the tall grass, has again, been real soul food. Their bleats through the night a different ‘white noise’ to fall asleep to after so many rainy nights.

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlow

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will all the pleasures prov
That Valleys, groves, hills, and fields,
Woods, or steepy mountain yields.
And we will sit upon the Rocks,
Seeing the Shepherds feed their flocks,
By shallow Rivers to whose falls
Melodious birds sing Madrigals.
And I will make thee beds of Roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of Myrtle;
A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty Lambs we pull;
Fair lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold;
A belt of straw and Ivy buds,
With Coral clasps and Amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me, and be my love.
The Shepherds’ Swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May-morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me, and be my love.

Comments are closed.