All is good on the farm. With this wonderful weather you just wouldn’t want to be anywhere else! Here is John on the left, turning over some ground for a new fertility ley in Home Field, next to the farmhouse (closely pursued by a huge flock of seagulls!). We use rye grass and clover for this, and the wonderful, nitrogen fixing clover works its magic over the ley period leaving the soil rich and fertile, ready for the next wheat or barley crop. Fertility building leys are a key element in the organic rotation and naturally improve the soil.
This is our crop of organic spelt (with the lovely John) he’s 6’2″…so its going to be an impressive amount of straw! We usually chop the straw and turn it in during the autumn or spring cultivations (depending upon which crop is being grown) as this adds fertility too. This year straw is going to be very scarce and several of our farming neighbours have asked us to sell the straw. It’s a difficult decision – I mean, straw will fetch a good price this year but (to quote John again) you don’t want to sell your shirt only to have to buy a jacket – and if we don’t chop the straw in we may be left with a nitrogen deficient soil in some areas, and as you will have heard me say before: successful organic farming is all about the soil.
One of the best plots of soil is in the kitchen garden – but sadly it is being savaged again by dratted rabbits!
John has suggested before that we give up growing our own veg and just grow organic rabbits for the pot…but, I’m not going to be beaten by a rabbit on this! and, even though they have munch their way through my celery, fennel, beans, carrots and lettuce (depsite the ‘soporific effect’ to quote Beatrix Potter) we have re-planted and have moved the dog run inside the kitchen garden – and we are about to re-fence the whole area (and try not to fence them actually inside with the vegetables). So watch out Peter & friends…your days are numbered!
The wild life pond is looking beautiful. New leaves in the pretty green canopy reflected in the natural spring fed water- it’s just lovely. Whilst walking the dogs last night, we were so pleased to see the tadpoles are present still in good numbers – the whole pond will be hopping if they all survive!
The mass of black below is in fact all tadpoles – they have gone from skinny little ones to chubby little marbles with tails 🙂