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April 9, 2015 / Apley Estate - Hamiltons

Apley farming news – the Field to Fork process

Apley 2015 calves

Apley 2015 calves

Our Farm manager Adrian Joynt has just updated me with what’s happening on the Apley Home Farm this week. “Drilling the last field of spring wheat now that the ground has dried up. Spraying the corn with herbicide to kill weeds & some fields with a fungicide to protect the crop against fungal disease as the mild wet winter has led to a build of disease on the older leaves which we do not want transferring to the new leaves. 12 cows left to calve.”

Last week, on 31 March, he said they were selling fodder beet & fertilising crops. They had 29 cows left to calve then & they were vaccinating new cattle for leptospirosis & BVD. A few weeks before that, 30 calves had been born & that he was planning fertiliser programmes for this year’s crops & repairing fences. His men then began fertilising crops with potash & nitrogen, whilst our potato contractor had begun spreading manure on his rented fields.

I hope these short weekly updates will help non-farming people to understand & appreciate the immense amount of work which goes into producing food. I’ll add photos whenever I can to illustrate the length of time it all takes. Remember when you’re next eating Weetabix or a slice of bread the year it takes to produce a cereal crop ! Apley Farm Shop is all about local food & the Field to Fork process. Adrian’s updates will also help when I give a talk in November on Food Production. I will actually focus more on the Walled Garden & Farm Shop, but will of course include the Apley Home Farm.

Adrian’s daughter Rebecca took this photo of the calves in Apley Park (which is strictly private) with their mothers. At the same time, she spotted a buzzard & owl (I thought they were nocturnal !?) but said she was to slow to photograph them (as I surely would be too !)

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