A week of sunshine and strangely high temperatures which, with little rain, has meant for this farm the pastures are cracking as the clay dries out and fly problems for our stock!
For the sheep this means constant vigilance to ensure cases of fly strike are spotted and then dealt with swiftly and for the cattle eye irritation and discomfort. For us humans, who all suffer from hay fever – sore eyes, runny noses and wheezing!
All that said, of course, the warmth was largely enjoyed – particularly by the grandchildren who were rarely indoors. It was a week in which we greeted a new woofer, in this case from France, who will be with us for two weeks. A good time to visit as yesterday she and I were able to enjoy the celebrations in Alcester for the Queen’s 90th birthday. Katja has been much missed, not just by the family and Leslie but also by the lambs and in particular 120 who followed her around rather like the lamb in the nursery rhyme!
The garden is now coming into full production and we have been very fortunate to have Kath as an additional support to Becky and Jasper. Towards the end of the month Jasper hopes to man a stall at Mosley market for the first time.
Perhaps the key event of the week was the start of the biodynamic spraying programme. To spray the whole farm with 500 requires a lot of water and time. Only half the pastures were sprayed before the water ran out. The position now is that we have more than enough water but, for the moment at least, not the correct weather conditions to complete the first spray!
Hey ho a farmer’s life is full of joy. Our latest pleasure is attempting to gain a grant to partly meet the cost of updating our sheep handling facilities. The paperwork has to be seen to be believed but it will be worth it if we can win through. Here’s hoping!