Since the last time I wrote we have made our hay, harvested oilseed rape and winter wheat, writes David Morgan of Strefford Hall Farm and Farm Shop, Craven Arms.
While we had a reasonable hay crop this year, bolstered by the wet weather, cereal yields on the whole are a disappointment due to the lack of sunshine.
The quality of wheat grains is also an issue, though the wheat does not look as bad a sample as some that I have heard of.
Harvest of our spring sown oats and barley is imminent and we hope that the weather will hold for us to get those into store as well as all the straw, which Kevin Meddins has been busy baling for us. This season’s dampness has made the spring-sown crops grow especially well, but this strong growth has caused the majority of the oats to go flat, so it will be a challenge to pick as much of the crop up as possible.
This will certainly test the fresh combine out, and since dad does most of the combining, his patience also.
Our lambs have been selling well, with over a third of them sold already.
The remaining lambs have been weaned and drenched with wormer.
I’m hoping that with some more sunshine we can add some condition to the remainder so that we will not have many left by Christmas.
We need to go through the Lleyn ewe lambs to decide on which we will keep in the flock, and the remainder can be sold.
We will be purchasing a new Lleyn ram this year; we have gone through our rams and purchased some replacement Texels from Tony Wright.
They are all getting plenty of tender loving care ready for their approaching work load starting in the middle of October.
Disappointment is the result of the hope that the ‘festival summer’ would pay us dividends, with an increased footfall and spend in the farm shop. Instead people have sheltered from the British summer by staying home to watch the pageantry and spectacle.
The Olympics have been fantastically uplifting, gaining momentum with thrills and spills by the day.
I’m hatching a new campaign, ‘Get sporty on an Egg’. High in protein, low in fat, they are a truly healthy and versatile food – add free range and, well, the golden egg and medal come into focus.
Our own free range pullet eggs are now on sale for only £1 per tray of 30 eggs.
We are consistently cheaper than the supermarkets for a higher quality product, but still people use them.
We have picked up some butchery jobs from other farmers and smallholders, cutting beef, lamb and pork – including making sausages.
Once tasted, a home-made sausage is a non-return ticket.
We took Oscar to his first Royal Welsh Show in July, hopefully his first of many; though perhaps in the future he will spend more time awake.
It was another great show from what we managed to see and from a new perspective for us, it was very baby friendly.