Many thanks to the five volunteers who are helping to rescue our apple trees. It has galvanized me into action. It is so easy to let jobs like that slide by when there seem to be other pressing jobs to do at this time of year in dwiderling daylight hours. I hear walkers are good at having a quick chat and encouraging our helpers.
Some may think I am being rather brutal taking down the bramble and blackthorn which is always a good habitat for various animals large and very, very small. But I am getting advice from FWAG (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group) on how to make more use and manage the wide variety of habitats on the farm. I was going to control the bramble where the Ash trees were poisoned. But it seems the bramble will protect the new ash seedlings/hazel from deer nibbling and there is a good run of bramble down the path to make a 'superhighway for mammals.Lets hope there are hedgehogs in there. We did get one up in the farmyard this year snuffling and pottering around at night. Hadn't seen one for ......number of years. Not even squashed on the road.
It good to see people reporting sightings of birds/mammals around the village in The Hill. Every year I mean to keep a record of what's on the farm but just like clearing around the apple trees I never make time. 10yrs ago the RSPB did a survey on the farm and said for the size farm (60 acres) we had an above average variety/numbers of birds.
Talking of birds, we haven't had the usual pigeon damage on our brussel sprouts and other brassicas. Long may it continue. Hopefully the pigeons are being tempted by the abundance of berries/nuts around this year. This week will be our first week of harvesting Brussel Sprouts and the tops. We still have a variety of kales and cabbages for sale that luckily haven't been damaged by the caterpillars. You can see them all growing when you walk past.
Look forward to seeing you in the farm shop where you can now start to place your Christmas order on-line from our website or links from our facebook/twitter/instagram pages..In line with many other organizations the orders will not just be on a chosen day but we will have a system of time slots. This hopefully will reduce queuing and keep everyone safe. Please chat to Phil and I for more information.
Have a great Christmas.
PS Lastly I have attached a Photo from last week with Andrew and I harvesting Kale
We still enjoy doing what we do together after 30yrs