Diaries from the Farm - June Edition

Diaries from the Farm - June Edition

June, the month of the summer solstice, early sunrises and late sunsets, the time of year when the potential of all our crops shows after the previous 10 months of growing. All the winter sown crops are now in using the long summer days to sweep out their grains ready for harvest in a few weeks. Machinery maintenance is key at the time of year to prep the harvest machinery so we can avoid costly breakdowns and mistakes over the coming months of harvest.

This time of year is the time where farmers tend to visit other growers to look at their crops and farming systems and engage in peer to peer learning. We do alot of this on the estate, having had a visit from Northern Pasta to come and see the spelt we grow for them I have also had 5 other groups of farmers and millers round the farms to see how we grow things and integrate bio diversity into our cropping systems. As well as germ visits it’s also a time for agricultural events, such as Groundswell, a regenerative agriculture event held in the Hertfordshire. This year I was asked to present a talk on Regen farming and I was also lucky enough to come away with second prize in the soil farmer of the year awards.

Away form the arable crops we have been busy using the sunshine to make hay for the cattle over winter, as well as silage this makes up a healthy diet for the cattle when they have to be housed over the wet cold winter months.

The environmental stewardship plots show their true colours at this time of year, becoming a riot of colour as the variety of wildflowers we have burst into life. From Oxeyed daisies, black medic, birds foot trefoil, knapweed, wild sage and vipers bugloss these plants create a massive range of pollen and nectar, vital for the survival of insects.

Harvest will start in the next 10 days or so weather permitting and so next months update we will have an early indication of yields and quality of the crops that we have harvested.