I love the landscape at this time of year. The farm is a warm glow of golds and reds and coppers in the autumn sunlight. The hedgerow fruited early this year but there are still plenty of haws and rosehips for the birds to enjoy even though the damsons and blackberries are long gone. Apples are in abundance in our orchard and we spent the weekend harvesting and storing them for the winter ahead.
We’re also knee deep in acorns this year or so it seems! There is a nobbly carpet of them under every oak around our acres and Sue our pig is busy feasting on them on a daily basis. The housekeeping team has reported ‘acorn encounters’ while working in the woods – with the acorns occasionally falling from the oaks as though on target and hitting them on the head – acorns might be small but boy do they hurt when dropping from a height!!
October is a planning month for the farm, we spend this time working out when will be the right time to get more sheep on the meadows to start the winter grazing regime. We’re also considering which sections of the wood we’ll coppice next and finalising a schedule for traditionally laying some sections of hedgerow.
Last winter we laid the hedge around the Pillrags Field and this summer it burst back into life – wonderfully green and thick. This coming winter we’ll be tackling a much bigger area – the hedgerow that runs all the way around the Bankside – which you’ll know better as the field that George and Buttons the donkeys live in. Laying the hedgerows is an important way of maintaining habitats and we’re very excited about this project.
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