July 2020, beyond the pandemic...
I hope this finds you all as well as can be expected and that you are surviving lockdown as best you can. We have lost a very lovely member of our family, my mother, but she died of old age (95) and not the awful Covid 19. Once we are all clear of this awfulness we intend to have a very big celebration of her life.
Obviously as farmers we have carried on working throughout the pandemic as lambing had just begun when lockdown happened. It was quite a successful lambing although the number of singles did bring down the percentage. All growing well now though...
The arable crop this year is spring oats and despite the early drought they look well. The damage done by the dry weather can be seen in the short stems meaning straw will be short this year - quite literally!
Two of our projects have unfortunately been put on hold for the moment. Cliffe Farm Dairy, the new holiday let, has been closed down and we are all now working hard to get it ready for reopening this month. It won't be quite the same with cushions, books and dvds removed and no welcome basket. This upsets us the most as we loved getting the basket ready for our guests with our home made scones and a few essentials. We look forward to the day when we can start all that again as it is such a personal touch for us to welcome our guests.
We'll be welcoming guests soon to our lovely little house set in the wonderful Wiltshire countryside. Landscaping the surrounding fields is underway with a native hedgerow planned as well as a wildflower meadow for visitors to stroll through on mown paths. We will encourage them to sit and enjoy nature at its best here.
Our other project which has stopped for now are the Flowers from the Farm. We had just entered our second year of growing flowers for cutting and when the virus hit we decided to plan ahead and prepare more flower beds to increase our flowers for next year. We have grown a lot of vegetables this year as well for our own use. We were gifted rhubarb crowns which have done very well and there are raspberries and currants growing as well.
The apple trees look good and we now have a heritage apple orchard of 139 trees. By next year the smaller rootstocks may produce enough apples to make our own cider. Really looking forward to that.
Lastly the haymaking has started and the small paddocks round the village have been baled and are under cover. Hay will be short this year, again the early drought forced the grass to seed early so the crop was not huge.
Hopefully when I write the next blog I will have caught up with my family and not just through Zooming, texting and Face Timing! perhaps there will be more a sense of normality about the place. We can but hope.