This Farming Life!

Date posted: Tuesday, 8th August 2017

Stormy skies and longer shadows

The summer show season is past for another year - at least for Muirhouses, with Banchory and Perth on the last two Saturdays, weather not good for either of them.Lesley has maintained her position of being ahead of Willie in the showring at both these shows, but now the heifers will join their siblings for the rest of the grazing season. 

The hay  was well made and is now stored  away indoors for the winter, should be very good quality. The oilseed rape continues to ripen, getting darker all the time. Heavy rain and high winds are not good just before the crop is ready to harvest as the pods can burst and the seeds lost. By this time next week, and some good dry weather, the combine will be rolling. The oilseed rape straw , for us, needs to be dry, as it will be baled to feed the biomass burner, giving heat and hot water to our cottages,houses, workshop and to dry the spring barley crop if it needs it.

The winter barley was finished the night I wrote the last blog, all in good condition, straw baled a few days later. The field has been cleared and well rotted dung, cattle manure and straw, has been spread over it ready to be ploughed down. Next years crop of oilseed rape will be sown then - it is often in the ground for 12 or even 13 months depending on the ground conditions.

The standing crops of both wheat and spring barley are looking very well, now turning different shades of gold, not long till their harvest now!

Many happy customers and guests these past few weeks, from all over the world, all so glad to enjoy this lovely part of Scotland. Dutch, French, German,Belgian,American , Australian and from all corners of the UK all here to see for themselves how wonderful the Angus Glens are.

The 'Grain Moon' was full last night, a lovely bright one - next one is the 'Harvest Moon' in September. There is such a difference in the evening light now - very black outside in the late evening.

I'm afraid the garden work is minimal at this time of year as attention to my guests and their accommodation comes first. There is still some colour in the herbaceous borders, but the garden takes on an air of wild beauty just now. As long as the grass is cut, it all looks respectable! The hostas are flowering, looking lovely, as are the everlasting sweetpea and the very fragrant honeysuckle. The pale pink rose in the photo climbs up what was at one time, late 19th, early 20th century, a flagpole! Not strong enough for that now, but is a rustic backdrop for the rose.