Summer was a whirlwind!
Coming off the back of hard lockdown, with some semblance of normal life returning, only to be hit down again by the second wave of COVID, we went back to square one with cancelled bookings and refunding guests again during December and January, while trying to keep the farm afloat on its own income for the first time, keeping salaries paid and animals fed. Managing the constant up and down of this time was a challenge many small businesses had to face, not to mention the stress and sleepless nights. In the midst of this, we were finding our feet as a new family. Adjusting to life with a newborn can’t be compared to much else - the sleep deprivation, the constant care, but the joy! We were trying to keep the farm going and able to sustain us while settling to life as three. We were so fortunate to have been blessed with an easy going baby, but also for our awesome team who just picked up all the slack, and then some! We were basically down one person as I became full time parent, and Andre picked up my slack on the admin front, placing a greater load on our guys on the farm. Yet they willingly took this on, not one word of complaint, only offers to help even more as they understood the new world we were in, together. As I look back on these photos, I can feel the pressure we put ourselves under to try and get back to business as quickly as possible, under a haze of newborn sleeplessness. It seems rather silly now but we are immensely grateful for the flexibility we could have during summer to enjoy this new stage of our lives too. That is what we have worked for for the last few years.
PASTURE RAISED CHICKEN
After the move to the flatlands at the beginning of Spring, this was our first Summer for the pasture raised broilers on Long Field. This area was previously sheep pasture many, many years ago. We suspect it was tilled and planted pasture as we had some interesting forage appearing, but there is a definite compaction layer. Water often pools and sits so it posed some challenges as we moved the broiler pens. A few times we needed to bring down shavings or straw to raise the broilers off the water logged ground. All part of learning about a new piece of land. Next summer we will be more prepared. The impact of these birds on the grass was remarkable - lush, green and nutritious. The cattle also figured this out so it was a new challenge to prevent them from overgrazing. Nothing a few strands of electric fencing couldn’t fix, as we attempted to provide rest for the grass.