Saturday, 28 June 2008

I Should Have Known Better

As I said last week, Henry and James sneaked off to Dobsons, and the results of their shopping trip arrived yesterday. We are now the proud owners of a brand new -

Helipede Rotary Windrower!

Guess where

Before Henry goes back to work, we're going to have a few days away in the caravan. We could have gone to a posh hotel and been waited on hand and foot, but we couldn't decide where to go (and we would have to get up in time for breakfast), so we're heading off with our holiday home behind us.

But where are we going?

Award yourself 3 virtual points if you can guess from the first clue.

1 - the highest standing Roman wall is very near here

And 2 virtual points if you need another clue.

2 - it is on the estuary of three rivers.

And for only one point

3 - It is the only seaside town in the Lake District National Park

And for no points at all, it has a very small railway.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Last night the "North West Regional Association of Shorthorn Breeders" (trips of the tongue, doesn't it?), held a stock judging event at Strickley. We try to visit two farms a year, one for stock judging and one for a Herd Visit. They're both a chance to show off your magnificent stock or to be nosey (depending on which side of the host/visitor fence you are). About 30 Shorthorn breeders aged from about 10 to 80+ got the chance to place two classes of Strickley Shorthorns (cows and heifers - six in each) in the right order. But what is the right order? Judging can be subjective but generally judges are looking for the same thing and to create a benchmark for an event like this, we invite a Master Judge. We were very grateful that Wendy Young from the Churchroyd Herd was able to come over to Strickley. She placed the cows in order, and assigned the number of points between each one. Traditionally the cows are numbered A, B, C, X, Y, Z - and the points difference overall must add up to 10. These results are then put on a key sheet, against which the competitors entries are judged. We had picked out 6 cows and 6 heifers and everyone had a good chance to look at them and place them in order. The cards were then collected in and while most farmers looked round the rest of the stock, our secretary Jenny collected together all the cards and worked out the winners and losers, while I went to put the kettle on and carry the supper out onto the kitchen table.

It can be difficult to judge your own stock, as it's possible to know too much about the animal and not judge purely on appearance on the day, but last night James got it right, and his assessment almost matched the judges, scoring a very high mark. Rightly or wrongly his entry was judged to be unfair, and he had to be content with being the Virtual Winner, while the real honours went to Shaun Dixon. James said that either Wendy got it right, or he knew what cows Wendy would like.

The next time the cows are lined up to be judged will be at the Royal Lancashire Show, and hopefully they will shine just as well.

Monday, 23 June 2008

I thought we had got away with it. .

Henry and James have just come back from "popping down to Dobsons". As there was just the two of them and no third generation I reckoned we were safe - no giving in to temptation to buy more Big Boys Toys. But no, they've "almost agreed" on a new Swathe Rake (for putting several mown rows into one before the forage harvester picks the grass up). Apparently we've had ours ages, it could go into a decline at anytime now and this new one is so much bigger and better. I reckon it's a done deal, and they're only pretending to consult me.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Make the most of today . .

. . as it's downhill all the way from here!

Well no, maybe not, but today there will be the most hours of sunshine till this time next year - over 15 hours. I hope wherever you are it is sunshine and not dull clouds or rain. Regular readers will know of course that because of Analemma it won't be the latest sunset until June 27th (so there's plenty more time to sit out in the evening sunshine).

Of course these times are GMT and for our Queensland readers it's the middle of winter!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

At Least Three Goods Reasons

Maybe you won't agree - but - AT LAST WE'VE HAD SOME PROPER RAIN!

I know you can't hang the washing out or sit out on a sunny patio, but -

1 - we can at last scrape the yard instead of just smearing the muck

2 - the dust and muck have been washed of the car and my kind husband has washed it (it's too high for me - that's my excuse)

3 - most importantly it's washed in the muck that we spread after silaging and the grass can start to grow again.

At the moment we've had 0.83 inches, so it may well be an inch by the end of the day - click on the Weather link on the left to see how dry it's been lately.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Saturday, 14 June 2008

Fun and Games

I'm not sure if this will work (and you can see I've got too much time on my hands) - but click on this jigsaw link and see what happens. And if this one's too easy, watch this space!

Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, 9 June 2008

Another Quiet Week

It's been a week since the last post, and before that there was a rush of daily posts. It's not that nothings been happening at Strickley, but just the normal routine. Anyone who's passed by when the wind was in the wrong direction will know we've been applying copious amounts of "liquid manure" on the the silaged fields. Now, if only it would rain a bit to wash it in! (But preferably only at night).

If you want to see photographs of all the fields (not covered in muck!) then look at this link on the Strickley website. And many thanks to Jean for filling in the gaps for the missing images.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Fresh This Morning

The first Strickley Organic Milk has just left the farm.

Strickley Organic

At 00:01 today we became officially 100% Organic and able to sell organic milk. We're on a new collection schedule which may take a bit of getting used to. For many years the milk tanker has come at night, sometime between half past eight in the evening and three o'clock in the morning. We've got used to saying to visitors, "it's tanker night, please park out of the way" and always having milk "on tap" after morning milking. The organic run is back in daylight, and the tanker is due between eight thirty and nine in the morning, so it's fill up the milk jug or there won't be any more till tonight.
To mark this occasion we're having a small celebration out on the patio at dinner time (weather permitting). We've kept back a couple of bottles of fizzy pop to toast the future of Strickley