The farming and smallholding thread

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
While I agree we should all help farmers, and buy local etc, I am ignorant about how easy it is for farmers to get the public on to their land to help out/understand where food comes from? How many farmers on here have reached out to their local school?

In no way meant to be disparaging. Just wondering how each side is trying to reach out to the other
I suppose most rural communities are already involved in farming.

We often have the local school (which my kids go to) coming for a day out on the farm.

Invariably it just ends up with some 7 year old telling me his dad’s tractor is better than mine.

I think we need to go further afield and start reaching out to inner city schools.

Kids up here have seen it all before.
 
While I agree we should all help farmers, and buy local etc, I am ignorant about how easy it is for farmers to get the public on to their land to help out/understand where food comes from? How many farmers on here have reached out to their local school?

In no way meant to be disparaging. Just wondering how each side is trying to reach out to the other
Depends on the task, for instance you can’t risk losing a crop because someone is new on the job and fcuks up using a grain drill or planter. Menial tasks would be about it.
On this side of the pond in Canada at least, all farms are now theoretically sealed, if you don’t live or work there already you can’t step foot on the property because biohazard security is being fully enforced so no new workers allowed.
 
I suppose most rural communities are already involved in farming.

We often have the local school (which my kids go to) coming for a day out on the farm.

Invariably it just ends up with some 7 year old telling me his dad’s tractor is better than mine.

I think we need to go further afield and start reaching out to inner city schools.

Kids up here have seen it all before.
that’s my experience of the rural community, either your parents have a farm or your mates do.

I reckon you’re right @Ravers, if you want city kids to understand where food comes from, they need to come to you. And not just to smell some dung covered sheds but for long enough to appreciate the food chain.

I reckon it takes about three day’s residential and a load of cash. If I had it, I’d love to see farmers sign up. Do you reckon they would (accepting yoof on a farm is a HSE nightmare)
 

Oops

War Hero
Thought twice about posting this, but it's true, fecking annoying, and gonna end in tears no doubt, but here we go.

Phone starts ringing at 07.15 (never a good sign)"Mr ****** there's a cow lying very still, its not moved for an hour"..
This is an old quiet cow, with a stonking 15/16 pure six week old calf at foot, turned out in 30ac. of parkland, a couple of miles from home, with calf's dad our Senior Bull Indian, the most expensive animal I've ever purchased in my life X3, a son of the World Record priced bull of his time (born not far away from @Ravers' , everything's classy up there!)
Anyhow, I knew it was ok last night , cos we spent alot of the afternoon repairing the fence on a bad corner on the road where a feckin tractor piloted by
A . A young lad, probably knackered from stupid hours sat in the seat of his 55kph stallion nodded off/ lost control and is too afraid to own up to his boss.
B. A grade one dickheed, still high on marching powder from Friday night,
who was lucky not to hit the 150 yr old oak tree , just leaving some JD green paint on it instead of his face and his two brain cells.
There's been two tractor write offs already this year, both times 'beak' has allegedly been involved, speed certainly has.
Either way, were £300 down and a tad displeased with the day, slightly concerned that Indian had been spooked by the affair, and watching old '313' acting a bit twitchy too!
Sure enough, this morning she's lying dead with 7wk old son curled up against her....
No thrashing....staggers ( magnesium deficiency)
No milk fever (calcium/ mn/ mg)
No other obvious other causes ..

'Sh*t just happens sometimes!'

Plans made, mates' days spoiled, favours called in....
Three stock trailers, two quads, two lasso's, three fit young folk who all 'know the job'..
(Three old fellas that daren't say owt!)
One chance, stalked in, lassoo half successful... It dragged two fit lads 20 yards before it broke free.
I wanted to shoot it with .243, overruled 7:1
( Think roe deer crossed with a rhino)

Soo, another 40 mile round trip for two trailer loads of 'soft cows' with calves at foot...
It'll have to learn fast, it's got choice of 6 new mums.They'.
ll let it suckle, it depends whether it'll overcome it's 'instinct/ stubbornness' ...
That's life, and death of a typical springtime on a livestock farm...

What's not gonna help though, is
ALL THE FECKIN TOWNIE DOG WALKERS
wandering all over the neighbouring land, its part of the Hall's grounds, not a footpath within the 300 ac environs.....Feck off!!
Watchin packs of b*st*rd daytrippers standing and pointing at the goings on and kids "Eeerr that's disgusting" as we loaded the dead coo into a tipping trailer, didn't help my blood pressure..
Another reason the .243 stayed locked away!!
I just know by Tuesday , it'll be RSPCA reports...
Wednesday ..Trading Standards Animal Health Dept...
Thursday.. State Vetinary Service enquiries
Friday.... Calf'll decided it's fate!

