Tuesday, 14 September 2010
A Farming Post.
It seems a long time since I wrote about work on the farm, so I thought perhaps it would be a good idea to bring you up to date.
This is a 'finishing off' time of year for farming up here - although cattle are still out it will only be a few weeks before they need to come in for the Winter. When that happens will depend very much on the weather in general and the amount of rainfall in particular. Once the ground gets soaking wet it is neither good for beast nor land for the cattle to be out. So now is the time when the farmer gets the indoor housing ready.
The first thing is to clean out last year's debris, which has been gently steaming and rotting throughout the Summer. Many little rodents have taken up residence and the cats have been having field days laying on the warm manure and catching anything which dares to venture out. Well, last weekend the farmer hired a giant 'muck-spreader' for the day and the loose housing is now completely empty and ready to be filled with new sweet-smelling straw for the beast to come in.
All the outbuildings are stacked with bales of straw and all the silaging has been finished, so now it is time for the farmer to look at the state of the fields. He did this at the weekend and decided that 'cow-house field' needed ploughing and re-seeding. That has been today's job.
Unfortunately, three times round the field and he hit a boulder which broke one of the blades on the very ancient plough. Luckily he had one replacement blade which he has now fitted and as I write he is finishing off the ploughing.
Tess and I had a walk round the fields and I took a photograph of the ploughing, and of the farmer mending the plough. Also you will see how fantastic the crop of crab apples is. We have a lot of wild crab apples in the hedges here and they are laden with little red apples. Now the cattle will be hoping they fall off the tree - all the cattle love these little sour apples. Hawthorn berries are now very ripe; the bushes seem to be laden and they look a picture. Before too long the fieldfares will arrive and make short work of them.
I read in the Times newspaper that the reason our berries, apples, plums etc. are so prolific this year is all due to the very harsh Winter we had. Whatever the reason, the hedgerows look magnificent, so enjoy my photographs.