Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Farming activity in September


Spider near the dog kennels

We had a meeting with some advisors working on a new pilot scheme for delivering biodiversity within a sound farming system. It was lovely out on the Point, and we saw Carline thistle flowering and even a bit of Wood bitter vetch. 

The Bog asphodel looks amazing in it's orange incarnation. So much of it this year. 

Sadly we also came across a Meadowpipit having been predated on by a bird of prey. 

We had a shipping container delivered which is going to help with the storage of additional bedding between uses.

Jamie's cows and calves are happy. Plenty of grass. 

We cut one field a year for silage under our AECS agreement, and this year it was the Haunn field's turn.  As we don't feed silage to our sheep we need to find another farmer to help make it and then take the silage for their animals.  Last year the Reades from Sgriob ruadh (they make the famed Isle of Mull Cheese) baled and wrapped it, after Farmer had mown and rowed it up.  It worked well, and luckily for us, they were happy to do the same this year.   

Our bird friendly silage agreement is that we must make the silage after the 1st of September. We always hope for some dry weather but last year September was wet and it wasn't until the 1st of October that the silage was made.  This year with better weather, it was made on the 18th of September on a beautiful autumn day.  Farmer did the mowing one day and it was rowed up and baled the next day.  By the time I got down there with the drone it was all baled and Farmer was the lone machine in the field bringing the bales up to the corner so they could be loaded onto the Sgriob ruadh trailer. 

I love how different the landscape looks when the field is cut. 

Jamie's four girls. 

Farmer and I went to Crackaig and down the zigzag path late one afternoon. He wanted to check the ewes out there. During the last 2 lambings he has been collecting plastics off the shore and has filled several dumpy bags.  2 of them he was able to get home, but there is one bag down below Crackaig which is too far for him to carry, nowhere near access by quad bike.   He was worried that the bag would biodegrade in the sunlight and the contents would be scattered again.  To buy a bit more time, whilst I flew my drone he managed to persuade the older dumpy bag into a newer one, so the contents are secure for a little while longer.  It would also need a helicopter to pick it up.  Other ideas on a postcard please. 

Usually at this time of year we start thinking about buying new tups, and on the 27th we headed over to Glengorm to choose one of their Blackface shearlings.  We also picked up a Suffolk from Lettermore on the way back.  

We have several different groups at tupping time this year: Cheviots to Suffolk, Blackface to Blackface, Blackface to Cheviot, Herdwick to Herdwick, Herdwick to Cheviot, and Cheviot to Cheviot.  

What a month! 

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