Spring is officially here and already the weather is warming up and and the ground is drying out. The grass is slowly starting to sprout and the wild flowers and the garden flowers are starting to blossom. Our neighbours who farm sheep already have young lambs out and about in the fields close to the lambing sheds and before long everything will be lush and green everywhere. What a fabulous time of year to be involved in farming. Despite the Covid pandemic and lockdown restrictions life has hardly changed for most of us. Animals and crops need tending regardless of what is happening in the rest of the country. Social networking through rural activities like hunting and shooting and their associated gatherings has obviously been put on hold, so the local postmen and tanker drivers and even supermarket van drivers are now valuable sources of local news, especially for those of us that have no mobile phone signal at home. Going to the Pub or Post Office and even shopping at Mole Valley Farmers used to be great ways to exchange news and local information and basically just stay in touch with the local community. Such simple, easy things that we all took for granted just a year ago. What a difference a year makes.

What a year it’s been. Worse for some of us than others, of course, but now there does seem to be light at the end of that long tunnel. Our vaccination policy is now proving more successful than many of us even hoped it might be. The fact that our near neighbours across the Channel have done everything they can to say that the Astra Zenica vaccine doesn’t work, probably because it’s British, seems to be working to our advantage. At least, they have decided not to use it and by threatening the rest of us with an export ban they seem to have encouraged more of us to use it. So, well done to Boris and his Brexit team, and everyone involved with Vaccine procurement and application – keep up the good work. As for the rugby, our only saving grace is that we beat the French on the pitch, even if they finish up above us on points. Better luck next year lads, and well done to Wales who look like winning the tournament……partly thanks to a French ref’……………Haha,  c’est la vie!

Back on the farm, seasonal changes are slowly happening. Bianca the goose started laying eggs a couple of weeks ago but unfortunately in all the wrong places. She and her consorts have now moved back to the ponies field at the bottom of the lane where I have set up a nest for her in the same corner of the field-shelter that she used last year. She seems quite happy with this arrangement and has now laid nine eggs. Last year she started sitting on ten eggs on April fools day and hatched out all ten goslings on Mayday. Being in lockdown meant no-one was here to enjoy them until July 4th – hopefully this year we will have guests here to share the excitement with. Last years goslings were almost geese by the time anyone actually saw them ( although I recall they had quite a following on Instagram ). Anyway, you know what we always say….never count your chicks ( goslings ) until they have hatched. The broody hen that was exercising her female prerogative has finally decided to sit on a clutch so with a bit of luck we should have chicks by the middle of April.

Samson is in the ‘dog-house’ again. He and Matey have become so bored they have invented a new game. It’s called ‘let’s bite each other’s rugs’ and see who can make the biggest hole. Samson thinks he has won because he’s torn Mateys’ to pieces. So now I have put him out in the starvation paddock with the ponies, with no rug on and minimum rations of hay and straw. Echo has gone out with Matey and is delighted to find masses of grass and a surfeit of hay on a daily basis, plus a big old bloke to frolic around with. Poor old Samson is standing in the field with nothing to eat, nothing to do, looking all forlorn and whinnying pathetically every time he glimpses Matey…..frolicking. Still, at least he can play silly boy games with Moo. Meggie is a bit above all that stuff. In fact Meggie is busy moving around the various gardens doing some early lawn-mowing. Recycling large patches of grass into small piles of droppings is a reasonable exchange.

We have sold just about every available holiday for this year. Occasional cancellations  do appear so have a look at our availability page on our website if you are still looking for a break. The South West seems to be most peoples’ favourite holiday destination again this year. Fingers crossed for another glorious Summer.

 

I must get back to work now. Only two weeks until we open up again, hopefully,

Cheers for now, Farmer Chris.