What’s going on at Flower Farm?
This month, I am writing this article having just done justice to some fine Ukrainian-style food cooked by my team in our kitchen. In the farm shop, I find it a welcome change to our range of more traditional dishes, and to add into the bargain, I get a video from a team member of the harsh winter conditions facing those living without electricity in their Ukraine homeland. My thoughts continue to be with them and those involved in worldwide conflict.
Meanwhile, on the farm we all go about our normal work: eggs to collect twice a day, cows that amuse themselves undoing the front valve on their water trough for the ninth time, pigs that are having identity issues and trying to talk to our new farm cats that we rescued. Not to mention taking care of some nervous-looking turkeys!
What’s going on in the local area?
Every morning, I watch my neighbour drive his tractor past the farm shop to feed his cows. John and his family farm over 1,000 cattle, which may sound like a lot but it’s not uncommon in the UK. They will eat nearly two tonnes of food each day, but all of it is grown and harvested on the farm. The grass is cut for the winter silage and stored in June, corn is harvested in July and the straw is bailed up for winter bedding in their barns. Maize is harvested in early October and the cows enjoy its sweet taste. Imagine all of these jobs being done according to the weather, inventive machinery breakdowns and contractors running behind time schedules trying hard to please everyone!
What’s going on in the UK?
Wet weather and flooding always challenge farmers and livestock in isolated fields, with this year’s harvest looking more like seaweed. Traditionally farmers use the winter for field maintenance such as clearing ditches, repairing fences and gates, and planting hedges…Contrary to belief by some folk, us farmers do actually plant trees and hedges, rather than driving around in Range Rovers, armed with chainsaws and cans of pesticides to destroy all forms of wildlife!
What’s going on globally?
Did you know that in Australia, North and South America, and many other countries, farms can cover many thousands of hectares, and often have their own railway stations and road systems? It’s not unusual to find up to 50,000 cows on a single large farm!
Across the world, looking to the future is an important issue. The many politicians representing us spend a great deal of time discussing agriculture and the importance of feeding their own people. With changing weather patterns and growing worldwide regulations, this will continue to be of importance, as is the need for as much independent food security as possible, by way of home-based production.
Until next time…
Happy Christmas to you all and let’s hope for peace and love.
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