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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



Latest from blog

November 2021

November 2021

22 Nov 2021

“May your word to me be fulfilled” My granddaughter S...


Farmer John’s Blogs

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

March 2020

13 Mar 2020

Yesterday I was driving through East Ilsey when there was a wave and a shout from a much loved and familiar friend.  Iain Jermey was having a day off from fencing, and clearing up after pruning some apple trees.  Helping him was Kyle Wray, completely fixed on the job in hand.

21 Feb 2020

Some time ago my sister sent me a very splendid tea cosy: Black Welsh Mountain wool from Rushall Farm made into felt, decorated with leaf shaped patches of leather.  I chose my moment of quiet and put it on my head. My daughter burst into the room telling me I had got it on the wrong way round.  I remember another occasion

28 Jan 2020

On the shortest day last year the birds began to sing at dawn and again at dusk. Two weeks later some hazel catkins were fully out and honey suckle leaves were green. Mosses and lichens around the base of woodland trees were alive and vibrant, while a whole range of fungi survived to decorate rotting timber in an array of bright colours nestled in beds of fallen leaves.


27 Nov 2019

A few years ago, I was at a sheep meeting organised by a national livestock feed company. After very long deliberations about the benefit their brand “Ewebol”, a token farmer was there as a speaker to reinforce their message.  He stood up and said four words “You’ve gotta like sheep”. He was right! And those words sustained me over 40 years of shepherding 800 ewes.   You have got to like sheep because you think about them most of the time and have to look after and care for them every day.  Sheep need a shepherd, whether that is to help them lamb, roll them over when they get stuck on their backs, deal with their lame feet, shear them or find them when they get out.

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