Thursday, 29 December 2016

Winter update:

The Christmas elves have been out decorating the entrance. A hearty thank you to everyone to come and stayed with us last year.

Winter pondering .. 
Life on an arable in some respects is simpler. By Mid November, the field gates would shut as the growing seaon draws to a halt and there is a sense of closure with the onset of winter. With livestock, it just gets busier. Working with the animals means that there is always something to do, even on Christmas and New Year's day. Be it moving them, putting bedding down or feeding them.

It is the same for our small flock of Jacobs at Golden Grove. Now that we have moved in the suckler herd on the farm into the yards, we are planning to move the sheep to a smaller more sheltered field during the winter time and will stay there until lambing in March so that we can catch lambs more easily! It is difficult enough in a tiny field, imagine or perhaps you have seen us running around on a five acre field!!

This year's lamb has been given out to friends and family as mini thank you and Christmas presents. It is wonderful to explain that they really do come from down the road and have been fed on grass and a few nuts. Feedback is that you can really taste the difference.

Traditionally in the shops, you see lambs ready for the Easter market. These lambs will have been born in Winter and been fatten on a lot of cereal concentrates. Whereas we follow the traditional routine of Spring lambing when the weather is warmer for the young lambs to survive and the grass is growing full of goodness.  So hoping for a successful lambing season ahead when the weather is better.

Happy New Year.
Best wishes

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Nip from the Hip

The more we look, the more we see and so it is November the month of winter divination, when we observe nature's subtle signs of the Winter to come.

I try to compare with the previous seasons, such as are there more yew berries on the tree than last year? I wonder where are the sloe berries? There seems to be less than last year. Are they black enough to pick? For it seems that gin making with all the different flavours seems to be all the rage at the moment. From raspberry to even eccentric gins of orange and tarragon, which I will leave to the more adventurous! However the popularity of classic English Sloe gin endures and so it is almost time to decant last year's edition...Cheers ...Hic!!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Thanking all Romans for bunnies. 

The Romans brought to these shores many ideas and innovations that we 
are thankful for from straight roads to central heating and pear trees. 
Yet I recently learnt that the innocent rabbit can also be added to the 
list and has been eating his way through the British countryside ever 

An evening stroll to check all is ok, reveals I have a rabbit problem. 
With a wide swept of the torch across the fields, I catch the startled 
rabbits mid munch close by. They then continue unashamedly undisturbed 
in their eating. I am not sure what to do about them. 
I recently read* that in Australia rabbits have descimenated what 
precious little grass there is and damage crops to the extent that 
farmers have erected 'rabbit proof fencing'. Imported by British 
settlers excessive rabbit population have contributed to the destruction
of Australia's agriculture and its fragile environment. Who would have 
guessed, these cute bunnies immortalised in children's classics like 
Watership Down would have such an impact?
At Golden Grove, I understand that guests come to watch and enjoy the 
variety of animals about from Buzzards hoovering in the far end corner; 
to fallow deer that run through the parkland that adjoins us to escapee 
Pheasants from the nearby shoot, so the moment the rabbits remain a 
numerous as ever. 
*Jared Dimond 'Collapse - How societies choose to fail or survive.' Penguin

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Autumn is finally here and whilst the weather is still holding, we have been busy with diggers and whackerplates to improve the area around pitch 9 and the communal seating area. By extending and levelling the gravel for pitch 9, it will make it easier for turning and enable us to accommodate larger motorhomes.