Monday, 13 August 2012

Late Summer 2012

 August 2012

Well, finally managed to find time to update the blog - the months roll by so quickly!

Weatherwise we  have had a truly dreadful summer, with only a few decent hot days and endless days of drizzle and torrential rain.. My garden has been decimated by snails and slugs the size of mice; what we need is a return of  the Mistle Thrush and more Hedgehogs to control the explosion in their numbers.
The farmers have been finding it really difficult to grow and harvest their crops this year due to the heavy rainfall and the fields are like quagmires.
Fortunately because we are an Organic Dairy farm, the majority of our land is pasture for the cattle and the grass has grown really well .  We have finished 2 cuts of silage and it is all safely stored ready for the winter months.
The arable crops however have been a headache. They have managed to harvest one field of spring barley at the weekend, due to a couple of really hot, sunny days, but the other field is not ready and we are back to rain and showers.  The maize crop is struggling to grow at all and desperately needs some sustained sunshine and heat to fill out the cobs. Everyone is hoping the Jet Stream will move up to it's normal position soon and we can have a few decent weeks - better later than never.

The "Olympic Boost" has had rather the opposite effect on the B&B business and we have been quieter this August, than we usually are at this  time. At least this has meant that I have been able to watch lots of the Olympic events and have been absolutely mesmerised by the performance of Team GB. I also would like to congratulate the BBC on fantastic coverage of the Games and helping to unite the country and give us something special to talk about.

The cancellation of Badminton Horse Trials and then Gatcombe was a real blow to the local economy. However, the Womad festival at Charlton actually enjoyed good weather and was praised by all who went. The nearby village of Lacock has also managed to put on a Scarecrow Trail and a Beer Festival, which were well attended.
The Bristol Balloon Fiesta was a big success this year and the weather was kind, allowing a Nightglow and several mass ascents.
The August Bank Holiday will soon be here and we hope there will be an influx of visitors to Wiltshire over that weekend. Details of "Whats On" can be found on the VisitWilthsire site.
The city of Bath also have some exciting events in the coming weeks.  The Paralympic Flame will be celebrated and a Rio Procession will parade through the city . Details on

Bring on the "Indian Summer"!

 Footnote: We have found some Bath Asparagus growing in one of our fields.  Apparantly it was brought to this area by the Romans almost 2000 years ago and is the forerunner of the European varieties we see today. It is quite rare and only appears around Bath and Cirencester in small areas, so it is quite a find!

  Photo left  shows Rooty and the heifers enjoying a break in the rain.

Roy and small friend.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Springtime at Church Farm

After the long haul of winter we are finally beginning to see the first signs of Spring here. Bulbs are coming out all over the garden and we can hear lambs calling to their mothers in nearby fields.
The weather has definitely taken a warmer turn and we have seen lots of wonderful blue skies and bright sunny days.
Thoughts are turning to the garden and planning what needs to be done this year. Visits to the the Whitehall Garden Centre at Lacock will almost certainly be on the agenda soon.

The farm is buzzing with tractors preparing the ground for spring planting of crops and at last the evenings seem to be lighter, making longer days for everyone. Lackham College near Chippenham is running special Lambing Weekends, which are always a delight, especially for the children.

Our local Charity event , the Bath Half Marathon took place on a gorgeous sunny Sunday. They had a record number of runners this year and the winner beat the world record.

Our next big sporting occasion is the Badminton Horse Trials, which runs from 4-7 June, with a grassroots event prior to that. The 3 - Day Event is always busy, with people attending from all over the world.

Easter is quite late this year with Easter Sunday falling on 8th April. Lots of the local pubs and restaurants are offering special Easter deals e.g Biddestone Arms and Methuen Arms. Corsham.
After that we host the Chippenham Folk Festival, which is always over the last weekend in May and attracts guests from the UK and Europe. This is always a really popular festival and really unites all the surrounding communities.

In line with other parts of the country our local village Biddestone is starting to make plans for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations. We have been granted an extra bank holiday, making a nice break over the first weekend in June.

For the musically inclined, there is also the Womad Festival at Charlton Park, which takes place at the end of July and is truly a global event.

If you want any more information about any of the above, please look at

Lets hope this will be a good Spring and Summer and that the weather will be kind.