Tuesday 11 October 2022

Autumn Fruits & Autumn Calving

We are having some glorious autumnnal weather here in west Wales. Once the early morning mist in the valley has lifted we are treated to blue skies and clear sunshine with that indefinable scent of autumn pervading the air. On the farm the Farmer has been busy gathering the apple harvest and making many gallons of delicious juice that is frozen to see us through the winter. it has been a very good year for apples with heavy crops eveywhere. A number of neighbours have been bringing their apples up to the farm for pressing which the Farmer does free of any charge and provides a service for all those people who do not have any means of storage for their fruit. As well as the prolific apple crop the season is seeing a huge quantity hazelnuts which I have gathered. There are also masses of acorns and beech mast neither of which we can make use of, and the hawthorn trees are glowing with their rich red haws. The trees are still in leaf though the colours are beginning to change and the ground is increasingly littered with fallen leaves. This time of year is when we are are in the full throes of calving and the Farmer is kept busy each morning & evening feeding the steadily growing numbers of calves. We have been using sexed-semen in the AI (artificial insemination) programme and the results ahve been almost 100% successful in giving us heifer calves...I say almost 100% succesful in that we have had one bull calf! We are milking about 80 cows at present and the new heifer calves will be be reared as 'followers' to join the herd in about two years time. As always in farming the long view is taken.
Although the summer is well over Elder Son has been out again this week making silage for a neighbour and though it was only a small number of bales off a rather wet field it is additional fodder for the winter.