Busy, Busy…..

09 April 2021

March and April are two of the busiest months on the farm, with calving, lambing, ploughing, cereal planting, dung spreading, grass harrowing, rolling and still the day jobs to be completed.

Not surprisingly, we have all been glad of the dry weather but a little disappointed with the temperature. Grass grew well at the start of March, but was cut short by the biting NE winds and frosts. Regardless of the temperature, all animals will cope with cold, provided they are dry, so we have managed to get ewes and lambs out, cows and calves turned out and piglets weaned to give the sows a rest.

Finishing off the winter ploughing in readiness for cereal crops to be planted, soils were very wet. However, the drying winds and long days soon changed it to dry and hard conditions. Luckily, this year we invested in a new seed drill which is designed to be able to plant crops directly into stubbles, crop residue and even grass. The intention is to reduce the amount of ploughing we have to do for weed control and in so doing, reduce the loss of soil organic matter and fuel used. A simple sounding transition, but the plough has been about for thousands of years – so there may be a hurdle or two to overcome on the way.

With the new housing development at St Monans breaking ground, the topsoil was being removed by the developer and we were lucky enough to be on the receiving end. An area of land above the coastal path had been used for generations to dispose of seaweed from the harbour. The resulting land was unable to grow anything due to high levels of Iodine from seaweed. By capping this area off with the good soil and planting it with species rich grass containing wild flowers, we hope to take a surplus of the best soil and benefit an area which was of little merit.

With restrictions being eased for much of the country, we are delighted to be able to re-open Bowhouse markets again. A gradual re-opening will occur over the next few months and we hope soon to return to full markets with all of the visitors who come to enjoy the best produce and meet the makers again.

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