November 2018 Farm Round Up

barn owl
The nights are closing in fast – mornings too of course, but it is the nights I notice most because I have to go out to feed the pigs earlier and earlier – at worst, I’m going out at 3pm! But looking on the bright side, it is only 3 weeks until the shortest day so not long to go before, bit by bit, the days start getting longer …. roll on Spring!
The weather has been very mixed this month – we’ve had our first snow storm although nothing settled and a couple of days before that, we’d had temperatures up as high as 14 degrees – crazy. We’ve also had hard frosts and stunning blue skies – I know which I prefer. Give me cold fingers over slippery mud any day.
Quincy, the Large Black boar that we borrowed went home early in the month – he’d spent several months courting two of our Large Black sows and fingers crossed, one of them is now expecting the patter of tiny trotters around Christmas.
And just after Quincy left us to visit some new ladies, so arrived Jacko. He’s a Berkshire boar and has come to the farm for a conjugal visit with Eyelashes. It’s early days yet but let’s just say that they appear to be getting on very well and he clearly knows his job. We’ll see if she comes back into season in December – a pig comes into season every 3 weeks throughout the year. Jacko will stay for a couple of months to try and ‘make sure’! He’s a big lad but seems very laid back.
One of the joys of getting up early and being out and about as day is dawning is seeing and hearing some of the wildlife that lives here on the farm with us. We farm with wide field margins, only cut the hedgerows every 2-3 years and leave a couple of paddocks completely wild to support them. Their ancestors lived here long before we arrive and hopefully, their descendants will be here long after we have gone. One morning I was out just as dawn was breaking and was blessed to see a barn owl hunting – they are completely silent in flight which is rather spooky but he flew straight past me and then circled back giving me enough time to get my phone out for a quick video. Also, we have a small herd of deer in the area – completely wild, not farmed. It isn’t unusual to see a single or a pair out and about around the farm but this little group was a rare find. They seem pretty relaxed and not bothered by me being there – clearly confident that they could out run me – no kidding!!
Another busy month for the holiday cottage – and a cracking review from some of our guests – all our reviews are 5* 🙂
And last but not least, are you ready for Christmas yet? We’re well under way – hams are in curing, salami are made and hanging in the temperature and humidity controlled curing room, with bacon and sausages planned. If you haven’t ordered yet, email me!!