You need to know first, our dear reader, that the wedding, in prospect in our last Rush Farm News, was a most tremendous success. The weather was beautiful – the sun shone down upon the very happy couple, and really, none of us could have wished for more. Rush Farm, the house, the garden, the cow’s much admired – they all shone under the light of such a happy celebration, and we had a solid reminder that good things do happen.

If we stretch our minds back to the other matters raised in the last News, it was the prospect of the Soil Association inspection that the farm was dusting itself down for. Well, the inspection lasted all morning and well into the afternoon, and Chris and Anne stayed the course! A thorough look at all the paperwork and then a trip around the farm. As we would hope, but would never dare to expect, all went well, and we passed! We learnt something new and rather alarming – the tight regulations that relate to organic food, don’t apply to other growing items, such as compost. A brand can call something organic when in fact it isn’t. The moral of the tale – always check there is a recognised organic logo before buying, and a good reminder to us of why we undertake these rigorous inspections every year. 

It’s hard to imagine after all the recent rain, but two weeks ago we were waking up to the grass under a covering of frost – although not thick enough for it to crunch under foot, the sunrise was watery, and it took some time before the sun began to melt the frost and start to warm tingly fingers and toes.  

The suckler herd are currently in the field with the scrape. There is a thick, lush covering of grass and clover. The few cold nights seemed to have knocked the growth back a bit, but hopefully there is enough grass to last until the cows move back into the barn for the winter. At the far side of the field against a hedge that morning was a huddle of cows. Three calves standing around a mother and her newly born calf. A little bull calf, he looks strong and sturdy, and on approach, his belly felt as though he has already had the important first feed. 

We are very sad that our bull after several years of regularly throwing good daughters and sons, has broken his hip, perhaps slipping on the overly wet ground and has died. He was a very good addition to the Farm and will be greatly missed on all fronts – because practically minded, we now must begin the hunt to find a new bull. The cycle of life! However, with the TB reactor last month, and the whole herd being tested next week, whether we can bring a new Bull onto the farm anytime soon is still to be decided.

Looking forward as we have learnt to do, Bonfire night, 5th November is the day our ewe sheep are joined by the rams. But first the ewes are sorted into two groups and their health checked. Our finest will be joined by the Llyn ram and the results of both flocks found next April in that happy time when the lambs are born. 

Working the way we do here, hand in hand with the community trust that owns the land that we both we rent and care for, has enabled us to always focus and strive for our original purpose – to work in harmony with the land to grow real and nutritious food.  

As I’m sure you know we are a ‘community owned’ farm, and Rush Farm works very closely with the community trust that owns the land to protect the land and grow nutritious food. The Stockwood Community Benefit Society have just launched their 4th community share offer, aiming to become entirely community owned. Some of you may already be investors in the society, these wonderful people are what makes the community trust project possible. If you would like to become a member yourself, know someone who might be interested in joining us, or are already a member and would like to increase your shareholding, then just let us know or send on this link to find out more: The more the merrier!  We hope that by showing that this ‘blended model’ of land ownership works and the land being protected, then more and more such projects will start appearing around the country. So let us know if you are interested or know someone who might be.

With the news as it always seems to be just now; with Planet Earth III showing how very out of balance the natural world and humanity really are; with our “leaders” seemingly adrift from reality; and, through this very hard 12 months for the family, we do strive on, through the work here, to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk – to show, that this ‘blended model’ of modern land ownership works, and we look forward to more and more such projects appearing around the country.   And so to the rain! Rain, more rain, and wet is the theme of recent days. Storm Babet ignored the many forecasters, and came further south than expected, and rain upon us it did!  The brook flowed over its banks, flooding halfway up the field with the young stock. They were entranced initially, running and splashing, but later seemed perplexed and a bit uncertain what to do now they had crossed the water! Three hours later, and as the dusk began to settle upon us, they huddled by the gate leading down to the barn, persuading us that they wanted out. Alice and Brendan bravely waded in to help them across, and then, well, why not, Boots inflated a little boat, and they all had a row on the impromptu lake!  

With no irony, an important aspect of preparing the farm for winter is emptying the residual water from hose pipes, and any machinery using water to carry out work so that, should we have any freezing weather the ice does not the crack whatever is holding it. A bit more water to paddle in!  These last days of rain and wet, we have enjoyed some very special rainbows landing in field 7. Don’t try and explain to us that the end of the rainbow would move if we went to meet it – we prefer to live in ignorant bliss! The rainbows give us a chance to choose a poet who Adrian much loved.

The Rainbow by Walter de la Mare 

I saw the lovely arch
    Of Rainbow span the sky,
The gold sun burning
    As the rain swept by.
In bright-ringed solitude
    The showery foliage shone
One lovely moment,
    And the Bow was gone. 

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