Farm Update- August 2020

Hello! 

It’s August, can you believe it? While this year has thrown us all into a state of the unknown, we have still been incredibly busy here at the farm. I have finally been able to take a minute to sit down and give you all an update.

We started of the year with a few markets and a great response to the products we were offering. While the crop from last year was affected by the dry conditions we were still able to produce our minced garlic, garlic salt and garlic powder for our customers to enjoy. 

Unfortunately the markets were short lived due to COVID-19 and we converted to online sales only. We are extremely grateful for all the support and sales we have received. We have sold out of whole bulbs and minced garlic for the season but we still have some garlic salt and garlic powder available in the shop.

Garlic

On the garlic front we started preparing our garlic field in late February with the addition of well rotted horse manure to the soil. Turning it in before forming the garlic beds. This year we opted to use a weed gunnel matting over the beds to help with weed management. It was a huge effort working through the challenges, but we were able to get the beds all ready for planting.

Planting started mid April and continued through to late May. I haven’t done the exact math but i think we are somewhere around 19,000 cloves in the ground, all hand planted.

This year has been completely different to last. The rainfall this year has made a huge difference to our garlic and thus far i haven’t had to water our crop. Touch wood the rainfall continues nicely through spring. The crop is looking healthy and  is receiving fertilising fortnightly.

We had a bore dug in April to supply the farm with some more reliable water. The bore had to be dug down 120m….yes 120m down to hit water. I am currently organising the bore pump, tank and irrigation system which thankfully I haven’t had to rush into because we have had enough rain to keep the garlic happy.

The farm currently has 1/4 acre in garlic. Their were plans to put 15 ha into Ryegrass. We managed to get 11 ha planted but we missed the boat on the other 4 ha as we ran out of time. We didn’t have the right equipment to prepare the paddock before it got too wet. My hope is to now prepare it for a summer crop which we will plant in late October and turn it back into the soil in feb-march next year. The 11 Ha that is in Ryegrass will be cut for hay later this year.

Cows

You might be aware that other than garlic we also run Galloway cows on our farm. We currently have 2 Miniature Belted Galloway steers, 3 Standard Galloway cows and three calves. We don’t have a big herd so our need for a bull is limited and keeping one can be troublesome so we decided to Artificially Inseminate (AI) our cows instead. Like IVF; AI uses hormone injections to stimulate the cows cycle and then sperm is inserted into the cervix.

During the process we found out that one of the cows was already in calf when she arrived at the farm and we are now expecting her to give birth late September-October.

The other two cows were inseminated and after 6 weeks we had them checked via ultrasound. One of the girls is in calf and will give birth in late March our other girl unfortunately didn’t fall pregnant and we will start the AI process with her again this week. Fingers Crossed she gets into calf this time round.

Thanks for reading, We hope to see you back here soon.

Bye for now

Amanda xx