By the barn October 18
Posted: 6th Oct 2018
October already and we notice the nights getting longer and it becoming cooler. Worries about feed and fodder stocks over the coming winter are still to mind after the long, hot and dry summer.
But life and farming goes on- including celebrating a milestone birthday (91) of my mother in law . One of the ‘old school’ farmers wives, with tales of feeding teens of farm labourers at times, of taking sandwiches and cake down the fields at harvest. Just as important as the farmer, she made sure clothes and overalls were washed and mended and the garden produced what was needed to sustain a hungry workforce!
She might not have had the career and kudos of women today but was (and women like her are still) intrinsic to agriculture!
And with the average age of farmers still being around the 60 yr mark, succession can be a problem. Just who is taking over the reins and growing our future populations food? It is hard for a young farmer to have enough income to be able to afford a farm and all its stock, particularly with the loss of council farms and when only small acreages become available for sale- not enough to get a foot in the industry.
Having been a walk around the farm boundary just lately to check for breaches, we were lucky enough to see a pair of Kingfishers flit along the brook. What an amazing sight of iridescent blue amongst the green. These birds eat not only fish, but worms, spiders and insects and their long pointed beak is lethal. It’s the time of year that the Rams are being put to the ewes and next years lamb crop is anticipated. Store lambs ( those that have been bought in to ‘finish’ ) are hopefully growing well and our own bred lambs are ready to go to market.
Fields are being worked down and sown with next summers arable crop but who knows what the weather will have in store for us next year. Corn stored from this years harvest has to be kept dry and clean and pest free if it is to be used for human consumption and an eye has to be kept on it.
The Weevil is a small beetle with a ‘snout’ and there are many kinds, all having the ability to cause damage to grain. One such is the Wheat Weevil, which can infest stored grain by chewing a hole into the grain and laying an egg inside. This hatches and the larva eats the kernel from the inside.
Ted( and his pal, Pip) have a lot of work to do, as the sheep and lambs are moved round to take advantage of the late growing grass. Most of the older sheep know where they’re going but the lambs need an older ewe with them to lead the way until they get used to the layout of the farm.
The hedges are full of berries and the leaves are beginning to change colour as the season changes and winter is on the horizon.
Posted by: Angela