Friday 24 June 2016

Brexit Wins

Well, the country went to the polls yesterday and today we have the leave Europe. As a family our votes went to both sides of the ballot but are nonetheless surprised at the outcome. The whole business of the In/Out campaign was very ugly at times and there was a lot of scare-mongering from both sides, but it seems that the nation has sent a clear message to the government, they want change. What happens next is going to be interesting to say the least. Having spoken to a lot of farmers and others working in the agricultural sector in the last few weeks, the overwhelming view was for Brexit. That said the farmers vote is very small in the great scheme of things. Interestingly one of the most rural areas of Wales, Ceredigion, which is only 4 miles from where we are in Carmarthenshire, voted to Remain in Europe.It is going to be very interesting to see what comes from the farming unions and the politicians on how they are going to support British agriculture in this new scenario with no more CAP to pay farm subsidies. It is certainly going to concentrate a lot of minds in the farming industry.
Whatever everyone thinks of this outcome it is up to the politicians to make it work and for the people to make sure that the politicians make it work.

Though parts of England have been having such dreadful weather lately we have been lucky with dry days of warm sunshine enabling the Farmer & the Sons to continue with the endless summer job of silage-making. They have been out and about all over the neighbourhood till late at night with the silage kit making many hundreds of bales for several of the dairy farms in the parish. Political ructions don't affect the need to ensure our winter fodder is in good supply and stored well to continue the nation's milk supply.

The end of June is in sight and the roses are doing superbly hence the photo of roses cut to decorate my kitchen table.

Thursday 9 June 2016

Successful Open Farm Sunday

Our event for Open Farm Sunday ( very well.
We had glorious weather for it and after a lot of hard work in the days running up to it the day itself ran very smoothly and happily for both us and our visitors. We had about 50 people which we were more than happy with. It is a good number for a farm that is not near near any large centre of population...of course it does not match up to the the thousands that visited some farms in England, but we would have had problems coping with a very large number of visitors. As it was we had a steady trickle throughout the day. The people who did come were a mixture of locals, friends, and holiday-makers and of all ages from 5yr olds to 85yr olds. Everyone seemed very pleased with what they saw and learned. The Farmer took groups on walks around the farm and showed them everything that we do and for many it was a real eye-opener...being shown a hen's ear, getting near enough a dairy cow to stroke her and to learn about what happens to our milk once it leaves the farm. It's all important stuff for non-farming people to have access to which is what Open Farm Sunday is all about.

Today the Farmer has taken the first of two batches of bull calves to our local livestock market. He left at about 6.45am and when he comes back I will accompany him with the second load. It is a relief to be able to sell these calves now that our TB restrictions have been lifted. We had to keep all calves born over the past year which is not what usually happens. Under normal conditions all our bull calves are sold at about a week old to be reared for beef elsewhere.

The gardens are beginning to look rather gorgeous. The roses are doing very well this year, particularly the ones around the holiday cottage which are giving the most magnificent display. The weeds too are benefiting from the generous doses of good muck that all the beds and borders were given back in early spring and so each day I try to clear a goodly amount of nettles, docks and buttercups from the most obvious areas. But even where the weeds get the better of me, they fill up gaps with greenery, some of quite sculptural and dramatic in the form of the hated giant hogweed. The foxgloves are beautiful and the little yellow Welsh poppies neither of which I really regard as weeds and tend to leave where they are. Creeping buttercup is a problem and goose-grass which swathes everything it touches in shawls of clinging strands of vibrant green.

Thursday 2 June 2016

Open Farm Sunday

I am up betimes on another beautiful early summer morning. We have been having glorious weather recently and things are as result very busy here. The Sons are out all around the parish cutting silage, the Farmer has been able to get the sheep sheared this week and we are preparing the farm for visitors on Open Farm Sunday,5th least I hope we get some visitors, one never knows with such events how many people will turn up, if any. We will of course be ready with a tidy yard, a tea urn and lots of cake for whoever does come.
Today we must go out with the big signs supplied by the organisers of Open Farm Sunday ( put them at the various road junctions near the farm and at the farm entrance.It is yet another form of publicity as well all the tweeting I have been doing and our local paper The Carmarthen Journal ( has put a piece I sent them onto their website and on their Twitter & Facebook pages. I have been taking posters around the local villages and shops and everyone has been very helpful. So, we'll wait and see what happens on Sunday. Meanwhile much cleaning, sweeping and weeding is being done and setting up trestle tables for teas and working out displays of photographs, old implements, etc. and generally making everything look tidy & welcoming. Roll on Open Farm Sunday!