By Ruth Kimber.
The Harvest Festival service was held this year on a neighbouring farm – this is the third year it’s been on a farm rather than in the parish church. It was well attended and the weather was kind.
Harvest in England is always a time of plenty and we have much to be thankful for. Sadly, this is not the same everywhere and we need to remember how lucky we are and not waste, and be wise with our land and resources.
On our farm we have planted new grass seed using minimum till where we can – this crop will feed the dairy using our zero-grazing machine. This allows us to get onto the land before we can graze the cows direct, it is hoped late February. The fields we use for this are away from the main farm and have a lighter sandy soil type that drains easily, ideal for an early crop. The grass germinated quickly and the crop is growing well.
We are well into calving now and are pleased with how it’s going – lots of dairy heifers and now the beef calves are coming. One of the grand-daughters, Mabel, has been halter training three of the heifer calves – Alan our stockman has been giving her tips and encouragement. It’s nothing to see her arrive on our drive calf in tow – then she ties it to my washing line, good training, she says, if she decides to show either of them.
It reminds me of my own childhood. I trained a Guernsey heifer calf as part of the Young Farmers Calf Adoption Scheme, which entailed the young person ‘adopting a calf’, feeding it, keeping all the records of its feed and any events in its life – ear-tagging, disbudding its baby horns and so on – training and preparing it for the show ring with the young farmer suitably turned out in white coat and clean wellies.
The calf became really friendly and as she grew to full