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Farmer John’s September 2012 Blog

Farmer John’s September 2012 Blog

1 Sep 2012

At last we have a dry week to keep the combine rolling, and get on with the harvest. Yeilds are reduced due to the cool summer, but it will be a…

I have just seen a picture postcard sunset over our much loved Pang Valley. The promise of “Red sky at night, shepherds delight” was blazoned across the horizon, giving hope for the September harvest still to be done. October is unashamedly autumn. Mist in the mornings, glorious leaf colours and chilly nights herald a new season. Yes, we have all had a difficult farming year, but still we start again. The rams go in with the ewes. The flock is split into 3 groups of 250 and then tupped 10 days apart. This gives us plenty of room at lambing to give proper attention to the newly born lambs and their mums. The last group to be mated are the breeding flock, where all the ewe lambs are retained as replacements for 2 years time. Our finishing lambs are grazing red clover before moving onto main crop turnips and then turnips sown after harvest. The cattle will soon be housed. We start drilling our autumn crops after the middle of the month to reduce disease and weed competition, which was a huge problem this year.

At the moment Lindsay is going up to London for a few days once a fortnight to look after our grandson. She decided to go for a later train this evening. I argued that she should be on the earlier one. When we got to the station the earlier one had been cancelled, and her choice was late. We started talking to a young man who had travelled with his girlfriend from Basildon in Essex to see the wolves at Beenham. He had just graduated and was training to be an accountant. As he asked me about farming he began to convince me that it was a joy and privilege to be working on the land, especially compared with what he’d experienced in an office. I knew that from years ago but sometimes it’s hard to hold onto. As we parted, Lindsay added, “Now will you stop moaning, and, did you notice that sunset?”

‘Listen, God! Please, pay attention!

Can you make sense of these ramblings, my groans and cries?

King-God, I need your help. Every morning you’ll hear me at it again.

Every morning I lay out the pieces of my life on your alter

and watch for fire to descend.’

Psalm 5:1-4 The Message