Saturday, 1 February 2014

Wild tree filled with wind and rain...

Since joining Twitter (@OmendenFarm), I've let this blog slip. However, there are plenty of topics that demand more space. Since the last post, we've sown a native wildflower mix on a block of irregularily shaped land and on strips in the fields that went into Arable Reversion under the old Countryside Stewardship Scheme. As is the case with such things, patience is a virtue, but the continued rain is cause for despondency:I'm sure lots of the tiny and expesive seeds will have rotted! Fortunately, in tune with the zero-till ethos of contemporary farming, I didn't muck about with the soil, too much, so the water has been getting away comparatively well.

Not growing arable crops anymore, I miss my fix of ploughing and harrowing,but my head tells me that it's best for the soil and the microscopic flora and fauna therein if we don't beat it to a pulp every year. When it comes to reseeding some of our commercial grass and clover fields, I will be keen to try non inversion techniques. Naturally, some of the old hands would say that "it wont work...". We shall see.

We crammed all the plants into the polytunnels to protect them from the rain, leaving the doors open for ventilation. Counter intuitively, as it has been so mild, we've had to water on occasion, even when it has been raining outside. We had planned to reorder the setting out beds to incorporate an irrigation system,but the ground has been too wet to allow much stomping about in heavy boots.(There's enough mud on the farm,I don't need any more!)

Come rain or shine, the next job is fitting up a rainwater harvest system on a couple of barns to help cut the water bill for the cattle, and reduce run off.