Thursday, 31 May 2012

Perfect weather . .

. . . to wash the muck in and get the grass growing again!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Look what just dropped in

Thanks to James for the photos (that photography course has come in useful)

Monday, 28 May 2012

Blink and you miss it

I'm sure it used to take much longer - but first cut silage (108 acres) is now all in the pit. By half past six last night the last trailer had tipped it's load by the pit and we could heave a sigh of relief. It's to tidy and roll and then cover, but it's then it's off to spread muck (just before it rains to wash it in?) so the next crop will grow.

Update - I've just seen the slurry tanker leave the yard. . . .

Saturday, 26 May 2012

All go here at Strickley

James mowed last night and this morning. Henry has being rowing up (stopped to milk now - normal life goes on). Len (our contractor) is chopping, David and Tony are carting, and James is now buckraking. We've even got an extra (John?) mowing the rest of the fields (very quickly - mower front and back!). I'm making up packed suppers for the workers (baked dozens of cakes yesterday).

And in between I'm fiddling with my new phone. I stood on the step, took a photo of the action in Wellbank, edited it on the phone and then tweeted it from the phone. Who says this modern technology is beyond me! You can see the (distinctly average) result here. Just click!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Something a bit calmer

If it's all a bit hectic with tractors and machines, click on this video to see what wildlife we've captured this week.

Blue sky, green grass, and a sunny outlook . . .

. . . can only mean one thing - it's silage time!

James started mowing just after dinner and Henry has got the "rowing up machine" hooked up to the tractor and ready to go. He'll be whizzing round the mowed fields just ahead of the contractor's forage harvester (due tomorrow dinnertime).

As usual I took some photographs, but I used the camera on my new phone. It's all a bit technical and it will take me a bit to catch up with this new technology. Gone are the days when I worked in IT and I've slipped a bit behind. The pictures of the mower are OK (but we've got much better ones from other years) and the video is definitely a bit shaky (but see the Blog for May 2011 to watch the same actions 12 months ago). But this photo is not too bad. It does show the brilliant blue sky - not touched up or enhanced in any way!


James is hoping to get a couple of hours off tonight to watch Robert (8) in his first cricket match. So, good luck to Sedgwick Under 10's against Netherfiels Under 10's.

New phone

Just testing blogging from my posh new phone. My typing is a bit slow!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Yet another video

This time a deer crossing the beck yesterday (18th) at 17:45.

Friday, 18 May 2012

All go, but we're still waitng. . .

. . . still waiting for the temperature to rise and raise the sugars in the grass. It's growing, but it's not quite ready for silaging. We took a grass sample yesterday to confirm our thoughts. * Warmer weather is forecast next week (with rain!), so that should help, and then we'll be ready to go!

* edit - this was, I've been told, from the pastures not meadows - i.e. re cows' diet

The new Toilet Block has been open for "business" this week, as we've had two school visits. The only problem is with some little boys, that have very poor aim! Michelle has invested in some stickers to aim at. Our other visitors were much more grown up. The Soil Association Farmer & Grower Board (I think that's the correct name), were having some meetings in Cumbria and asked if they could visit Strickley. They had a tight schedule so it was a short visit, but it was a fine sunny day and the fields and stock looked their best.

And on Sunday we're hosting Old Hutton School HSA's (what used to be called the PTA in the olden days) "Family Spring Activity Walk". A gentle walk with pond dipping, activity sheets and treasure hunt, followed by lunch in Wellbank garden. Hopefully the weather will oblige again. If you're interested get in touch!

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

At Last!

At last I have seen a kingfisher - albeit only on film. This was taken on 2nd May at 11:56 at Strickley. I almost missed it among the numerous clips of pigeons and grey squirrels.

Monday, 7 May 2012

On Track

Today the cows are grazing, for the first time this year, in the fields on the other side of the B6254. They usually walk up and down the lane, leaving various deposits as they go. But over the past few months, in between all the other jobs, we've made a "Cow Track" down the side of the field. This means the lane will be cleaner for everyone, and also there's an alternative access to the farm if we ever need to do anything to the lane. I took a couple of photos of the clean unadorned surface, then some as the cows headed off down the track.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Lawn Mowers

No, they haven't got over the fence. The grass in the bit of The Paddock that we call our garden (aka croquet lawn/football pitch) has got a bit long. So Henry fenced off the steps, caravan, apple tree etc, and opened the gate. It took all day for them to realise there was an extra treat today, but just before milking they started munching.

I'm not sure of all the identities - but this is Strickley Pansy 3rd. Calved last September, and classified VG85 in January


The price of milk

"How much is a pint of milk?" seems to be a common question put to political figures etc. But do you know how much it was in 1936? This is a cutting from The Westmorland Gazette. George Goland Robinson was Henry's great uncle, farming at The Hagg in New Hutton. For those too young to remember pre 1971 we used pounds, shillings and pence, with 240 pence in the pound. Therefore 6d a quarter (3d a pint) equates to 1.25 pence a pint (£0.0125).

Henry's Grandma was an inveterate scrapbook keeper. She clipped and collected cuttings from the 1930's onwards. We have several books, with the pages full of scraps of newsprint. So watch out for more news from the past when there's nothing from the present to report.