Thursday, 3 February 2022
Friday, 7 January 2022
Caroline Grindrod from Roots of Nature/Wilderculture runs the Grazing School and works with James and Helen Rebanks who hosted this workshop on their farm. There were about 30 attendees - farmers, smallholders, vets, RSPB staff, accountants, land agents - all interested to learn more about the benefits and methods of regenerative grazing.
Saturday, 1 January 2022
Thursday, 30 December 2021
November was a bit of a write off as we both had Covid, and I was under the weather for most of the month. Farmer managed to feed the sheep for all but 3 days, even if it meant getting up to do the feeding and let the dogs and hens out, and going back to bed. He wasn't well enough to do the pre-tupping gather and we were really grateful to D, W and J who came over and did for us. A few days later Farmer managed to sort the ewes out and get them out into the fields with the right number and breed of tup.
But onwards and upwards, life goes on, we have recovered and all is well. In the scheme of things I feel we have been very lucky and we cannot complain.
December saw us take a trip to Cumbria to James and Helen Rebanks's farm to learn about Regenerative grazing. I will write a separate blog about that!
Christmas was quiet - family and relaxing.
In between Christmas and New Year Farmer and D took the tups off and put the new Combi clamp into action in the fank. Manoeuvring it into position was not easy, it weighs 130kg, and using it will take a bit of getting used to. A Combi clamp basically clamps the sheep with foot operated 'sides' which close together as the ewe stands and holds her in place so that you can administer treatments without having to wrestle with her. It is better for animal welfare and also supposed to be better for the humans.
Walter likes to sit on the quad bike waiting for Farmer to finish feeding.
Saturday, 16 October 2021
Farmer and I were booked on a Grazing School workshop in Cumbria last week. Unfortunately it was cancelled 2 days before it started as 2 of the key people involved had both contracted Covid. (Thankfully they are both recovering).
We weren’t entitled to a refund from our accommodation at such short notice and as we’d already arranged to buy some Herdwick ewe lambs from the farm where the workshop was being held we decided just to go anyway.
Our Airbnb was perfect. On a farm. Near Askham, not far from Penrith. Very quiet. Lovely walks. Simple but comfortable accommodation. Everything we needed and lovely hosts.
We spent Monday visiting friends near Coniston, which was about 90 minutes drive away and on Tuesday we went to look at the ewe lambs.
It was great to meet James and Helen Rebanks in person having read both James’s books and following them both on Instagram! We had a cup of tea in their garden and then went to look at the lambs.
Our knowledge of good Herdwick breeding is pretty uneducated, so it was very useful to talk to James and pick up a few tips! And we now have 5 ewe lambs from Racy Ghyll born in April/May.
The other farming excitement was a trip to the farmer’s emporium Relphs, which our Airbnb host told us about. It is such a novelty for us to be able to walk into a shop and find that everything we need is stocked and that there is even a selection!
On Wednesday morning we picked up the lambs and drove home via Lochaline. The 5 ewe lambs are isolating in the stack yard shelter, they seem to have settled down quickly!