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Hay at the end

Emma Heseltine: This week has been a whirlwind. I’ve spent most of everyday sat on a tractor making hay. After its been cut the grass needs turning several times and this week we have perfect hay weather to help us along, boiling sun and a drying breeze. Still the hay needs turning to get all the green bits cooked. By the middle of the week we are on to baling and I get to have a go with the brand new rake. I haven’t really done rowing up before but I like the symmetry of the rows. The rake spins round lots of tines to scrape all the hay, which is spread higgledy-piggledy all over the field, into neat rows so the baler can come along and gobble it all up and turn it into bales

14 July 2013 | 8 Comments | Recommended by 7

Barley, mulberry and shaking grass...

Emma Heseltine: I’ve come to the end of last year’s barley for the pigs. I’ve got a good few bags to crush that will keep them going for a while but I’m going to have to go back to some of my other sources. I can get biodynamic bran from the watermill in Little Salkeld, which is a by-product of the white flour making process. The last pigs really enjoyed this so I might add it to their ration and stretch the barley a bit further.

07 July 2013 | 5 Comments | Recommended by 0

Thistle cutting, grass cutting and wool...

Emma Heseltine: It's time to crack out the thistle cutter. It has been sitting in the barn all winter but now we need to attack the weeds in lagoon field. We have decided to not make hay on there this year so it’s a good chance to get the weeds in hand. The thistle cutter is a basically a mower that goes on the back of the quad bike. It has its own engine and is quite incredibly loud, but it does the job. There is no chance of doing the whole field so I do the worst patches of thistles, docks and nettles, mowing little patterns into the field.

30 June 2013 | 2 Comments | Recommended by 1

On Holiday...

Emma Heseltine: This week I committed a farmer sin, I went on holiday. It seems to me that not many farmers go away for a break very often, what’s the reason for this? Is there no time?

12 May 2013 | 1 Comments | Recommended by 1

Sheep in the garden, lameness and goslings...

Emma Heseltine: Beechnut is in the little paddocks. She was getting picked on by some of the other cattle at Aglionby so we brought her back for a little TLC. She is in calf and looks a little thin so a bit of grain just for her and a shed to sleep in wont hurt. We have put a couple of ewes that have no lambs with her to keep her company, but it seems they are not keen on the arrangement.

07 May 2013 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 1

The three T's, escapology and the last hay...

Emma Heseltine: Whilst I was baling hay at the weekend the rest of the gang were weaning the lambs at Wallacefield. Today we are going to check through the ewes to see if they are all okay, if there are any mutton in the flock. It’s a sheep MOT, the three T’s; teeth, toes and teats. We need to make sure none have bad udders; they need to be able to feed their lambs. They must have all their teeth, or at least most of them as if they can feed themselves properly then they can’t produce enough milk to feed their lambs. Lastly they must have good feet otherwise they can’t get to the grass to feed themselves in order to produce milk to feed their lambs. It’s all linked.

19 August 2012 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 1

More hay, going to Crosby and weights...

Emma Heseltine: We have got some hay but have another five fields to cut. This week Susan decides to go for it so we cut two at Wallace Field and two at Houghton. I even get a chance to have a go with the mower in the dark on the big Houghton field, it’s an impressive bit of machinery and the big Massey is somewhat smoother than the little old one which has a door missing and a fairly suspect seat (but I love it!) With four fields lying it is going to be a busy week.

05 August 2012 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 3

Hay...

Emma Heseltine: There are a lot of farmers getting stressed at the moment. There may be a heat wave further south but here is business as usual, rain. The thing is we want hay. Silage is all well and good but we don’t have a tractor so moving it about is a complete nightmare. Haylage is alright in big square bales, it comes out in slices that can be loaded into the quad trailer. But hay is the thing. The problem is that hay needs hot weather and about six days of it to dry it enough to bale.

29 July 2012 | 0 Comments | Recommended by 0

Scything, weeding in the rain and new season lamb...

Emma Heseltine: Today we are having a scything course at Wallace Field. The Monday gang and myself are being taught the finer points of slicing and dicing with the grim reaper's favourite implement.

01 July 2012 | 6 Comments | Recommended by 22

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