Oh, and old '313, softy cow'...
That's £140 bill tomorrow.
Instead of me being a typical 'efficient' farmer and cashing her in three years ago when she 'missed taking to the bull'
Itd've been £750 in the bank, but I'm soft in the head (and heart).. my old ladies get one chance, they've 'looked after me' I like to think I'm compassionate enough to 'look after them'...

THE FECKIN TRESPASSING GAWPING CNUTS HOWEVER.....

Rant over..
Beer poured..
Pills lined up...

Out.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
There's been two tractor write offs already this year, both times 'beak' has allegedly been involved
Yep. The farm lads love a bit of nose gay.

Every cunt round here is on the stuff. The village pubs round here are like London rave venues at the weekend.
 
that’s my experience of the rural community, either your parents have a farm or your mates do.

I reckon you’re right @Ravers, if you want city kids to understand where food comes from, they need to come to you. And not just to smell some dung covered sheds but for long enough to appreciate the food chain.

I reckon it takes about three day’s residential and a load of cash. If I had it, I’d love to see farmers sign up. Do you reckon they would (accepting yoof on a farm is a HSE nightmare)
There is quite a lot going on. Open Farm Sunday is the biggest one, where farmers basically have an open day, it ranges from very small to some that resemble a county show. There is a scheme for schools to 'Facetime' a farmer which also has a good uptake. I don't do OFS, though I may be tempted in the future, I don't do the Facetime thing because I'm crap at public speaking. What I do try and do is engage in a positive manner with anyone I see walking etc through the farm, and tell them what I am doing at that moment, and why. One of this years jobs was to get some signage made up to describe what was growing/mooing/bleating in any field along a public path, now on the backburner.

Rather than a three day residential course, perhaps say year 6/7 could have food and farming as their topic for a term, coupled with fortnightly farm visits. But it needs to be taught in an objective manner, not the ag bashing that Channel 4 and the beeb seem to delight in.

Something that perhaps may need looking at is peoples perceptions of what a farm is, does and looks like. We have 1200 acres, 500 grass, 500 arable, 200 woodland in Wiltshire, someone in the fens may have 3k acres all arable and veg, in Loamshire 4 acres for an intensive chicken unit and outside Cheltenham 6 acres for intensive pigs, in Wales small dairy farms and Yorkshire extensjve sheep farming. All farms, and all important in their own way, but very different.


I would like to say that this current crisis would be a catalyst for a change in how people shop, store and cook but the panic buying and subsequent waste of fresh that we have seen makes me think that is a rather forlorn hope.

If you want to help farmers, buy local or at least buy British, and accept, indeed embrace seasonality: don't expect lamb in January but celebrate it in September.

One last thing, a quote from Abi Reader, a dairy farmer from Cardiff:
" The agricultural industry is caught up in the middle of carnage, yet I can feel the unwritten code filtering through all of us - we will provide food for the nation.
Safe, traceable, affordable food, like we always have."
 
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Reference the old inner city working farm, a friend got his hairstyle in the paper, with a baby lamb born the other day. Tollcross farm is still on the go, hope being the latest lamb.
 

Oops

War Hero
Re. The kids thing..
We seriously looked into it for a Higher level Scheme option..
Massive cash available to do up buildings into 'classrooms' etc for schools to come for a day...
There's a farm up the road just running a 'petting farm' fleecing divorced Dad's and Bored Mum's for a brew and slice of cake...
We enquired about his experiences,
"check with your insurance ' was his first comment..
Apparently these inner city kids, whose Mums' kill 99% of all germs etc. are touching a goat/ calf then going home and squitting for a week cos they've no natural immunity to common bugs on a farm.
Hand wash basins are nearly touching each other, but kids......

The other less palatable truth..
He HAS to TB test six monthly..( we' re in a 4 yr zone)
not because of his animals infecting badgers etc...
It's because our more 'Dusky' types from Blackburn/ Rochdale etc. give it to the farm animals.
Oh , and a rabbit bite is £2k, some folk have been round twice but that's only the Scousers!
 

Oops

War Hero
There is quite a lot going on. Open Farm Sunday is the biggest one, where farmers basically have an open day, it ranges from very small to some that resemble a county show. There is a scheme for schools to 'Facetime' a farmer which also has a good uptake. I don't do OFS, though I may be tempted in the future, I don't do the Facetime thing because I'm crap at public speaking. What I do try and do is engage in a positive manner with anyone I see walking etc through the farm, and tell them what I am doing at that moment, and why. One of this years jobs was to get some signage made up to describe what was growing/mooing/bleating in any field along a public path, now on the backburner.

