Happy New Year to you all and what a start to the new year it has been.
We brought the February lambers in at Christmas only to let them out again when the lambing shed was flooded in a storm.
They are back in and fingers crossed the shed will remain dry for them.
We are getting a good price for our tup lambs, which is a relief following the uncertainty before Christmas when we took a gamble and decided not to sell them as stores.
The cider was a huge hit at Christmas with the selection gift box being the main choice for presents.
We are now looking forward to launching the perry next month.
Have you ever seen a job advertised and it looks so amazing you apply, not really thinking you will be offered it because you already have plenty of jobs?
Well, to cut a Iong story short I started my new job this month as project officer for south east Wales working with Coed Cymru and Stump Up for Trees in a new farmer-led initiative planting trees.
It is not about taking land out of food production, but enhancing it with shelter-belts and planting on non-
productive land so trees work for farmers and the land while enhancing biodiversity, biosecurity, carbon sequestration, maintaining good soil quality, protecting watercourses and preventing erosion.
It is another step towards meeting farmers’ aspirations of net zero by 2040 alongside profitable food production.
In order to combat climate change, trees have a huge role, but it has to be the right trees planted in the right place for the right reasons.
They then have to be managed for a number of years to ensure they become established and tree species have to match soil type and local conditions.
The cost of the plant itself and, importantly, the aftercare, will be raised through a mixture of funding streams including corporate donations, selling carbon credits, crowdfunding and a host of community driven micro-funding initiatives that will encourage people who live in the area to own the project.
It is ambitious and I am excited to take on the role. I have already had farmers get in touch to discuss tree planting on their farms.
It is a good job that son Sam has returned to the farm as I will still be teaching two days a week and life is about to get even more hectic.
It is not very often I am speechless, as those who know me will verify, but I was stunned to be included in the New Year’s Honours list and just want to end by saying a huge thank you to all for the wonderful messages I have received.
It is still sinking in to be honest.
Kate received an MBE for services to agriculture.