As I write this the sun we have at last seen off the grey skies which seem now the norm for every morning. It has been another good week for the grass and it looks possible we will be able to take our first cut in a couple of weeks. We have looked with envy at neighbours not only because their grass was ready to cut early but also because of the density of growth. We know the explanation of course but it is not a route we are willing to go down.
Field 4 has been power disced again but is still not fit for drilling as there is still not a good enough seed bed. Hopefully one more cultivation will be all that is needed since cost, as it is for every farmer, is a real issue.
There have been a number of stock movements of which probably the most significant has been the withdrawal of Jupiter. At the moment he is on his own but we will put in a couple of steers to keep him company. The suckler herd are now in the field alongside the drive so all can admire them as they go past. The horse chestnuts are now in flower and despite the fact that they all have this terminal problem are still making a brave show.
The sheep have also been moved and very soon it will be time to weigh the lambs. Depressingly we continue to lose one or two every week to clostridial diseases and it is little comfort to know this is inevitable.
We had intended to spray the whole farm with 500 on Tuesday – a leaf day – but of course that was the day it rained! We now hope to spray this coming Wednesday as that is also a leaf day. Even though this quite a small farm, to cover all the fields takes four runs by the tractor.
The garden rushes ahead. This lunch time those who enjoy it had our first cucumber to go with home grown salad leaves and french beans. A feature of this season has been the success of our rhubarb – which either as crumble or just eaten with cream or custard is much loved by all the family. We have taken the decision that outside planting of tender plants should go ahead in the hope that we have seen the last frost.
This week we have been lucky enough to have another volunteer to work in the garden. She came to us via Becky and we hope to see her on a regulator basis in the coming weeks. Watering continues to be a major daily task and will continue to be even if the promised rain comes.
This week has been half term for our grandchildren and also the last full week for Katja. As we say goodbye to her we greet a young Frenchwoman who will be with us for two weeks. I have closed the offer for WWOOF-ers for this year – our last will leave at the end of October. Katja’s departure will be a cruel blow to the little gang of lambs that she has nurtured for the past many weeks and a great social loss for the family and Leslie.
Ulula had a good third month and we are very grateful to Katrin for her on-going help with translations.