What an early start to the winter and the snow keeps coming... As regular blog readers will know, Ben's (the farmer) cattle and sheep remain outdoors year round. With the minor exception of this years calves, which are currently indoors as Ben weans them from their mothers. The rest of Ben's Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle have now developed hardy winter coats, which will keep them warm through the harshest of English winters.
Back in the office we are all wrapping up. The portacabin is not the warmest building on the planet, but thermals, multiple layers, hot drinks and lots of bodies working, all help to keep us warm. And so far, we have not reached the cold temperatures of last winter. Meanwhile, the Shingler lads are still working outdoors on the renovation of our Old Dairy.
As you can see the roof is completely off and those walls which were unsafe have been dismantled, to be rebuilt. But as pretty as the snow is, we are all hoping for warmer weather soon to allow our walls to go back up! We are using traditional lime mortar on our Old Dairy building, in keeping with the traditional farm and the old bricks, However these materials need warmer temperatures to work - so we have our fingers crossed that the cold spell will soon lift.
The next job will be to lay the concrete base for the new farm butchery (right), but even this modern material needs temperatures well above zero to work best!
We are young and determined people assisted by over hundreds of volunteers who have come together to ensure this beautiful traditional countryside is saved. We are increasing the rich biodiveristy of the farm and helping to educate people about the pasture to plate cycle. Demonstrating that small-scale farming connected to the local community can offer a viable way of life for generations to come.