May is the best month in the year on the farm, with lots of new life and bluebells!
The grass is finally growing and the mix of warm weather and showers should give everything a boost.
Lambing has now finished and the Texels have been shorn. We shear the Texels earlier than the Hebrideans as the wool needs to “rise” away from the sheep before shearing. This happens earlier with the Texels and they are also more likely to suffer from fly strike (when flies lay eggs on the fleece the resulting maggots start eating into the sheep). If there isn’t wool to lay on, they aren’t as attractive. The Hebrideans will be sheared in July and we” be inviting customers to take part in this again.
The miraculous swimming lamb
A first this month was a swimming lamb!
A 3 week old Hebridean fell into the River Aire and swam to the other side. It managed to scramble onto a ledge but the banks are very steep and it got stuck. It was hidden under brambles until a local dog walker heard it and came to find us (thank you!). We managed to get it back to Mum who was busy with her other lamb and hadn’t even missed the adventurous sibling!
The cows are still calving and we’re about halfway through the Spring calvers. More stock has been moved to St Aidans and they now have the required number to keep the grasses back. We’ll move more cows there in July when the birds have finished nesting.
In the garden, we have been busy trying to keep nettles and other weeds controlled
We’ve been sowing beans, courgettes, cucumbers, salads, sweetcorn and also flowers to attract beneficial insects into the garden. The last of the potatoes have now been planted, and the polytunnel has been planted with the first of the tomato plants.
Summer school visits
May is also a busy month for school visits. Working with Natural England and the Country Trust, we’re able to provide free visits for schools. The children help to collect the eggs, feed the pigs and bottle feed lambs, as well as seeing the cows and exploring the garden. Kids of all ages enjoy the visits and learn about where their food comes from.
We’ve also had a visit from St Aidans’ staff and volunteers to discuss working with them in the future on some joint events. So, keep your eyes peeled for that!
As always, you can pop by the butchery and farm shop if you’re wanting to pick up any meat or veg. Or just to say hello!