This Farming Life!
Date posted: Tuesday, 6th March 2018
The Beast from the East!
What a change since I wrote two weeks ago! Back then it felt like spring was almost upon us, how wrong could we be. The Beast from the East arrived a week ago and is showing no signs of leaving yet. There was a slight thaw allowing roads to be cleared but today we are back to 'the white stuff' with lots of slushy mess underneath. I have also heard it called 'hysteria from Siberia', mostly referring to overpurchasing of milk and bread during the worst of the weather, leaving the shelves bare and some folks without. While the school was closed, the children had a great time sledging and building igloos, it has been the best snow for these jobs in a long time. It was the Spring Show at Inverurie last Wednesday, the first day of the snow, far from being a spring day. It was a shame for all the machinery stands outside in the snow and cold. It was a good show of livestock undercover with plenty of onlookers that had braved the roads.
For Willie and Peter the main focus has been the calving cows and youngstock, feeding and bedding, sorting them into groups when they have calved. The stored straw is lasting well, but plenty will be needed to keep the beds dry for the calves. When the severe wind had whipped all the snow off the crops onto the roads, the pigeons were having a great feast on the oilseed rape. As long as the plants are covered with snow the pigeons can't do damage! It could be a while until any spring cultivations get under way as there will be wet ground for a while.
As the garden has been under a blanket of snow, I have turned my attention to cleaning out cupboards and drawers! What a revelation - I have found things I had forgotten about! It does take time if you start to read/look at photos, but the end product is well worth it. I have even been through wardrobes and cut up old cotton shirts into dusters/workshop 'cloots' with buttons going into the very old, multi-generation button box! So many of my 'off farm' evening activities have been cancelled due to the weather that I am finding plenty of time to catch up with sewing/mending/reading that always goes to the back of the queue. Tonight I hope to recover a stool for one of the guest rooms, a project I have put off for a couple of years, but will look smart once done.I did all the unpicking last night ready for the new cover tonight!
The garden birds are having a hard time just now, so I have been making sure they have crumbs, fat balls and water every day. I will give credit to Dave Lyall for the super photo of snow blown road coming into Northmuir, very atmospheric and exactly how it was last week.