It is around eight or nine weeks before we embark on our holiday of a few days in a hotel (The White Hart) in Lincoln, followed by a whole week in Aldebrough at The White Lion. Seems a long time yet but I know from experience that it will be here in the blink of an eye.
Before that there are so many jobs to do on the farm, and each one depends entirely upon the weather conditions. At present, when it is fine the farmer is busy gathering up Winter's detritus of wood from our many trees. This includes huge , smaller branches, twigs and even smaller bits.
The very small bits will go on the bonfire in the field, the twigs will be broken up and put into the stick box for lighting the wood burner; the small branches will be sawn and put into the log pile and the huge branches will be stores under cover to dry and then sawn up later in the year for next year's wood supply. This wood is mostly ash, alder and bits of hawthorn and holly.
He already has collected one trailer full of wood and in the next few days will finish the clean up by gathering in another two or three trailer loads. That will be one job he can tick off the list.
Then all fences and gates have to be checked to make sure they are animal-proof and if they are not, then they need a repair - this also takes a few days at least.
We hope that all fences and gates have been repaired but going round doing other jobs gives the farmer a chance to check on them all.
All the fields need lime. This has been ordered and will arrive when the farmer decides that the state of the ground is right. This will then be followed by commercial fertiliser , 20:10:10 and then all this lot has to be harrowed and rolled.
The farmyard manure, which at present lies rotting in a pile, is also ready for spreading when the time is right.
Animal wise, the sheep have to go home before we go away on holiday and no sheep and lambs or young cattle come until we arrive home.
It doesn't sound all that much but believe me that holiday date will be here before we know where we are - and all must be shipshape.