Yesterday started like most others, walking down to feed the pigs, who always are pleased to see me or more probably the content of my bucket (sadly I think it’s the latter), then a quick walk of the fields to check on the sheep, the fields are looking good following the previous day’s mowing, 12 acres of topping with an old Fordson Super Dexter in one hit equals a sore arse and a funny walk for a while, with the whole body felling like it’s had a Russian massage.
I had noticed a few bits of litter whilst mowing and if Morrisons and Tescos would like their bags back we have them here on the farm for safekeeping now away from our livestock. I do struggle to understand why people have an inability to understand that throwing litter anywhere does not enhance the general appearance of their world, in addition to this rant, nappies tossed from a moving car into the grass verge, do not mix well, when mixed with a petrol strimmer, on that note I will keep my mouth shut on this issue as I have learned to do so whilst strimming!
My eye is drawn to a buzzard circling high above me, yesterday had blessed me with my closest encounter with a Buzzard, he kept passing over the tractor in his quest for prey escaping the blades of the mower, a truly amazing site seeing this majestic creature so close, he would fly from tree to tree then take off again for his next pass momentarily disappearing perfectly camouflaged against the tree. Having survived an attack by a Seagull, whilst on holiday, my mind did wander to how I would fare if the buzzard wanted to pluck me from the tractor with only the protection of a roll bar?
Back up to the Farm for breakfast and a trailer to move following the install of estate fencing earlier in the week, guests for the Coach House were due to arrive later in the day so a check of the accommodation ready for their arrival. I had a small window to get some strimming done prior to a group of students from Norton College arriving, ordinarily the strimmer starts first pull, but not today, after removing and cleaning the spark plug which was not the problem, I blew out the air filter and the strimmer restored my faith in its reliability.
Strimming of the Coach House Garden, playground, Farm house garden and Orchard complete saw the arrival of Shane and Anthony Students of Norton College and their staff members Richard and Martin. This is their third visit to the farm as part of a qualification in animal husbandry, the College caters for Students with learning difficulties who have been excluded from mainstream education. Walking down to the Pigs we our greeted by our orphan lambs, I explain that shouting “Come On Girlies” see the sheep flock on mass towards us, Shane and Anthony try this out and are rewarded with the ewes and lambs flocking towards them, I go on to explain that the same response may be achieved by shouting Come on girlies in the town centre at the weekend! I’ll keep you posted on their success.
Moving on to the Pig pen, we let the pigs out for a run they love being out in the field and make for their favourite spot under the shade of the ash tree, staff and students get to task on replenishing the bedding and mucking out, Jimmy our Jack Russell is seen to eat his first pig turd of the day, which I find a good enough reason as any, for not kissing dogs, both students and staff decline the opportunity of tasting a pig nugget for themselves, so we put it to better use around the fruit trees in the orchard, this slow release top dressing will see the trees fed with each rainfall. We take time to sample some early black currents and gooseberries before moving on to the veggie patch to put in a row of lettuce seeds kindly donated to the project by the Gemma of the National Farmer’s Union.
Lawns mowed just in time to the Coach house before guest arrival at 3pm and the latest shower, got a visit from sues sister Debbie and had the team in from intelligent Energy to reposition the hopper bag.
Final phone call of the day from our French guests confirming they wish to book our Shepherd Hut in addition to their stay at the Granary.
For more information on our Luxury Farm Stay visit us at by clicking this link: Oaksbarnfarm.co.uk