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Farmer John’s April ’14 Blog

Farmer John’s April ’14 Blog

1 Apr 2014

Spring is really here, and crops and lambs are growing well.

We have just had the week we have been waiting for! Ground conditions had mainly dried up enough to plough and prepare seedbeds. We planted spring wheat, barley and oats mostly undersown with high clover grass mixtures in what turned out to be excellent conditions. At the beginning of the week we had 200 ewes left to lamb. Today there are just 30, and cattle and sheep are thriving in what has been one of the best spring seasons we have had for years. Now it is raining to water and promote the germination, new life and the growth expected and associated with this time of year.

It is always encouraging to see lambs gambolling, often in groups full of milk and the apparent joy of being alive. A lamb we had been nursing in the kitchen went crazy the other night practising the art and then retired to the warmth of the Aga complaining of a stitch.

Sometime ago I had to speak at a Rotary meeting in Pangbourne. We had been sacking straw bales by hand all day in a hot tin barn. I am never sure if asked to speak about my work, how much to say about my faith. On this occasion I felt it right to tell those present about the farming industry and our commitment to welcoming people, especially the younger ones to Rushall Farm, but I would only respond if questioned about my motivation. The evening went on quite successfully with no such enquiry. I moved to the bar before taking my leave. Someone came up to me and said “‘ere, why do lambs run along and do that jumping thing?” I was tired and replied “I don’t know”, and left. Halfway back to the car park I realised…. that was the question and I had missed it. Was he asking me about the fantastic variety, diversity and wonder of the world we live in, AND the purpose and the reason our lives have within that?

Thanks to all who came to the Open days. £31,500 was raised for the MS Society and the John Simonds Trust