...harvest, piglets, puppies and poultry.
Yep, harvest is done (bar that unintentional "conservation area" at the top that needs baling). So here's a quick recap of what's been going on...
Between the rainy days, we completed our harvest and Dad's baling marathon means we've got enough fodder for the winter. This year saw Lower Dairy Farm's first Bale Census - a hi-tech compilation method involving a post-it note on the fridge.
Hundreds of bales = lots of bale hauling from around the village. It's my first year hauling bales on the road (thank you patient drivers, shame on you impatient idiots) and I enlisted the help of Lower Dairy Farm's newest member, Humbug the dog on his first tractor adventure. I like to haul bales in style, as you can see from the picture below.
It's safety first on the farm, and when tying bales on it really helps to use all your weight and I like to harness the power of the dog pulling on the end of the rope...provided Humbug the highly trained puppy gives the rope back... Tying on provides great amusement for those watching, particularly on a windy day when flinging the rope accurately over a loaded trailer is nigh on impossible. Apparently it's "really funny" to watch when the rope flies back over and hits you in the face before the dog runs off with it. I really have no future as a team roper, but for now, I'll blame the driving wind. Turn the trailer round? What a waste of fuel.
Anyhow, with all bales back at HQ and counted, it's time to get stuck into everyday chores. The cows are out on pasture, and we're about to head into our next block of calvings. This will coincide with (fingers crossed) duckling hatching - far less stressful than calving!
August saw the first pigs on the farm for over 50 years. Dad has a faint memory of Grandad keeping pigs in the same place we are today. Our two are Gloucester Old Spot x Tamworth, so should make for good pork and bacon.
What with the piglets, calves and puppy arriving within one month, we've had lots of visitors. I am now positive that the pigs have a better diet than I do as the people of Nayland and Little Horkesley bring them surplus veg from their gardens. It really does take a village, and you know you've reached a new low when you consider rescuing a cabbage from a pig pen.
This week has been particularly insane, finishing harvest, hauling, chicken windproofing (the excitement knows no bounds), sorting the house out etc, the puppy (I'm not reknowned for my enthusiasm and boy does he require a lot), selling a ton of books through Amazon, being pimped out at the farm gate (yep, I would make a good Bathsheba, stop encouraging the men over 60 Dad) and an unkept promise that I would actually get round to weighing the pigs - piglet catching requires fast acceleration, great hand-eye co-ordination and the ability to think fast...none of which I am blessed with! Oh and the PhD - yesterday was the first night I've had a chance to look at anything properly for a month. So of course, I am simultaneously searching for books on pig husbandry, setting up the blog and researching poultry drinkers online. It's quite a search history!