Today my main task on the farm has been hedgecutting. There is only a few days left of hedgecutting season, as it is illegal to cut farm hedgerows from 1st of March onwards to protect nesting birds.
We purchased a new (well second hand) hedgecutter recently. The old one only had a 4.5m reach and had spool valves (hydraulic controls) which came through the back window of the tractor. This meant turning round to operate the machine, so gave the operator neck ache.
The new mower (the official name for a hedgecutter that attaches to a tracotr is a ‘reach mower’) has 6.5m of reach, electric controls and boot flails. Boot flails leave a neat finnish on the hedge and are good for cutting the fine annual growth of a hedge. The old machine had a ‘Bushwacker’ head which was more suited to cutting thick branches.
It’s a slow job cutting the hedges, but throughout the winter the farm has the available labour to undertate the task. We have one more hedge to cut next week and then the farm will be looking all trim and tidy.
We prefer to trim the hedges later in the winter so that the berrys are available for the birds through the coldest months. By March there is often other foodstuffs becoming available for the birds.
Leaking Hydraulic Ram
When ever a second hand piece of equipment is purchased, there is always some unknown about its condition. We have been really pleased with the new mower. The only thing really is a small leak on one of the hydraulic rams and a seal on the gearbox. They are just small repairs and will get done before we need the machine again in the summer time. During August we use the mower to cut the grass on the ditch sides to make way for the excavator to clean the ditches out. Drainage is very important here in the low lying fields of the Vale of York. Each ditch must be mown and de-silted annually to keep the drainage system working effectively.
Our village produce show has just celebrated it’s 20th year which is a great achievement for a small village.
Each year the committee members (me being one of them) look at the categories and make slight changes to the programme and a couple of years ago I suggested an egg category. Since it’s addition to the show, the egg category has been hotly contested. I am yet to win although have won secondand third places in the past with my guinea fowl and leghorn hen eggs.
This year I entered some guinea fowl eggs and khaki campbell duck eggs and was delighted to get second and third place. Roll on next year, the contest is still on to the win first place!
Well I have just spent the afternoon baking for the porduce show and have to say that I don’t think I have any prize winners.
I have made a victoria sponge, butterfly buns, cheese scones and fruit scones. Everyone of them has had a disaster. The victoria sponge is as flat as a pancake, the butterfly buns have sunk, the cheese scones are very thin and the fruit scones I forgot to glaze with beaten egg so look abit pale!
The produce show is tomorrow and I am on the committee so like to make an effort and usually manage to grab a trophy as well but don’t think I will this year. Will let you know how I get on. Off to sort my eggs for the egg category which is hotly contested!!
I am always staggered by the contacts made via this website and the social networking sites I use such as twitter and facebook. Yesterday I received a phone call on my answer phone from Orange Magazine who wanted to talk to me about my twitter activities. I phoned back this morning and had a chat about why I use twitter and what my highlights of using twitter are. So if you have an Orange phone and get their magazine you may just read about farmingfriends and my twitter activities.
I am delighted that a photograph that I took of one of the crocus flowers from my garden has been used for the front cover of the Ample Bosom Spring Catalogue.
I was thrilled when my colleague Judith suggested to Sally, that my crocus photo might look good on the cover of the Spring catalogue.
Ample Bosom Spring Catalogue 2009 With Farming Friends Crocus Photograph On Cover
I work part-time for Ample Bosom, an online and mail order lingerie, swimwear and nightwear company with a large range of sizes and styles from leading brands. If you are looking for beautiful, comfortable and well made lingerie, swimwear and nightwear, then Ample Bosom is the place to look.
If you are not already on their mailing list then request an Ample Bosom catalogue today. When you get your catalogue you may notice that the writer of the catalogue has attributed the photograph to Judith, which doesn’t matter, but I can assure you that I took the photograph back in January 2004.
Ample Bosom was founded by Sally Robinson, nearly ten years ago. Sally is a farmer’s wife who lives on a beautiful farm in the heart of North Yorkshire. Ample Bosom is run from the farm and the offices were barns on the farm that have been converted.
I know that Sally would like to feature a picture of the white horse at Kilburn on the cover of one of the Ample Bosom catalogues, so if you have a photograph of the white horse or any nature, farming or North Yorkshire scenery photographs that you would like Ample Bosom to feature on the cover of one of their catalogues, then please leave a comment and I’ll send you an email so that you can send in your photograph for Sally to have a look at.
I am pleased and honoured to be tagged by Julie from Succulents by J for 8 happy facts.
So here are my 8 happy farm facts:
I am happy when my five beautiful white and ginger cats greet me in a morning and I am particularly happy if none of the cats are missing!
I am happy when Hatty the hen looks healthy and is laying her beautiful flavoursome eggs every day.
I am happy when I have found the ground nest that my guinea fowl like to lay their eggs in and I am especially happy when this nest is not in the middle of a nettle patch and the circling magpies have not taken the eggs.
I am happy to have seen at first hand calves being born and it is a special moment when they stand and start to suckle.
I am happy that my husband decided to allow me to have my pigs (Cagney and Lacy) and that I saw my first Saddleback piglets being born.
I am happy when the eggs start to pip in the incubator and I am even happier when all the chicks have successfully hatched out.
I am happy when I see the farm wildlife merrily going about their business – it is a thrill to have seen such range of animals from the barn owl, pheasant, hare, deer, toad to the snail, mole and even the fox, as long as it keeps away from my poultry!
I am happy when I hear my guinea pig squeaking out as I walk on by the guinea pig hutch.
When tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you, then post the rules and list eight things that make you happy. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to eight other people.
If you would like to write eight happy thoughts then consider yourself tagged. I hope you have enjoyed my eight happy farm facts.
I love your happy farm thoughts Sara, I am with you on all of them. As you already know I spent many years growing up on a farm, and I loved every minute of it, although only seen in the eyes of a child, it was much harder for my Dad, but although long hours and many sleepless nights, I am sure he loved it too. x Comment by Louise – December 19, 2007 @ 9:54 am
Thank you so much for your kind words.Living on a farm is a wonderful experience. I can highly recommend it as you do.I find it hard work too but very enjoyable. spending time with all my livestock is my favourite past-time. Thanks for visiting and commmenting as always.
Sara @ farmingfriends
Although our wheat bale tractor did not win one of the cash prizes of £3000, we were sent two boxes of weetabix in the post.
I am very impressed with weetabix as they made us feel that our entry was really appreciated even though we did not win. Not only did they phone us to say that we were not successful but they also sent a letter thanking us for our entry and then they sent the gift.
So thanks weetabix – not only did you run an enjoyable competition but you took the time to show the farmers who entered the competition that you appreciated their efforts.
On Wednesday the cattle that have spent the Summer at the Ings were moved back to our farm.
The day was spent moving the cattle in the livestock trailer into our back field. The grass has grown in the back field since the calves from last season were brought in for the Winter so the cows and this years calves have some grass to graze on.
The injured calf is now limping about the field and sucking from his mother which is great news.
The photo hunt theme for this week is pink which was potentially a difficult one for a farming website. However the well known sayings, “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight” and “red sky in the morning, shepherd’s warning” reminded me that I had some farming landscape photographs with pink skies.
If you would like to join Photo Hunters then click on the image below for more information.