I am writing this blog from the British Virgin Islands in total remoteness where the nearest shop is a 50 minute boat ride away, however I hastened to add not because it is on the spoils of a good year on the farm last year, because it wasn’t, but because we are lucky enough to be staying in friend’s house out here. We left beautiful Wales shrouded in grey, so I can’t deny how lovely it is to feel the warm sun beating down on you every day.
It seems odd because the harsh winter promised to us by all the papers in the autumn has so far never materialised. The net result is that the ewes have obviously benefited from an abundance running up to Christmas and the scanning results showing how many lambs they are carrying were the best ones ever with the entire flock scanning out at nearly two lambs per ewe. We have to feed organic mineral licks at this time of year as the grass is deficient in minerals and this has proved very popular with the ewes who are tucking into them as though there is no tomorrow. As many of the cattle as we can get inside are in, which helps stop the land being damaged in the wet conditions and they are being fed on silage and a small amount of organic grain.
We had the grandchildren staying after Christmas and we all went to bounce under in the old slate queries at Ffestiniog for a fun packed day. I consider myself extremely fortunate to live in an area with so many activities on our doorstep, old and young, we all had a ball, before getting back to the real work on the farm, planning for the year ahead.
Following the festive rush it was then time to reflect back on the 2015 Christmas turkey and geese campaign, which ended up being a great success, it’s onwards and upwards and now the planning has started for this year. Although the wholesale aspect of the business has gone fairly quiet, which is normal for the month of January, the bistro and the farm shop have remained busy.
We hosted a successful running event here at Rhug at the latter end of January, which again was an extremely successful fun day. I thoroughly enjoy hosting such events here at Rhug, with the young and old getting together to compete in numerous categories.
Moving onto another aspect of our business, our hydro schemes are all working well, soured on by plenty of water, one of the benefits of a rather wet month!