This Farming Life!

Date posted: Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Sunlight!

It is wonderful how quickly you forget about the harsh, wintry weather of March when you have had two days,  in a row, of blue skies and sunshine! The snow has all but gone, still some 'ahent the dykes' and up on the hills, hopefully very little to come again. Now that we are into 'official' springtime, and with the changing of the clocks this week-end, we should see a difference in daylight and crop growth. It is time to give the winter wheat and oilseed rape a feed of fertiliser ro boost them. A mixture of warmer weather, more daylight and a top dressing of fertilser will put growth and vigour into semi-dormant crops. I spotted seven roe deer grazing on the oilseed rape yesterday evening, but with a growth spurt, the crop should outwit the deer.

The menfolk are down to a handful of cows left to calve, so have been batching the calved ones in groups ready for the bulls going in, a never ending cycle. The cows are milking and so the calves are growing fast.

They should be out to grass in about 6 weeks, if the grass is growing and able to sustain many mouths. We still have a decent stock of both straw and silage, so no rush for them to go out if the weather isn't good.

The new shed is half way through phase 2. The sheeting is complete now and we await the arrival of the concrete panels for the sides. Hoping to get some use of it yet for cows and calves.

Preparation of last year's spring born calves is underway with clipping and trimming to make them look their best for the sale ring. They will be sold in Forfar Mart at the end of the month. There will be a batch of smaller ones which will be kept back for a later sale. 

When the snow melted from the garden, a few very brave crocus were popping up and have been enjoying the sunshine. I hope to finish the cutting back and some planting in the next week or so. This week is the 'rural' federation show in Forfar, so have been getting my entries ready for Thursday! My bulbs have been a struggle with the cold weather, getting them to bloom at the right time. It looks as if I may have to sit them on the Rayburn overnight to give them extra heating help!

It is also 'opera' week in Kirriemuir, nowadays a musical, but very enjoyable. 9 to 5 is the musical this year, and very entertaining I have heard. Do go if you can. Cortachy church has had a mini make-over recently, with the oil-fired heating being removed and modern, economic electric system installed, and coupled with new carpeting and a few pews removed to make room for a social area, it is looking fit for purpose for a long time. The photo below is coffee and fellowship after the service.

I am almost ready for the first of my guests arriving in early April. I have a photo below of the stool I was recovering when I wrote my last blog. I looks perfect in the Longbank Room. Since the snow receded, Annie, the Border Terrier, has had a hair cut, and looking very svelt and sleek, feeling much lighter too!

Hoping for some settled spring weather over the coming weeks.