Rather than a three day residential course, perhaps say year 6/7 could have food and farming as their topic for a term, coupled with fortnightly farm visits. But it needs to be taught in an objective manner, not the ag bashing that Channel 4 and the beeb seem to delight in.

Something that perhaps may need looking at is peoples perceptions of what a farm is, does and looks like. We have 1200 acres, 500 grass, 500 arable, 200 woodland in Wiltshire, someone in the fens may have 3k acres all arable and veg, in Loamshire 4 acres for an intensive chicken unit and outside Cheltenham 6 acres for intensive pigs, in Wales small dairy farms and Yorkshire extensjve sheep farming. All farms, and all important in their own way, but very different.


I would like to say that this current crisis would be a catalyst for a change in how people shop, store and cook but the panic buying and subsequent waste of fresh that we have seen makes me think that is a rather forlorn hope.

If you want to help farmers, buy local or at least buy British, and accept, indeed embrace seasonality: don't expect lamb in January but celebrate it in September.

One last thing, a quote from Abi Reader, a dairy farmer from Cardiff:
" The agricultural industry is caught up in the middle of carnage, yet I can feel the unwritten code filtering through all of us - we will provide food for the nation.
Safe, traceable, affordable food, like we always have."
Jeez @Humble Tiller you've won the lottery of life!
We're on 100 ac owned and 100 ac rented from 6 landlords.
A mate was panicking 14 years ago , his 4 kids were leaving school and wanted to work at home( 300 ac veg.quality land but losing money) His Missus worked in local primary school....
Got some orders for quarters of a coo.
We cut it up for him on his kitchen table....
They employ 48 staff in the shop now, and have grown the business 'organically'
They hold an OFS , and make a fuss about it, Th'owd fella goes as the 'Farmer Giles' answering the questions about the beef cattle...
It's hilarious, "God look at all them horses" being the best last year..
One woman got huffy cos they didn't have a vegan burger option on bbq!
It's grown every year, last time they'd 1407 through the gate, there's definitely an interest.
 
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Jeez @Humble Tiller you've won the lottery of life!
We're on 100 ac owned and 100 ac rented from 6 landlords.
A mate was panicking 14 years ago , his 4 kids were leaving school and wanted to work at home( 300 ac veg.quality land but losing money) His Missus worked in local primary school....
Got some orders for quarters of a coo.
We cut it up for him on his kitchen table....
They employ 48 staff in the shop now, and have grown the business 'organically'
They hold an OFS , and make a fuss about it, Th'owd fella goes as the 'Farmer Giles' answering the questions about the beef cattle...
It's hilarious, "God look at all them horses" being the best last year..
One woman got huffy cos they didn't have a vegan burger option on bbq!
It's grown every year, last time they'd 1407 through the gate, there's definitely an interest.
Bloody well done them.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My Herdwicks are due to lamb next week and I’ve been toying with various ideas about how to do this.

I’ve got a few sheds so lambing them indoors is a possibility but quite a lot of hassle. The best shed for doing this previously had geese in and it’s now got some nasty germs and diseases in there. We’ve cleaned it out but every time we put goats in there they get ill. I think we’re gonna have to steam clean and disinfect the entire shed before we put anything in there again.

Could put them in with some goats, but goats have horns and if they take a dislike to eachother I reckon the Herdwicks aren’t coming out on top.

I’ve got a field behind the house that is divided up into bull paddocks. I can see it from my kitchen window so it’s ideal really. This field is my best bet. Herdwicks usually lamb outside anyway and with it being visible from the house I can keep an eye on them.

Only problem is the Herdwicks seem to be completely unphased by electric fences. I assume because their wool is so thick. Last time I put them in there, they destroyed all the bull fencing by just walking through it and pulling it all down.

I spent the day building new sheep proof fencing. I’m only about halfway there, it’s hard work and every old fence post seems to be rotten and needs digging out. Every new post seems to have rocks underneath it. One of those jobs that should be easy, but just isn’t going my way.

Still it’s good to be outdoors while the weather is good.

Need to get it finished before the lambs start coming.
 

no f in beer

Old-Salt
9 year olds school are involved in this - Home - Farmvention

Seems to be done by most of the schools in the area (Derby), with them going to 'exhibitons' to see how stuff is done and big tractors and stuff, and then the Farmvention folk come into the school periodically, the last time a couple of weeks before shutdown, they did the food chain, sort of

She enjoyed/s it
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
does alfa laval fill the bank quicker than an alfa romeo can empty it ?
60 - 70p a litre for that stuff.

We make 2000 litres a week and we’ve just started out.
 
Yep. The farm lads love a bit of nose gay.

