Time for the cows to take a rest

Ruth Kimber has seen an explosion in the fox population locally. PHOTO: Andreas Neumann/Pixabay
Ruth Kimber has seen an explosion in the fox population locally. PHOTO: Andreas Neumann/Pixabay

By Ruth Kimber
Our open day went really well, with the help of family and friends. We were fortunate with the weather – not too hot and no rain. However, we could do with a good soaking now as we have missed the showers.
We were loaned two super trailers from Cannington College and RJ & KD McIean Ltd, agricultural machinery dealers from Semley, Dorset – both were up to the required standard to take the public safely on a farm tour. We had the help of Butt Brothers Agricultural contractors which drove one of the trailers and loaned its Forage Harvester, alongside Redlynch Agricultural Engineers which loaned a new Valtra tractor, and J & C Bird brought its Massey 35 and Darrens Fergi T20, all of which the public enjoyed getting up close to.

Bees and insects
Several stallholders offered tasters of their wares, including Barbers, whose life-size green and white cow complete with udder and teats was a great attraction for old and young alike, as they tried hand-milking the water from the udder!
The farm tours, shop, cafe and trading barn were all busy and everyone seemed to have a very happy day.
We are now getting ready for the holiday season, as family and staff take a well-deserved break, and those left behind covering the work. The wildflowers on the verges around the farm are in their glory, alive with bees and insects.
We have started drying off the cows so they can have their rest period before calving in the early Autumn. They have two months rest from milking – they live in pastures away from the farmyard but we have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t have any health problems, summer mastitis, eye troubles brought on by flies etc.
The farming year is a big cycle, each season brings its own demands.
The change of Prime Minister may well have an effect on agriculture, as different people like to put their mark on policies. The lack of checks and balances on the newly signed trade deal with the Australians is a real worry, as it seems products will be able to be imported to the UK which have been produced with lower welfare and environmental standards than our own farm produce. Welfare and environmental regulations make for a more responsible product but it does add significant production costs.
Our turkeys are growing apace but we have lost several to a large stray tabby cat – we have caught him on camera. We also have an explosion of the fox population – I think it may be the cover they enjoy in the many fields in the vicinity that have been abandoned by the owners, who are not farming them or letting them out. The trouble is other wildlife will suffer as foxes take eggs and young birds, and even feast on domestic cats, and, of course, poultry.
Kimbers Farm Shop, The Kitchen and Somerset Trading Barn BA9 8HD (B3081). Phone: 01963 33177; www.kimbersfarmshop.co.uk. Open Tuesday-Friday 8.30am-5pm, Saturday 9.30am-4pm.

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