Come rain or shine….
I must start by apologising for the lack of recent blogging, April and May are particularly busy months on the farm!
The past two months have flown by and we are wondering where all the time has gone! April had a bad start with severe lack of rain. The crops were all in need of a drink and we needed softer ground to start fencing the fields. However, we cant always complain about the weather, not everyday is sunny. The sunshine meant we could crack on putting up the marquee for the wedding season. All hands on deck to help get everything ready for the start of the summer!
We were finally able to start fencing in May when the ground was soft enough. The rain meant the crops rapidly went through their growth stages. Now they are in the ‘ear’ stage (when the seed heart appears). The main stages of crop growth are germination, leaf development. tillering, steam elongation, booting, ear emergence, inflorescence emergence, flowering, development, ripening and senescence. The grass is taller than my wellies and the fence posts slid into the soil without trouble.
We have managed to get most of the fields fenced so we can turn the cows out. Just in time as we have since had two female calves born, Roseanne and Rhona. Each year we register our calves at birth so they can get their passports (in case they would like to go on holiday). Each year calves are registered with a name beginning with a letter of the alphabet. This year is the Longhorn Society’s letter is R. Last year, Q posed a challenge and our names included Quantum, Queenie and Quest.
Longhorn cattle are known to be easy calving but there’s a lot to consider both before you get to the day your cow starts calving and after she has calved. The recent heavy rain has meant we’ve had to take extra care of our new calves, giving them a coat for warmth and making sure they are regularly feeding.
It’s great to see the cattle out in the fields where they belong enjoying the lush grass. Not only is it healthy for the cattle to be outside but also the flavour of the beef comes from the grass. Nutritionally grass-fed beef includes significantly more omega-3, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef. Grass-fed beef, one of the best protein foods around, is also higher in precursors for vitamin A and E and cancer-fighting antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. If you haven’t heard of CLA yet, it’s a powerful polyunsaturated fatty acid we must obtain from our diets that’s been shown to help fight cancer, discourage weight gain and build muscle, and high-quality grass-fed beef and butter from healthy, grass-fed cows or other animals are the top sources of CLA.
The glamping season is now in full swing and all of our guests love our new lodge tents, which we designed and built on the farm. We are now gearing up for harvest, first the oilseed rape and then the wheat later in the summer!
We regularly post photos on our Instagram feed – just follow @kentonhallfarm to stay up to date!
Until next month,