This Farming Life!

Date posted: Tuesday, 25th July 2017

Harvest time approaches

In my last blog I spoke of the preparation for Kirriemuir Show on the 15th. The weather had been good all that week, but rained on the show day, followed by more lovely weather. It was very wet at judging time but faired up in time for the afternoon programme in the main ring. Lesley again beat her father by winning the Limousin champion with Melody who went on to be reserve inter-breed champion of the show. Willie was delighted to win the prestigious Jack Pattullo Trophy for the best pair of animals in the beef section with Eric, the stock bull and his daughter Black Missy. It is a lovely trophy, (see picture below), very like the Claret Jug at the Open Golf!!  There were racing pigs in the main ring, a new attraction, but one which I would think would be repeated.

Rachel and Iona had a bit of competition in the young handlers this year and were awarded 2nd and 3rd behind a very able young lady who had brought up her calf from birth, well done Ruby! Iona, however, did well in the children’s industrial section, winning a trophy for the best exhibit, so lots of silver polish needed for the coming year.

I have fully recovered from my wasp encounter and there seems to be no more activity nearby, thank goodness.

The second cut of silage has been exceptionally good, baled today, but hay is still in the making with a few damp days on the horizon, it won’t be baled any time soon.

Winter barley harvest is happening as I write this, a good crop of both grain and straw, and most importantly, dry!  The grain is for feed so is stored to use throughout the winter and the straw is for cattle bedding in the winter and also for the biomass burner which heats 3 houses, workshop and grain dryer (if needs be). A very efficient fuel.

I promised you a photo of the oilseed rape as it matures, see below, still green at this stage. It has grown from flower to seed pods and eventually yields tiny black seeds in the pods. It has just been sprayed to aid level ripening, so is about 3 weeks from harvest. Dry weather is a great help at that time too.

The potatoes are still flowering, but many crops have already been’pulverised’, shaws removed, to stop the potatoes from growing too big, mainly seed crops at this time.

In the garden my blackcurrant crop has been massive, so lots in the freezer for winter time.  With the drier weather the grass has not needed cut so much lately, but the clover is flowering below mower height  making a natural looking lawn. Steading Cottage garden is beautiful at this time of year, see photo below, lots of visitors enjoy the garden and the views.