Farmer’s Diary – Kimbers Farm Shop

Many more of the animals are now out to pasture, and the grass is really beginning to grow well. However, the cold nights are still holding it back a little – the blackthorn winter is still in full bloom. This old country saying references the fact that when the blackthorn is in flower the weather will continue to be cold.
The fields are being rolled and harrowed and the fences checked. It won’t be long before we are talking about the first-cut silage. The early spring grass has the most nutrients, producing silage suitable for maintaining the dairy cow’s milk production in the winter. Profits can be made or lost on the quality of the first-cut silage. It’s not always easy to get it right, with the weather being the biggest contributing factor to success or failure.
We are just about to send in our final order for our turkey poults. The hatchery has to mate the hens, then set the eggs, which take a month to incubate and hatch, then send out the day-old poults for rearing and growing on for Christmas dinner!
One of Darren’s ewes had an injury while lambing – her eye was pecked out and her tongue pecked badly, we think the work of a crow or magpie. Thankfully, after Darren tended her the dear thing after has managed to keep and feed her lamb and is making a good recovery.
Another old saying, one swallow doesn’t make a summer, came to mind a couple of weeks back. We were delighted to see our first swallow arrive on 7 April, which was 10 days later than last year. We waited another week before a second one arrived, but were a bit concerned that they hadn’t as yet been joined by more. But just yesterday, three more showed up!
Calving is all but over, with just one cow left. It’s been a good season with very few problems. Modern mating knowledge, records of calf shape and size, careful selection of bulls, and using bulls with ‘easy calving’ traits assist the delivery. Now the farm can relax until September!
The farm shop has been busy over the Easter period, but it’s been a bit of a challenge what with holidays and illness taking a toll on our staff. Naomi and Darren’s boys have been helping – its surprising what they can do.
Our eldest grandson (9) has produced another display for the farm shop, this time depicting a war scene from Ukraine. He has already collected over £100 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal (this fund is government matched pound for pound).
by Ruth Kimber

Kimbers Farm Shop,
The Kitchen, Somerset Trading Barn, BA9 8HD 01963 33177
Open Tuesday – Friday: 8.30am-5pm;
Saturday: 9.30am-4pm.

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