Real Life on an Organic Dairy Farm in West Wales:
The Journal of a Farmer's Wife
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Spring Blossom, The Swallows are Late!, Baby Robins, Cows Out on Spring Grass
A lovely, though chilly spring morning & the blossom is just beginning to come out on various ornamental cherry trees & the fruit trees around the farm. The blackthorn in the hedges has been in flower for a week or two now casting their veil of lace over the still quite stark hedgerows.
We are still waiting for our swallows to arrive...they are very late as they are normally here on the 10th or 11th of April but here we are on 15th & still no sign of them. They have turned up at the neighbours but for some reason they seem to be avoiding us. We miss them & do hope that they will eventually turn up.
The holiday-maker season has started and we were very busy with families staying over the Easter period. With three changeovers in a week (which is very unusual, most bookings are for full weeks not two or three days) it was fairly time consuming keeping up with the laundering & ironing of bed-linen. Unfortunately the weather was truly horrible over the Easter weekend but it did not seem to deter our guests from going the beach & exploring the area & we had lots of children happily running around the place in water-proofs & wellies.
As well as guests in the cottage we have had people staying in our daughter-in-law's gypsy wagon (http://www.oldoakgypsywagon.co.uk/). It was great to see them sitting around the fire & cooking outside and having a thoroughly good time.
In the bank beside the wagon there is a robins nest & we were worried lest the activity should disturb the birds but two day ago I very carefully had a look at the nest and found two fledgling robins waiting for their next feed, so clearly the parent birds were not too bothered by having close neighbours. The babies were tiny grey bundles of fluff with the usual enormous yellow-rimmed beaks gaping wide ready for the next morsel of insect that would be brought to them by their ever busy parents.
The dairy cows are now out in the fields during the day and enjoying the sunshine, though they still spend the nights inside eating silage as there is not enough bulk in the grass at present for milk production. The Farmer always maintains that the grass does not really start to grow until the daffodils have finished flowering & as we have a huge number of daffs here of many different varieties making an extended flowering season it will be a couple of weeks yet before the grass get going & it is still cold, we had a light frost this morning.
The cows frisk around when first going out after milking and then settle down in the sunshine lokking very placid & contented.
We have now finished lambing and the couple of adopted lambs are alll doing well with their new mothers and again, like the cows are all out in sunshine.
Full-time farmers-wife, cook, laundress, gardener, meeter-&-greeter, mobile gate, answerphone service & bibliophile.
Have lived for over 25 years on a 140 acre organic dairy farm in the Welsh hills, with fiddle-playing farmer husband and two sons.
We host farm walks for schools and any other interested parties and have farm open days and are passionate about educating people on where their food comes from and the importance of the countryside.
We also have a sweet holiday cottage with roses round the door available throughout the year for the perfect country retreat.
Contact for further details;
Telephone; 01559 370341
A delightful gypsy wagon on an organic farm in West Wales.
Cabin with kitchen, shower-room & wood-burning stove.
Camping with a difference. http://www.oldoakgypsywagon.co.uk/
As Seen on TV
Penyrallt has been used as a film location on a number occasions for feature films & television productions. 1993Tan ar y Comin / A Christmas ReunionStarring James Coburn & Edward Woodward Directed by David Hemmings & Carol Byrne-Jones. Saban / Y Wennol (Wales) 1996-1999Yr Palmant Aur A Welsh language period drama. Opus TV / S4C (Wales)
1999A Two Way JourneySolo Spot Produciones. (Spain) 2007Y Ty Cymraeg A Welsh language programme about Welsh architecture presented by Dr Greg Stevenson. S4C Cwpwrdd DilladA Welsh language programme about Welsh fashion design. The designs of Adam Marc James were photographed at Penyrallt. S4C
2011Rhod Gilbert's Work Experience; Series 2 - FarmerStand-up comedian Rhod Gilbert trys his hand at farming. BBC One Wales/Presentable TV BBC Two. 2012 Mud MenSeries 3Episode; Blackwall Johnnie Vaughan& Steve Brooker