SEPTEMBER 2008
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Many people I have spoken to think we have had an extremely†wet August however with 83mm of rain as the final total itís not really anything out of the ordinary. What seems to make it seem wetter is that this†has fallen as regular steady rain 5m here 8mm there instead of 20-25mm downpours we would normally expect. One point of interest is that many sycamore trees in our area seem in a very sick state with yellowing leaves and dead branches. I havenít yet found an answer to this from any of my friends so anyone reading this pleases post.† Back on the farm we have a new friend Coco-pop a pony owned by neighbors John and Carol they are short of grass so he is helping out our heifers on the orchard.

It has rained nearly non stop for the last 24 hours giving us over 40mm and a total for September of 75mm so far. I have started the cows grazing on the milestone field we were going to silage it but not after this much rain.  Today if dry I’m spending logging ready for winter.

Yet another wet start to the day and our rainfall gauge will need emptying before month’s end at this rate (capacity is 125mm) Logging is going ahead but these logs although they were dry when carted in the trailer are wet around the edges now. I’m splitting them so these will be for burning after Christmas.  More logging if it dries up today if not I think I’ll start painting the cake breaker we acquired ready for the School’s winter programme.

We have had several drier days so I’m hoping we might be able to do the third cut silage next week (fingers crossed). Yesterday aided by James with his Loadall we have moved the container we use as a wood store. We now have the two containers approximately 7ft apart and the aim is to put a roof between to increase wood storage capacity for ourselves and John our friendly tree surgeon to see more click here http://www.chartleytreeservices.co.uk. Thursday saw a Beaver scout group from Nantwich visiting us looking at animal care as part of their animal friends badge award. The evening passed off dry and they enjoyed it. This weekend we are hosting a Ninja seminar for our resident martial arts group.

We have just come in from a late  milking having vaccinated all the cows and youngstock living inside for the blue tongue virus. (By accident I have also done my own finger ) The industry slogan is DON’T HESITATE VACCINATE to learn more about the disease click here www.defra.gov.uk/bluetongue  The example for cattle as given by the NFU is a 2% mortality with the add on of about 15% infertility sheep I believe are affected far worse with a 25% mortality rate. These are not computer generated predictions but are based on the experience in Germany. On a lighter note today I have spent the afternoon bricklaying on the shed’s outer skin while Simon and Peter have fixed the sit on lawnmower and wired a new key start on the IH 434 tractor.

Saturday’s event at Dearnford Lake in aid of the RABI charity was a success for all concerned and this was its first year I suspect if the weather is as kind to the event in 2009 there will be treble the number. You arrive at these events and don’t have a clue in general where you are to set up so my first stop was the WI (women’s institute ) marquee as I thought them a safe bet for advice and the lady behind the counter was Mrs. Henderson former head teacher at Wimboldsley Primary school (when Simon and Sarah attended). Pitch found and on with the show and with all the marquees trailers and activities such as welly throwing (whanging as they prefer to say) and hot air ballooning there was plenty to do visit www.dearnford.com for more. This week is the Cheshire ploughing match more brickwork and preparations for the NSPCC fundraiser on Saturday.

The ploughing match was an excellent day out and very well attended I’m really pleased at this for all the organizers especially Norman the match secretary who is also one of our PR stalwarts. I did take pictures with the phone camera but no result. However Careys from Manchester University ( also there had so I did get some particularly of the horse ploughing competition. As I write the NSPCC event is in full swing in the shed and the children have enjoyed a milking demonstration and our chicks to look at. Andy has been amongst them with his camera and has taken the monthly blog reports to add pictures to and put on as our monthly reports if all goes well over the next week or two we will be up to date. 

See you soon, Phil


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