May '08

After a cold, wintry April, May has been like summer. We even took advantage of the heat to go swimming at Aberffaw, and hunt for the delightful little fern, Moonwort, in the dunes. The downside for the farm – and there is always one of those in farming – has been the lack of rain. Time and again rain has been forecast but has not reached us. It is very unusual to go for any length of time without those familiar Atlantic depressions and south westerly winds blowing through.

So the grass has not grown in the normal way and the cattle have been a bit short of good long tufts to pull at. We brought them in when we noticed that Rosi’s attenuated horn was growing into her head and needed attention. One of our heifers, Gwen, chose the same day to start bulling, so we made a quick call to the AI (artificial insemination) man and hope she is now in calf.

The laying flock have adapted well to their spacious enclosure. At dusk, one individual never seems to want to go to bed and has to be rounded up, or picked up and put into the house. One or two particularly adventurous birds regularly investigate the kitchen garden. This is nothing compared to the threat posed to our vegetables by the young rabbit which has taken residence under a pile of stones and has demolished two plantings of brassicas, as well as nibbling the tops of the onions!