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The farm through the seasons – August

Combining oil seed rape

Time to sit and reflect back on August, and we can finally share with you that harvest is nearly done! Just the spring barley to go and then the farm team can fully celebrate, but not relax! The long hours and constant hum of farm machinery will continue.

August was a difficult time of weather watching and ensuring we could get the timings right to get the combine out on the fields. This wasn’t the only challenge for the farm team - many of the crops were affected by the wind and the heavy rain, which caused some crops to lay over on their sides. It’s the combines job to thresh and separate the grain, and collect it in the tank, while the chaff and stalks are expelled from an exit pipe at the back of the combine to fall back onto the field. The grain from the combine will be emptied into trailers pulled by a tractor.

The trailers return to the farm where the grain is tipped into a heap within a specialised grain store, although the weather has been so wet we have been passing all the grain and seed through our crop dryers this harvest, and it would seem it has been running 24/7! This will remove the moisture from the inside of the grain. If they are stored without drying, they may spoil or get attacked by insects, pests, bacteria or funghi.

Once a field has been fully combined we will be back out with a hay baler on the tractor to wrap the straw into tight round bales. It’s then back out with a tractor and a flat bed trailer to collect them, ready to be stacked and stored for cattle feed and bedding across the year.

During harvest we have been planning and preparing for the following season. Post-harvest the farm team will spend time nourishing soil health on the farm ready for drilling the new crops which consist of rapeseed, wheat, barley and stubble turnips. The first to be planted are oil seed rape and stubble turnips, with the latter being used for sheep grazing.

A big thanks to our farm team for their long hours and hard work over the year, especially during a labour-intensive harvest. We do wonder what keeps the team going. But for us all it’s the satisfaction of seeing the fruits of our labour - our products being enjoyed by every person who buys a bottle or a jar. We love being part of every step of the journey from field to fork.

We hope you continue to enjoy the fruits of our labour this harvest and beyond.

combining oil seed rape

Combining our oil seed rape crop

Seed tipping in the shed

Seed tipping into our storage sheds

Bales ready for collecting

Bales ready for collecting

Straw bales loaded

Straw bales loaded and ready for storing back at the farm