Every week we follow the ups and downs of farmers around the country.
We have finished hay making and baled enough straw for our own use. I had to follow behind the sledge as the 40-foot header and thick straw was too much for our baler to cope with, but with straw so valuable this year it was worth the effort.
Just when I thought I had finished shearing, I have had some small jobs, with people concerned about fly strike given the heat and the one-off thunderstorm recently. We needed the rain, and the fields have a slight tinge of green – a change from the barren yellow we have been getting used to.
I have not yet got round to shearing my own lambs and ideally will get them done in the next couple of weeks. There is the small matter of my brother’s wedding happening this month on our farm, so there’s plenty of preparation to do.
We have a hog roast, a hogget roast, and even gourmet burgers. Our caterer is using his imagination for the 20 vegans and vegetarians, but they might get a shock to see all that meat cooking.
Tidying my house is somewhat of a geology expedition uncovering the sedimentary deposits lurking in corners I can usually ignore but, with the in-laws arriving to stay, I have no excuse.
Anyway it is a good strategy to hide from the heat of the day at lunch time.
I have been through the flock and pulled out the culls, which I had planned to take to market this week except someone unhelpfully left the gate open the night before and they got mixed back up. Next week, then.
The first store sale at Ashford had a relatively strong trade despite the lack of grass and the lambs looked very well. I would think a lot were fed. I had some cake left over from lambing time so I have been feeding one small group of leaner ewes for a week or so, just to get them through the dry spell.
Our neighbour lost 50 acres of wheat to a field fire, an occurrence all too common this harvest.
Hopefully progress is being made with harvest across the country and the transition to autumn will be kind. Our countryside stewardship application is taking shape and will be sent off at the end of the month. It will be interesting to see how the schemes develop over the next few years.