Summer is at an end and there is a distinct air of autumn now with the drop in temperature and the beginning of the leaves changing colour. The onset of the new season does not mean an end to our silage making however, there is still a lot of grass to cut and bring in. The re-growth since tha last cut has been good and is now ready. The picture shows the rake being taken along our farm lane to the fields following the mowers which have gone ahead and the rake will arrive in the fields to find the grass cut and lying waiting to be raked into swathes to be ready for the baler and wrapper. The Farmer and Sons are going to have few more long days before it is all done.
Summer is now ending and it has been an amazing time, with glorious weather, perfect for the children off school and for holiday-makers. Here in west Wales we have been very fortunate in not suffering the drought conditions that have been affecting other parts of the country but we do appreciate how difficult it has been for farmers elsewhere...but the rain will come.
Our local agricultural show is taking place this coming weekend and yesterday the Farmer was up on the show field helping with the preparations, putting up hurdles for pens for the sheep-showing and generally being busy. I have had to put my mind to what I shall be entering in the 'Domestic & Handicrafts Section'. I shall enter some baking, and jars of jam & jelly and possibly some floral arrangements such as an arrangement in a teacup and a teapot, fiddly little things that I quite enjoy doing, though I am not a skillled flower arranger! The Farmer will be entering some turned woodwork & maybe something in the home-brewed alchohol classes. As usual I have left it all to last minute, I should have started planning these things a couple of months ago as I know a lot of people do. In the end it's not so much about the competition as supporting the show which is right on our doorstep and involves a lot of effort by a small number of people. These events need to be supported otherwise they will just disappear, which would be great loss to agricultural communities all over the country.
Thanks to the wonderful summer the Farmer has had a very good season with the bees. He took extracted honey last week and so far we have had about 200lbs and there will be more to come though probably not quite such a quantity this late in the season. Apart from the honey bees enjoying the hot weather we have noticed many bumble bees busy working in the gardens and along the hedgerows as well as other pollinating insects making the tree canopy hum. The bramble harvest has been too and I have frozen many pounds as well making jam and jellies. We have also had a good crop of plums, again put in the freezer and made into plum & apple jelly which glows ruby-red in the jars. The next fruit to be harvested will be apples which the Farmer will use for cider and some will be frozen as juice. there is going to be glut of tomatoes any day now and so I need to plan what to do with them. We have good stock of chutneys so I think I will make sauces and passata. I do enjoy this time of year although keeping up with need to preserve all the fruit before it goes over can be quite a challenge and after all there is only so much jam or chutney needed.