Julian Ellis is experimenting with peas

Sam and I got married in beautiful weather and enjoyed a few nice days in Norway where it didn’t take long for me to realise that skiing was not my forté. Now it’s back to normality and looking forward to our future together.

The news of more farms in the area going out of milk production is sad, but in a way comforting to know we are not the only ones finding it tough. However, I still feel positive about the future.

I wrongly presumed there would be a number of suitable stockmen looking for work as well as second-hand parlours looking for new homes – unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Perfect grazing conditions, meant cows went out at the end of February by day and then by night a fortnight later. This, together with the fact that we have sold 50 store cattle, has greatly reduced our routine work. Although the field work has taken over with 100 acres of barley to drill the wheels are turning a bit more and the diesel is disappearing faster than we would like.

This year we are also experimenting with growing peas. My theory is that of all the things I grow in my vegetable patch the peas always turn out to be the highest yielding reliable crop with very little effort. My plan is to whole crop the pea and barley mix in time to get the field back into cabbage. On paper, it works. In practice, it could turn out to be similar to the other crops we have tried. The list of fresh crops that I could try to grow here successfully is getting shorter, unless I try commercially growing docks or blackberries.