As always, the weather dominates our thoughts and determines actions. We were getting used to rain not materialising, and weather forecasts proving too pessimistic. This month, the opposite has been the case. We have cut, baled and stored one field of hay. But since the good weather during the week of the Royal Welsh (what a difference a year makes) it has rained and rained, with no break long enough for hay, or even haylage making.
The good news is that the grass, so slow to grow this year, is plentiful, and sheep and cows look in excellent condition. Four are near to calving, and looking very big, and one young heifer has taken to AI at the second go.
The first week of the month was pay-off time for our strawberry bed, with the surplus either turned into strawberry jam, frozen, made into delicious ice-cream or sold. We had less luck with the cherries. The trees are now too high to net, and despite a good crop, the birds had the lot! At the end of the month the plums started ripening, and we had a picking or two, with more to come.
The flower-rich hay meadows have been slow to come to their best, but they were looking colourful when he held a Meadows Training Day, as part of the Flora Locale Wild Meadows for Wales project. The turn-out was higher than last year, with about fifteen people; several were experienced farmers with lots of really interesting observations and a great deal of knowledge.