Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Scarecrows and tractors

wheat in Great Forest
beans in Grove Field

A blustery day today for walking around the fields and rather wet and muddy underfoot but despite spending the last weeks of December under snow, the crops look surprisingly healthy.

It's always good to find a job in the workshop in January, so Bill has been familiarising himself with his new tractor and catching up with some maintenance jobs such as mending the pigeon scarer. 

Pigeon control is important at the moment, as given half a chance, the pigeons will eat all the green leaves of the oilseed rape plants in the field and we won't have a crop. The best control is shooting pigeons as it keeps them away permanently but we also try to keep them off the crops with hawkeye scarers, propane gas scarers and old fashioned scarecrows, including this netball playing one that we used to advertise Open Farm Sunday before she was put out in the field. 

Saturday, 1 January 2011

New Year

After a cold December spent selling Christmas trees, Bill was pleased to shut the barn door on Christmas Eve with only a handful of trees left and retreat to the warmth of the house to celebrate Christmas.

Although the snow has disappeared, the ducks can't get onto the pond because it's still iced over and so have pushed their way under the fence into the field where the pigs lived and have been treating the wallow as a mini pond. The ground here is wet and muddy with water standing in the low ways so it's hard work walking along the footpaths and the horses kept in the livery yard are limited to turning out on a rota basis otherwise the fields would be a sea of mud.