on the farm this week

This week we’ve had sunshine, sunshine and more sunshine! A quick walk along the farm track shows how quickly the crops are ripening.

wheat Gardeners Field July 2013

The wheat in Gardeners Field is just beginning to turn from green to golden. The countdown to harvest is beginning with trailers checked over, barns swept and paperwork prepared.

oilseed rape crop

The pods on the oilseed rape crop have filled out. Earlier this year, when the leaves had been eaten away by pigeons, (here’s the photos) we had to decide whether to leave the crop in the ground and hope there was enough crop left to grow or whether to plough it in and drill another crop. We decided to leave it in the ground and though it doesn’t look a fantastic crop, we will at least have something to harvest.

borage growing Essex July 2013

Our neigbour was also growing oilseed rape in the field next to The Ley and over the winter we watched as flocks of pigeons flew from our field to their field and back again. Next door they decided to plough up their oilseed rape and drilled borage in its place and now the field is a sea of blue flowers. The tiny black seeds will be harvested for their oil.

ducklings

One of my ducks has hatched off six pretty little ducklings. Having sat on her nest for a month with the sun glaring down, the mother duck was keen to get onto the pond with her brood as soon as she was satisfied that all the eggs that contained ducklings had hatched. She pushed the unhatched eggs out of her nest, rounded up her little family and headed for the pond. She walked up the ramp but of course the ducklings took the difficult route, having to jump up two steps each higher than themselves. They launched themselves upwards, flapping their immature wings and after a couple of attempts scrambled up, while their mother called them to follow.

ducklings swimming on pond

Having negotiated the steps and the walk across a small yard past parked vans, the ducklings tumbled down the bank of the pond  and plopped into the water. They took to it like … ducks to water and spent the rest of the day swimming around with the other ducks. Now they stand patiently by the gate with the others waiting to be let out every morning and each day the jump up the step seems a little easier.