It's very wet and sticky at the moment, but to celebrate 2015 as the International Year of Soils here's a cute little video and sneak peek at what lies beneath...
Gorgeous squash for sale in the farm shop in aid of Wiston Church. Pop over to the church to see the full selection!Dad is busy mucking out the barn, Mum has made a mountain of the most delicious blackcurrant jam and I am getting ready for a crazy Halloween season. I haven't been on the farm as much as I would like lately as I work to save money for future projects. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully I will get to spend more time with these guys very soon.
One pint or two? Farmer Humph continues to defy fashion and the weather in a woolly hat - there was a brief flirtation with a baseball cap, but we said no... Fortunately, he's had lots of new calves to distract him from his lack of sartorial freedom. Here's a midnight calf having it's first feed from Mum. https://instagram.com/p/5swcGSs6iB/
Standards were maintained at all times, even in the middle of silage making.
Two sets of chicks were born and Frizzle (the permanently broody and exceptionally crazy chicken) shocked us all by becoming an exemplary Mother Hen. Although she still insists on living in the porch which is a lovely addition to the household - Humbug thinks otherwise. The Mercator roared... The baler worked better than last year! Mum outdid herself again with a preserve a day almost throughout the summer and new flavours for the farm shop.
And finally, my photo of the summer. It wasn't entirely hard work, there's always time to stop for a chat at Lower Dairy Farm.
Farmers Humph and Hannah are delighted to announce the birth of their first grandchild. Farmer Humph is already instructing Elspeth in how to check the oil in her father's scraper tractor, and the new grandparents have promised to spend as much time as possible with their new grandchild leaving Jenny in charge of the farm...oh, sorry, apparently I misheard the last part! Congratulations Helen & Stuart, a bright future awaits your scraper tractor!
Fresh out of the oven: 28 day aged slow roasted top rump of beef. Served between hunks of fresh bread from the local bakery for a late supper. You can't beat it!
We're lowland folk here at Lower Dairy Farm. We live towards the valley bottom and have no aspirations to climb tall buildings or scale mountain peaks. Perhaps this may explain the recent curse that hit the farm. It is safe to say that every piece of lifting machinery that could go wrong, went wrong in the past few months. To the point the curse became ridiculous when in attempting to manoeuvre the last remaining operational lifting device (an engine hoist) into place during repairs to the loader tractor...the wheel fell off the lifting mechanism and it smashed the barn doors...and was so heavy, it required a lifting machine to lift it. You couldn't make it up. The one device that just about kept going was...you guessed it, the Nuffield and the buck rake. And here we are at work:
Oh no, wait...that's a picture from the 1970s. In positive news, we have used a heck of a lot less fuel and oil in not having an operational JCB. And aside from some truly dark days and muscles worthy of a Venice Beach bodybuilder, we have (touch wood) made it through the curse.
Professor Tractor has, as ever, stepped up to the mark and become the UK's fastest tractor-splitter, with the help of Team Concrete we have created the new Stansted runway ('Welcome to London Little Horkesley'), Mum has outdone herself with the range of tasty chutneys, jams and marmalades in the farm shop, the grass is growing and we have also welcomed a remarkable selection of ridiculously friendly calves. Onwards and upwards! Curse permitting, I'll be updating the blog again soon...