Make hay while…

People are often surprised when they find out that we have 170 acres of rolling farmland within the M25.

One of the many advantages of all this land is that it allows us to produce most of the food that we need to sustain our livestock. This week we’ve been busy following the advice of the old adage ‘Make hay while the sun shines’.

This year, we’ve cut four of our large fields for hay and are busy filling up our barn with the new bales. The hay will provide fodder for our cows and sheep during the winter months when there is less grass around or snow on the ground. We have over 100 sheep and a herd of 15 Red Poll cows, so we have to work hard to keep them all fed.

The process of making hay, which is dried cut grass, takes four to five days and the hay must be completely dry before it is put into bales. That’s why it’s important to do it when the sun shines!

We think it’s an arduous process but we do rely on our tractors to make it easier. On some farms, like Monkton Wylde in Dorset, farmers still make their hay using traditional methods. The grass is all cut by hand using scythes and turned using pitchforks, which must be hard-going in these baking hot temperatures.

In September, we’re going to go back to our roots by running an Introduction to Scything. Keep an eye on our Events page for more details soon.