Blue Moon

04 September 2023

Having just seen the Blue Moon, the next full moon will be the Harvest Moon. Traditionally, September was the harvest month and the full moon enabled later harvesting before headlights. It also brings stronger winds. So since we have yet to start harvest – fingers crossed the tradition keeps up.

Spring barley will be harvested this week, followed by Oats, then wheat and finally beans by mid-October. Since we have only spring planted crops, this makes harvest later than most.

Farming conventionally, we used to spend the season trying to keep the crop alive with chemicals – it seems now we are organic – we spend most of the Summer willing them to die so we can harvest them.

Our composting trial is now complete, having made over 1km of compost windrow using farmyard manure and woodchip to blend, turn and decompose at temperatures of 60 – 70 degrees C. The process kills weed seeds and encourages fungal activity to break down the organic matter. Spreading the compost will encourage the fungus spores to colonise soils and re-balance the fungi/bacteria ratios, enabling nutrient to be cycled between soil and plant.

Our second Grass to Grill event will take place on Friday 15th September, where we will we will explain not only the livestock system, but also the grains and pulses, how they fit into our rotation and why we grow what we do and when. All of this will be spread across the estate and so our new seated trailer will be making its maiden voyage with passengers in comfort. Its not too late to join us – if you want to get aboard – check out Grass to Grill – Estate Tour and enjoy a tractor ride with beer an BBQ after.

Bowhouse not only provides space for the monthly markets, but also holds and runs a series of workshop events. September will see a Sourdough session, Mushroom workshop and a “Seeing Grains Differently” workshop. Later in the month we also host the St Andrews Uni students Open Ball, where fundraising for local charities and causes brings Uni students for an evening of black tie and music.

Finally, Scott Ramage who joined us in 2021 is heading down under with his family and so leaves Balcaskie having brought with him the most valuable contribution – fun and the ability to make people smile even when the job in hand is less than glamorous. We all wish Scott, Becs, Arthur and Rose the very best of luck and a happy time.

Share this