There is always something happening on a farm and April was a particularly exciting month because Spring really arrived. I love it when the clocks change because we can make the most of the lighter evenings, be that checking the crops, watering the vegetable garden or going for a much needed run.
I always think daffodils mark the start of spring but seeing the lambs gambolling around the fields means spring is well and truly here. Mind, I’m sure they were glad of their wool coats when it snowed last week! It’s a busy time with the crops as the spring barley has been drilled. This isn’t for Quoats but to go for malting – another farm diversification?! It’s also the time of year the fertiliser goes on and Rob nails his step count (averaging 30,000 a day!) walking round the fields to check how everything is growing.
I am slowly acclimatising to the fact Yorkshire is colder than down south but snow at the end of April seems a little extreme. It’s not just me who doesn’t like it – the big difference between day and night temperatures (diurnal variation for you crossword fans) cause the plants a lot of stress. I like to think of them like me trying to decide whether to wear a coat when the morning is cold but you know it’s going to be hot later however this may not be the scientific reason….
It’s a stunning time of year to be on the farm – the blossom is beautiful and the bluebells are carpeting the woods. My sister and I got very excited picking blossom to dry for confetti for her wedding. It looks incredible but shrinks a surprising amount so you need a serious amount of blossom to make confetti for 180 people! If you go down to the woods today, you’ll also find wild garlic in season – it’s a delicious addition to anything you’d normally put garlic in. You can
recognise it by its smell and white flowers.
April was also time to get going in the vegetable garden. Sadly I think our skills growing crops may not transfer perfectly into the vegetable garden, despite the fact Rob wanted to dig the plot with the tractor and plough. He also got a little carried away at the planning stage and we now have a 9 section crop rotation each containing multiple crops within the different vegetable families. My evenings now consist of watering said vegetable garden and looking out for slugs! I’m particularly excited for the autumn raspberries we’ve just planted.
We’ve also got an exciting project coming up for Quoats – I have spent my free time sanding, Rob has been repairing brakes and we’ve been planning the kitchen – anyone guess what we’re getting ready for summer?!