Photos from the Farm – A muddy Autumn

Barley Seeds ready for planting

A photographic update from Kestle Farm, highlighting once again the terrible weather conditions that we’re facing, along with many other farmers across the UK, Europe and the US. We were hoping for a drier Autumn but it hasn’t happened and the deluge of rain has continued, making it tough for planting new crops. A hard year for everyone.

Fertilizer ready to go but we’re unable to plant anything due to poor conditions

and here’s the conditions we’re up against…Mud!! Not good for planting anything…

Richard Lobb out feeding the ewes. Lambing is due to start soon…

Cattle are currently being kept inside due to adverse conditions, the rain has been pretty relentless

Richard out in the jeep checking up on things under a very dark sky!

on the upside, the savoys growing out in the veg field are looking pretty good!

lovely colours in the veg field, sprouts, kale & savoys amongst others

the cold wet conditions have hit the swede crop hard, lots of poor specimins

Richard out checking up on things in the veg field. Usually a lovely view from here today it has disappeared in the drizzle

Beautiful french partridge have been reared on the farm

here’s Ian Lobb, leading a group of students out in the field. The weather’s never to bad for education!

A poor harvest

 

Have a look at the above photo. Look at the difference between the 2011 harvest and the 2012 harvest of wheat. See the difference in colour, size, texture and overall quality. It’s not good is it? The result of a cold wet spring and a very wet summer has resulted in the worst harvest in a hundred years. This is just a tiny example here on Kestle Farm that is representative of a much wider problem. Richard Lobb outlines the financial damages to this years harvest here in the transcript:
“Last year (2011) I had 3.5 tons of wheat to the acre. This year (2012) I’ve had under 2 tons of wheat to the acre. I only grow 40 acres of wheat, so I’m a small farm really but if I’m a ton and a half down, 40 acres times a ton and a half equals 60 tons. £200 a ton is what it’s making at the moment so that’s £12,000 gone from my sales just on the wheat crop. 
Then I’ve got another 50 acres of barley which is half a ton down on yield this year compared to last so that’s another 25 tons of corn I haven’t got so that’s another £5,000 lost. That’s just one year to another, all my costs are identical, I’ve sprayed it and planted it, combined it, everything’s just the same it’s just the yield that’s different.”

 

 

April Showers

There’s been some fairly hefty showers around, laden with raindrops and hail stones. It made for some atmospheric shots one evening last week at Kestle farm. The logo tree field is currently planted with potatoes under those huge furrows. The clear north westerly air provided lovely views north to the clay district, otherwise known as the Cornish Alps! And yes, I did get splattered with chilly rain whilst out in the field…

Hello Spring!

Oh what a beautiful spring day! High cloud gave way to warm hazy sun this afternoon casting a gorgeous light across the land. Here’a few snaps from Kestle Farm from late afternoon, 21st March.

 

November Lambs

Some gorgeous little lambs are now arriving on the farm. Cornwall’s mild climate makes lambing this time of year possible as grass continues to grow through the winter. The lambs can then feed on the pastures and meadows along with the Ewe’s milk. They’re Polled Dorset Horns, a traditional West Country breed that are able to lamb at any time throughout the year as well as having lovely wool.

 

Late Summer Sun

A glorious evening at Kestle Farm, grazing sheep illuminated by the soft late summer sunshine.

Farm Tours

There’ll be free farm tours running from Lobbs Farm Shop on the 16th, 23rd & 30th August (all tuesdays if you were wondering). Not much notice for today’s tour I’m afraid! But get yourself along to the next couple for an interesting ride around the farm where you can meet the animals & learn how the farm works. Given the lovely scenery it’s also a nice opportunity to take in the beautiful trees and landscapes. Please book in advance on 01726 844411.

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