On the Farm
February on the farm is all about getting ready for the spring. As a livestock farm we want to use all of our nutrient rich cow manure as natural fertiliser for crops we plan to grow but the farmers are not allowed to spread manure on the fields during the winter to prevent runoff into rivers. We can restart towards the end of February so at the end of the month we will be naturally fertilizing the fields where we plan to grow maize for the cows winter feed.
In the meantime we are getting the other fields that we started cultivating in the autumn ready to be drilled with seed. We don’t grow a lot of crops, some barley for the cows to eat but we do reseed some of our grass fields each year.
In the autumn we spread manure on to the fields and ploughed it in. Outside the dairy shop we have the old horse drawn plough that was used on the farm when my grandfather started.
Farmer Nick now uses a reversable 3 furrow plough on the tractor, our arable farming neighbours use equipment more that 3 times the size. The plough turns over the top 30cm of soil burying the manure and leaving furrow lines in the field. Our heavy clay soil bakes hard like bricks in the summer and these are left through the winter for the weather to soften.
Now we are in February, the next stage of cultivation is under way. We use a power harrow to go over the ploughed land. The power harrow has spikes/tines which rotate and break up the top layer of the soil and the a roller on the back crumbles and smooths it to create a seed bed ready to be sown.
The seagulls love following the tractor when we do cultivations as moving the soil uncovers lots of things for them to eat.
The latest addition to the Mint Family on the farm is the delightful Viennetta. Not quite as pure white as some of her wider family, but definitely a mint and Chelsea’s new baby. Viennetta is going to be halter trained so she can come out and see people and go to agricultural shows, so we will be following her journey through the year. At the moment there is nothing she likes more than a good chin rub and cuddle.
In the Dairy
February’s product of the month is Pouring Yogurt.
Pouring Yogurt – What is it?
Our pouring yogurt is a stirred yogurt with a very sharp tangy taste to it. It is made with fresh whole milk and a traditional starter culture which uses 2 yogurt cultures Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. Bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
The milk and cultures are incubated overnight and then chilled before stirring to create a smooth thick but pourable natural yogurt.
Pouring Yogurt – What should I eat it with?
If you like a sharp yogurt then this can be eaten or drunk on its own.
It works particularly well with muesli, granola and fresh fruit where the sweetness balances the sharpness of the yogurt and can be also be used for cooking or stirred into curry.
Anything else about it?
On the farm we call it Orange Top because it used to have an orange cap but it is changing to White as our suppliers no longer stock the orange tops.
Want to try it? If you didn’t get a chance to pick up a sample bottle and you still want to try it sample shots will be available on request Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February.