There seems to be a note of hysteria in the air, this autumn.
I think it’s probably the same every year, but it’s like childbirth, you forget in time for the next one.
As the days grow shorter, the to do list grows longer, and for at least two days this week, H and I have been hurtling round like crazy people, trying to hold all the livestock tasks together. We’ve had absolutely gorgeous, crisp, clear autumn weather, with blue skies, chilly mornings, and smokey dusks, in which to achieve all this, but we have been pressed.
The goats have had some foot problems, so we are painstakingly trimming and treating feet each morning, in addition to milking, bedding, feeding haying, and generally messing about with four does and eight babies.
The ram for the Oxford girls has arrived and needs to be in splendid isolation for a few days, before going in to do his duty.
The Jacob flock need checking and sorting (‘drafting’) prior to breeding and as you may know, we have grazing hither and yon, so that involves driving a lot from field to field and holding conversations you then forget later in the day, unless you take note of all your thoughts and decisions.
Summer production in the polytunnel is closing down and so far only a few salads and the odd leafy green is taking over, as we really, really need to recover the tunnel this year.
We are mid way through building a new pen for all the laying hens and bantams to enjoy some more space and comfort.
I am still working on opening up space to the PreSchool and ultimately hopefully the school, but technicalities and health and safety are hiding round every corner.
We found time for some foraging, coming home with blackberries, hips, haws, and crab apples.
We have lambs going to the butcher next week, to be ready for delivery/collection on October 31st. It’s not too late to book a half lamb (for approximately £50, depending on weight) but it will be very soon! So if you’re interested please email.
As proud Part Time Farmers, these short days and long lists cause us to dig deep. Neil and H run a successful decorating business, and have been working all hours on projects in Bath and Bristol recently. Our shepherdess is back at school, stuck into A level courses, and preparing for Silver DofE. I am in an office two days a week, as well as supposedly running our office.
We’ve been watching BBC2’s ‘Harvest’ though, and finding the time was definitely well worth it. We are so proud to be a tiny, tiny part of Britain’s amazing farming industry.