Celebrations!.. Sort of.

This week we ‘celebrated’ our 29th wedding anniversary. For me, the day was spent on the JCB telehandler, bucketing spring barley from a heap in the yard over the wooden grain wall that Sam and Christian built and into the grain store. Sam spent the day on the combine and we both finished at 10.30pm.

I found myself wondering how other 56 year old women spend their anniversaries – I even messaged my friend Lou saying ‘I’m 57 you know’ even though I’m 56 (I think)… when I told her that she was the first of our friends to remember the day, she said – ‘Well, I was there – it was pretty memorable!’ and then put crying laughter emojis! What could she have meant?!

I have finally agreed to set up a chicken run for my ex-battery rescue hens who have a life of riley around the farm. They really have been an absolute menace this year – diving on every trailer load of grain as soon as it’s tipped and scoffing all the insects that are clambering through it looking rather shocked at their landing. Grass hoppers are a particular favourite but they don’t touch the ladybirds (is it because they’re red = danger?)

Pigs are always a priority here and nothing gets done on the farm harvest-wise until we’re satisfied that the pigs are comfortable. Today they have been rather more comfortable than me! It was one of those days where it’s too hot to wear your waterproof trousers all the time, but each time you take them off, it tips it down again and of course the rain just runs down your coat and soaks your legs – I’m on my third pair of trousers today! I think I would have been better off in my swimmers and wellies. I might try that…

So harvest is in finally and the huge electric fan (running on renewable energy of course) that blows air under the grain store floor has been going anytime we have a break in the weather. The grain moisture is coming down nicely – proving it was ready to harvest when the rain stopped!! It needs to be below 15% to safely store for the winter.

It’s a bank holiday weekend, and tomorrow would normally be our village fete – one of the highlights of village life here… well, at least I don’t need to spend the afternoon trying to keep the wasps off my cake stall…every cloud as they say!

Sam Wade looks over Eastleach Downs Organic Farm crops

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