My faith is gradually being restored in the RPA, as we have received correspondence stating that the issue with some entitlements is being resolved and that a payment is on the way.
Barley is proving very slow to ripen, I am not sure whether the delay is due to the weather or the two new varieties that we have grown. Yields are not looking great and of course the variety that we only have a small amount of looks the most promising. This misfortune seems to be mirrored in the cows at the moment, with a long run of bull calves.
The late harvest has forced us to order some cabbage modules as the barley fields will be too late to precision drill. However, earlier drilled cabbage have established fairly well with the sufficient amount of rain, as have the weeds. So in between jobs we are drawing straws as to who is going to ride on the back of the antiquated steerage hoe on a unforgiving metal seat.
My attraction for old or secondhand has continued this month as I acquired a 53-year-old vintage baler that will probably be put in the back of the shed with other memorabilia that is often cursed for taking up valuable space. Also I’ve come by a double-glazed porch which I can see has potential, if only Sam had the same imagination. It reminds me of a saying: “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”
Julian Ellis milks 150 Guernsey cows on 158ha (390 acres) at Lands End, Cornwall, in partnership with his father and two part-time staff. The farm rears followers and store cattle, with 36ha (90 acres) used for growing spring barley, 12ha (30 acres) for spring cabbage and several acres for fodder beat and kale.