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"We all learnt a great deal about Farming - it helped the children to understand the idea of Farming more. A real hands on experience!"

By Reading School Year 4 teacher

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Latest from blog

16 Mar 2021

The other evening while walking the dog and shutting the gat...



 

Farmer John’s Blogs

16 Mar 2021

The other evening while walking the dog and shutting the gates around Rushall I came across a toad sat in the middle of the track, not even startled by my torch.  To me it seemed he had woken up and thought it had been quite a sunny day, and well, it must be spring and time to mate. But then had second thoughts. 



9 Mar 2021

It was at the end of a very wet underfoot walk through the woodlands at Rushall.  We had just seen Graham and Mick, gamekeepers extraordinaire, drive into the woods.  We crossed Scratchface Lane, and passed the huge Douglas Fir when there was a rustling behind us, a sudden crack and crash as



January 2021

12 Jan 2021

It is an understatement that right now in early January it is cold.  It was a few years ago that Martin, who was profoundly deaf and at Brookfields School, came to help me first thing on Saturday mornings.  He was part of a group who come regularly on Tuesday to the farm, but was not coping all that well. He worked with me, bedding up the cattle and sheep, feeding and checking hungry stock, although would have much preferred to be still in bed.



December 2020

1 Dec 2020

Last night it was a full moon, very big with a misty presence. It was just like the pictures in story books with that vague outline of ...


16 Oct 2020

        It’s Monday afternoon and 10 volunteers from Bradfield College need to be picked up with trac ...


organic poppies

September 2020

15 Sep 2020

When I finished working at Rushall Farm as manager for William Cumber six years ago I continued to have responsibility for the various pieces of farmed land around Theale. Most of it had been put into an environmental scheme in 2011. At that time we planted wild flower meadows, allowed some areas to naturally regenerate, did tree and shrub planting and turned the wartime pillbox into a home for bats.



15 Jul 2020

Bright and early this morning, though we were barely awake, Reuben and mum Jenny burst through the front door.  He is only two but then…..



June 2020

10 Jun 2020

We have, in defiance of all that has been going on, kept a sign on Back Lane saying ‘Rushall Farm School Visits’. 



14 May 2020

It is really significant news when you hear that Yattendon Estates have only just finished drilling on over 5000 acres and it is the 5th May.  There is a saying in farming that the difference between a good and bad farmer is one week.  Usually spring planting is completed by the end of March but, with an exceptionally wet autumn and winter, very little was done and the land has subsequently taken a long time to dry out.  So, the spring crops are drilled and several cuckoos locally have noisily proclaimed that it is “cuckoo barley” i.e. you might get a crop but you might not.



14 Apr 2020

It seems to have escaped the notice of some parts of our world that we are in crisis.  The bluebells have emerged strong and beautiful after buckets full of rain in February.  The River Pang is flowing fast and confidently, so clear and clean, good enough to drink



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