Looking ahead to sunnier days, we'll start harvesting as soon as the dew is off the crops and the combine has had its daily service, which involves cleaning air filters, checking oil and greasing all the bearings. Then we'll continue harvesting until at least 10 pm, sometimes working into the early hours.
News for September 2008
Sep '08 15
Sep '08 10
The farm animals tend to react to the rain in different ways. For example, the lambs have been wandering up and down the hedgerows with their heads down, bottoms to the wind, trying to get some shelter. They are not putting on as much weight as they usually do at this time of year but this will change when the sun comes out. The cows have been collecting quite a lot of mud on their feet which means more cleaning in the milking parlour for us! And the pigs simply take shelter when it rains and come out again when it stops - which seems quite sensible really!
Sep '08 5
With all this rain our milling grains, such as wheat and rye which are largely used for bread making, can be affected and in particular the quality of the starch, which forms most of the flour. The quality of the grain is checked using a Hagberg test which measures the potential quality of the dough. In a dry sunny harvest the Hagberg number is high which means the grain has the potential to produce a good elastic dough, but when it's wet like this it starts to think it's back in the ground as a seed again and results in inferior dough....and bread.