Christmas is looming and things are going on apace. A rare visit by the postman delivered a very large, heavy envelope from Rural Payments. The opening paragraph basically said 'read, learn and inwardly digest' - oh, and reply within 20 days.
The upside is that I have been offered the chance to extend our stewardship agreement for another five years.
Basically, a stewardship is for the enhancement of the countryside by maintaining hedges, verges and other areas that allow flora and fauna to flourish.
Other areas are protected by not using pesticides or fertilisers all of which help to preserve the countryside as our 'green and pleasant land'.
Avian Flu is still prevalent and unfortunately the Huxley family who have supplied us with turkeys for years have lost their crop to the disease. Fortunately, however, we have managed to find another source and we will be able to fulfil our orders.
Hopefully a vaccine will be found soon as it was with Covid and Bird Flu will be a thing of the past. A vaccine for poultry is normally administered in drinking water, so there's no need to catch and inject individual birds.
On the farm front, all our crops are looking well, helped by the rainfall and mild weather. We still need more water to ensure a supply for next year, but hopefully not in deluges.
The wet weather has brought about foot-rot in some of the sheep, so we are treating them by walking them through a footbath regularly.
Christmas is nearly here, so our thoughts are mainly turning to the festive season. Let's make the best of it.
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David Clarke has been farming at Churncote for many years. He and wife Sue started selling the produce from the farm in 2003, which gives him long-standing insight into the reality of the farm to fork process. David will be sharing his experience regularly here.