Friday, 27 August 2010

A touch of autumn in the air?

The last couple of evenings we have definitely noticed a slight chill in the air and a sense that autumn is around the corner. What a change in the weather it has been these last two weeks! I think we fall into the trap that August is traditionally hot and summery still but for the last few years this has been far from the case. This rain has not been so timely for some of our arable neighbours who are keen to get on with their combining, but for us it has come just in time....we hadn't had proper rain here for weeks and we were beginning to get very worried about the lack of grass around for the sheep.

Grass is an incredible thing! One week the fields are brown and dying and the next, fresh green growth appears and we are now in a fortunate position of being spoilt for choice on where to move them around to. Our priority now is making sure the ewes are in good condition when the rams go in to visit them in a couple of weeks so we are saving our best fields for them. At the moment they are up on the Wittenham Clumps which we have loved as we think they add an even more special quality to the beautiful surroundings. Sometimes they are quite hard to find! The other evening I took Bel to check them and they were right around the back of Castle Hill busy grazing away without a care in the world. We wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to the regular dog walkers on the Clumps who have kindly put their dogs on the lead and to those who have alerted us when sadly walkers haven't and the sheep have been distressed by being chased.

Our ewes who will be lambing in January have already had their time with our boys and seemed very happy to see them! We can't quite believe that our sheep calendar has brought us around to almost one full year already of being here.

One of my favourite times of year is harvest, seeing all the combines busy working in the fields is such an amazing sight. I walked up to meet Roly the other evening who was working in the field behind the combine baling up the straw for our winter bedding. Lisa was back busy baling up some big bales for us and Roly was making smaller bales which always come in handy. It was such a lovely scene on a beautiful evening. It was a late one though, we were still carting the straw at 11pm!

We are not far from setting up our online sales and we have found some fantastic packaging - wool lined boxes! We think it will create a lovely package when it arrives so we will keep the blog updated and post news when it is live.

Finally, this will be our last blog when we still have Meg on the team - as you may remember Meg was very kindly lent to us by David and Barbara Seamark from Bedfordshire and she has been absolutely amazing and helped us get on our feet and start sheep farming. Now we have Bel, 3 dogs is just a bit too much and we are expecting a baby on New Years Eve too! We will miss Meg very much and she will always be special to us.

More news in September.

Camilla, Roly, Boris, Meg and Bel

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