Every **** round here is on the stuff. The village pubs round here are like London rave venues at the weekend.
Going back some years now by Stephen Fry (himself no stranger to gak) was told by a Chief Constable of a rural force that cocaine is more prevalent in any market town than the big cities of the U.K.
 
More to do with allotment or garden scale production, but yesterday found a use for the weeds I was clearing ( cleavers, nettles and Comfrey, which just happened to be growing in close proximity to each other.)

Filled a 200 ltr barrel with it, put some wire mesh and weights on top.
Filled barrel with water.


Free fertilizer for all this stuff we're growing, to fill our time.
And tums.
 

Oops

War Hero
Well, here comes the weekend, so
#Here comes the fun#
to misquote George Harrison...
IMG_20200409_114748_3.jpg

Bugger, it's not even mine, but a mates who helped me out during last week's shenanigans, he's brought a few down to liaise with Superbull (and to adopt that orphan calf....it's working:boogie:)
Anyone who was interested, would remember me mention 'Staggers'...
It's Hypomagnesemia, but y'know, farmers an all that...anyway, you shove a bottle of calcium and a bottle of magnesium under the skin asap, without getting wiped out by the thrashing legs( think 'snowangel' thing that kids do)then you wait for the vet....
They don't like you prodding around trying to find the jugular then poking things in!
It can be a long wait , watchin £20 a minute slip away!
magic_1586430042007.jpg

Anyhow, here comes the Cavalry, and what a delightful young lady she is too
magic_1586431902324.jpg
,
Anyway, after another two bottles IV, and a good talking too( that's my excuse;))
magic_1586432287200.jpg

You sit em upright, ( that's where the Covey of girlies come in, they're well drilled) and wait for 20 minutes, then cajole, knee, kick, heave , and generally bully half a ton of disoriented coo to find its feet, without getting fallen on!
magic_1586433712263.jpg

Show's she's on the right track, when she looks in the trough wondering why she's missed her (heavily mineralised) breakfast...
magic_1586433811117.jpg

Sorry for the long winded post, but it's the relief of not having to ring up my mate and start with
"Er, y'know that white-faced cow, with the big calf on it........"
Every stickfarmer knows about staggers, fast growing conditions, and cows coming out of a long winter.. usually it's on wet days, that's the only thing that 'didnt fit'
that and the dried mud on the coo....
Turns out a lad had checked em late last night, our Superbull had shagged her to a standstill.... that's m'boy!
The day after the night before....
an it's only bloody Friday!
 
Well, here comes the weekend, so
#Here comes the fun#
to misquote George Harrison...View attachment 464372
Bugger, it's not even mine, but a mates who helped me out during last week's shenanigans, he's brought a few down to liaise with Superbull (and to adopt that orphan calf....it's working:boogie:)
Anyone who was interested, would remember me mention 'Staggers'...
It's Hypomagnesemia, but y'know, farmers an all that...anyway, you shove a bottle of calcium and a bottle of magnesium under the skin asap, without getting wiped out by the thrashing legs( think 'snowangel' thing that kids do)then you wait for the vet....
They don't like you prodding around trying to find the jugular then poking things in!
It can be a long wait , watchin £20 a minute slip away!View attachment 464363
Anyhow, here comes the Cavalry, and what a delightful young lady she is too
View attachment 464364,
Anyway, after another two bottles IV, and a good talking too( that's my excuse;))View attachment 464365
You sit em upright, ( that's where the Covey of girlies come in, they're well drilled) and wait for 20 minutes, then cajole, knee, kick, heave , and generally bully half a ton of disoriented coo to find its feet, without getting fallen on!View attachment 464369
Show's she's on the right track, when she looks in the trough wondering why she's missed her (heavily mineralised) breakfast...View attachment 464370
Sorry for the long winded post, but it's the relief of not having to ring up my mate and start with
"Er, y'know that white-faced cow, with the big calf on it........"
Every stickfarmer knows about staggers, fast growing conditions, and cows coming out of a long winter.. usually it's on wet days, that's the only thing that 'didnt fit'
that and the dried mud on the coo....
Turns out a lad had checked em late last night, our Superbull had shagged her to a standstill.... that's m'boy!
The day after the night before....
an it's only bloody Friday!
I remember doing that decades ago , bucket of warm water to take the chill off the bottle of magnesium , its remarkable how quick they can recover.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
With the hotel, cafe and pubs closed down, we’re sending a lot less to slaughter. We’re having to manage our space a bit more effectively.

This morning we moved about 20 of our cows and bullocks from our farm up near Carlisle to down here.

These are all young shorthorn bullocks, destined to become steaks and burgers.
D03D5C68-A10C-4EFB-B3A2-F756036FE07C.jpeg
 

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