Friday, 1 February 2013

Farming in this weather.

There is always work to be done on the farm and it is a seasonal thing.   There is a lovely Wendell Berry Poem called 'The Man born in Farming' which expresses it very well.  Everything goes around and comes around again, year after year.   I think this makes most farmers - and certainly my farmer - very philosophical about things.

But this last year has been exceptional in that it has been abnormally wet.   We have driven through to our feed merchants this afternoon and I don't think we have passed a single field which has not had a pond in it - and tractor tracks filled with water.

On our farm there are various jobs waiting to be done.   Our hedges are usually trimmed back in September/October, so that they have time to grow a little bit before bird nesting time.   The land has been too wet for the hedge cutting man to get anywhere near our hedges and in just a few weeks time it will be too late as the birds will begin to nest and we shall have to leave them for another year.   All the farmer has been able to do is to cut back the briars, which had grown out into the field.

7 tonnes of fertiliser (20:10:10) sits in bags in the tractor shed, waiting to be spread on the fields - now is the time, but it is too wet.

And our cattle in the loose housing for Winter are in urgent need of their half way clean out.   There comes a time when the depth of straw gets to the stage where it needs cleaning out and starting again.   Each morning the farmer spreads fresh straw but there is a limit to how much he can put in without beginning again. But normally he would heap the manure up in one of the fields and leave it to rot down - but again - it is too wet to drive on to a field with a heavy trailer of 'muck'.

To be honest I seem to be more bothered about it than the farmer, but then - as I said earlier - he is a man born to farming.

If anyone is interested "Country File" on Sunday evening on BBC1 features this area, in fact it is all within a ten mile radius of our farm and the feature where Jules goes round with Davinia and Michael, our local vets, actually includes our friend and neighbour (whose cattle we over-winter) when the vets visit for pregnancy testing.  I do hope some of you look at it - it gives you an idea of the area we live in.  

  

16 comments:

angryparsnip said...

I wish I could see this program. It sounds wonderful.
I have a BBC America channel but I know I will never see this program. All I seem to get on it is some bizarre program called "Top Gear" where a man drives cars with a pretty lady (the show I started to watch) to see how bad her hair gets blown in the wind ? Two show where a foul month chef screams at people and reruns of Star Trek ? Where are the great programs I watched years ago....
Maybe I can find it on the internet somewhere.

cheers, parsnip

cheers, parsnip

Heather said...

I love Countryfile and would hate to miss a single programme. I will certainly enjoy the next one. Many of the fields near us have standing water in them and in one field, even at the top of quite a good slope, the wheels of a tractor had gouged huge ruts into the soil where a farmer had tested it out. It must be so frustrating with all those jobs mounting up - let's hope that all farmers are as philosophical as yours.

Marianne said...

Countryfile is the essence of Sunday evening tucked in with the papers and the wood burning stove. I shall be watching.

John Gray said...

I hate country file with a passion...
I find it patronising and geared towards people who like Laura Ashley

Country Gal said...

Never a dull moment on a farm I remember oh so well from being raised on a farm ! I always had something to do and I loved it and miss it ! Have a good day !

Rachel said...

We sort of do watch Countryfile but it gets a little bit full of repeats so we sometimes turn it off and then wait for The Hotelwhich makes us laugh. I like your reference to 20.10.10 - brings back memories for me of storing fertiliser for Dalgety and I used to keep the store records in an exercise book -always more reliable than Dalgety's computer.

dc067418-6ca4-11e2-98ae-000f20980440 said...

I was sad to see they are visiting Jervaulx Abbey a beutiful tranquil place untouched by English Heritage and the National Trust and viewers of Countryfile

Woman Seeking Center said...

How I wish we had Countryfile offered on our BBC America - I'd LOVE to see a bit of your area. Sadly, not on our programme list either as Angry Parsnip noted. Drat.

It really assists in retaining some sanity to resign to 'scheduled' farm work as something nature dictates, lol. She's the one who always has the last word, for certain.

It's much the same here, 'plans' are a joke. I now think of any plans/schedules as more of wishes/preferences' and hold my breath, lol

Hope the rains and soggs break soon! Here I hope it's the freeze and wind that lets us be for a bit. Both are driving me a bit (more) mad.

At least it's Feb, so hope rises, grin...

Hugs
Issy

Pam said...

We don't get Countryfile here in Australia - pity because I do love to see your countryside and am restricted to Hymns of Praise ( I hate hymns!) Grand Designs and Doc Martin.
I like to see the homes in the 'find me a country home' series which we get. Some of those bedrooms are tiny - guess you get to escape to the acres outside if claustrophobia strikes in some of those homes. Maybe a tiny bedroom equals cosy. I forget how very cold it gets over there.
Weather patterns are seem extreme everywhere at the moment. We have floods and bushfires going at the same time.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

It does seem that the weather is extreme these days - we had a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest this autumn and thousands of acres of potatoes rotted in the ground because the harvesters couldn't get into the fields - they are huge machines - and the dump trucks that follow them are just as heavy. Potatoes are one of Washington's main crops so a log of farmers are feeling the pinch. We've had less rain lately - but far too late to save the potatoes - but spring plowing must begin soon so the farmers are hoping the spring rains don't come too early.

Cloudia said...

Oh I'd LOVE to see it! Online perhaps?



Sending Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu,
Comfort Spiral
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Cloudia said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006t0bv

Hildred said...

Oh, I wish I could get that particular program, Pat, - I will have to google BBC1 and see if it is available.

Love that Wendell Berry poem, - Also enjoy his Mad Farmer poems!


Bovey Belle said...

I will have to remember to watch Countryfile tomorrow - it's not a programme I normally watch as I find it annoying for various reasons! I must be getting old . . .

We have lots of standing water on fields here too and everywhere is SO soggy. Our land used to be good pasture but in the last 5 years we have lots of rushes growing - clay soil on top of slate bedrock - and the wetter weather has encouraged the rush growth. Oh, and we don't have the horses any more - the Welsh mares used to love eating the rushes - though my Arab thought rushes were beneath his dignity and preferred a good haynet!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Rachel - would love to meet for a coffee as you suggest - we must get in touch nearer the time although i can't see how to contact you from your site.
John - Do please make an exception on Sunday night. I have never understood why people hate Country File - most farmers round here find it essential viewing and they are by no means 'gentlemen' farmers - all with small acreage and hard-working.
Thanks to all of you for visiting and commenting

MorningAJ said...

We are in Scarborough and you were right about the weather! It was snowing as we came past Malton. We've had a good time in spite of cold. I did notice how many fields by the A64 were under water still. Not just waterlogged _ real puddles.