Busy busy busy. It is full steam ahead here as spring work continues on the farm in perfect weather conditions. Marvin has finished planting the crops, which have germinated and are rapidly emerging through the warm moist soils. The patchwork colours of the English countryside will continue to change from browns to different shades of green, along with the yellow of rapeseed, mixed in with the greens of autumn planted crops.
We continue to apply fertiliser to the crops helping them grow successfully throughout the season. Additionally, we are walking all the fields regularly with the agronomist, looking for any signs of disease that may need treating. This year it has been ideal conditions for something called ‘Rust,’ a disease spread by fungal spores in warm dry conditions, resulting in the leaves on the wheat crops becoming covered in a brown rusty looking disease. The disease saps the energy from the plant as it is not able to photosynthesise efficiently and we control it with a fungicide chemical, not dissimilar to one used in controlling athletes’ foot in human medicine.
The ground has at last dried off enough for me to finish off the area around our new bio-bed, getting this levelled and set with grass seed ready to make the farm yard all tidy for Open Farm Sunday on 8th June. Plans for the event continue to evolve well, the beer and hog roast are booked, as is the tea and cake stall. Eli will hold salad dressing making workshops throughout the day and some livestock will arrive with neighbouring farmers. Before this event, we are also getting involved with the Northants Young Farmers annual rally, where Farrington Oils are organising an ‘Oil Slide Challenge,’ in which Young Farmers will compete to raise money for two charities close to our hearts.
As part of our major spring clean around the farm, we are also decorating one of our barn conversions to get it ready to hopefully rent out to prospective local businesses. I’ve been around with the screwdriver fixing some door fittings and electrical work, whilst my Father is poised with a paint brush in hand. Now, while I write this article, I can hear gasps and laughs as everyone is next door having some first aid training today. If nothing else, working on a farm is certainly a varied career, with no two days often being the same.