Winter and Onwards

13 December 2021

Last month we brought all of the breeding cows and calves in to wean the young calves now they are old enough and to enable the cows to have a rest before next years calves are born. The cows are Pregnancy Diagnosed – or PD scanned, to see which ones are in calf and check for twins. With a few more than we would like – not in calf, we will be doing some head scratching with Eden Vets to find out why. 87% were pregnant and we would like this to be over 90%.

The cows are all now back out on their winter paddocks and Kellie Law with its Deferred Grazing – (Grass left un-grazed in the summer to enable birds to nest and wild flowers to re-seed) and will, with any luck be out until they are ready to calve in March.

Storm Arwen whipped through at the end of November with some devastating winds snapping many trees off and taking some real old veteran trees down around Balcaskie. The clear-up operation is likely to take some time as each tree needs to be assessed to understand where the tension and compression is on each branch – not a job for the unskilled!

Thankfully, Jeremy had already ordered 21,000 new trees and hedge plants to be planted this winter – so we hope that the end result is more trees and not less.

The Café at Bowhouse has  new occupiers moving in during January. We are delighted to welcome Hazel Powell and Giacomo Pesce, who will operate Baern (Baern, from the words bere, a Scottish heritage grain, and aern, an ancient Scots word for barn, or granary.) Firing up the wood oven again to produce fresh bread with Scotland the Bread flour and combining the freshest of ingredients available on the doorstep – it will be a welcome focal point for many people and we wish them every success.

Talking of fine ingredients – our Tamworth pigs are happily eating their way through a varied diet of small grains from the sieving we need to do to clean grain for the mill, combined with brewers grains from Futtle Organic  and vegetable peelings from Angry Kulture  who make Kimchi at Bowhouse. Not to mention their foraging which is currently helping us to control couch grass weeds in stubble fields without the need for chemical sprays. The end result is some amazing pork products finding their way to the butchery.

Wishing everyone a very Happy Christmas and a well deserved rest from what has been another busy and at times difficult year. Lets hope 2022 brings some continuity in a good way!

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