Lots of you have asked me to write a post on whats going on on the farm, so I thought id give you an insight.
Here we are at the end of January, and Nigel is as busy as ever. For those of you who don’t know(just shout if you’ve heard it all before) we are an arable farm in Hampshire, we also contract harvest for local farms, build barns, and take on large fencing contracts amongst other things! We live on around 500 acres of beautiful farm land near to the New Forest in a small village. We rent out a third of the farm where we live to a local pig farmer, and grow crops, such as Barley, Wheat and maize on the rest.
At the moment we have winter Wheat in the ground, spring Barley and Fodder beet will be going in(drilled) in March. We have grazed sheep on our stubble turnips(its amazing how quickly they ravage them) over the winter too although sadly they’re on the other half of the farm down the road..if you’ve ever been to Paulton’s Park, you’d have been right next door! The ground will need to be ploughed and cultivated in readiness for the fresh seed to go in, so we really need a good dry base-every year we pray to the weather gods to be kind too us, who knows what this year will bring?
Although it feels like this should be a quiet time of the year, I still find myself alone most evenings until around 9pm. dealing with hormonal meltdowns, homework struggles, crying babies, and dogs under my feet, alone. Nigel’s days are presently occupied carrying out drainage works on other farms, lifting fodder beet for animal feed, a tonne of hedge cutting…the list goes on. We employ eight members of full time staff including, Nige, his Brother, and father, and still the days are long.
When he’s not at work, the jobs really mount up, things that most people could complete in the evenings after work, or on a Saturday morning, we have to squeeze into a sunday afternoon, we have to make ‘jobs’ into family activities so that everyone feels like they’ve had their share of ‘Daddy time’, this must feel like a huge pressure for my husband, and one I probably don’t give him enough credit for. But what five year old boy doesn’t want to explore the log pile for spiders whilst Daddy splits wood nearby? You may have seen my recent Instagram story of Annie having a whale of a time splashing on the drive whilst Nige hosed it down? ive been promising Will a trip to the local swimming pool for months-that was as close as we got.
I guess owning a farm, and ‘country living’ comes with its responsibilities, which must be taken into consideration, we can’t trot off to the cinema, or head out for brunch if a field has flooded thanks to a burst pipe-leaving the pigs without water. Machinery constantly seems to needs servicing or repair, pheasants have to be fed and watered. Sometimes I wish we could just flick a switch for central heating, rather than devoting whole days to chainsawing, splitting, loading, and stacking wood.
I’m really looking forward to brighter, warmer days, where Annie & I can sit in the tractor cab with Daddy & a picnic. Weeks where there are less rainy days, so that my house doesn’t feel like one of the pig arcs I see out in the fields-covered in mud & straw…weeks where there aren’t twenty wet pairs of overalls a week waiting to be washed.
Before we know it, it’ll be half term & we can carve out a little quality family time, then they’ll be tulips & daffodils everywhere, (flowers solve everything, right?!) January has been a long month, & I for one won’t be sad to see the end of it, the evenings are getting lighter already, have you noticed?..
As always, thanks for reading,
lots of love,