A tricky Spring for farmers so far.
Rain, rain, rain has been the theme of 2018 and it isn’t making things easy for any British farmers. The cattle look set to have to stay in for longer and we are struggling to get tractors onto the fields. Most of the first applications of fertiliser have been spread on our spelt, wheat, oilseed rape and grass during a (very!) brief dry spell but we haven’t yet got any fungicides on at all.
We are fortunate not to have a huge quantity of spring drilling to do, but we do have fava beans to drill as well as a soya trial – a first for Whatton. Looking at the fields today, the thought of drilling any crops seems a remote possibility. If things dry up we will be very busy...fingers crossed it happens soon!
Whilst forced into inaction on the fields, we have kept ourselves busy developing our new products. Our recipes for both Whatton Farm Stir Fry and Sunday Roast Rapeseed Oil have been perfected and the seed has been pressed. Soon this gloriously yellow nutty oil will be bottled and on the shelves of local farm shops. We have also begun selling our spelt flour to an amazing sour dough bakery on the Isle of Man (#noabakehouse) and bulk quantities of our de hulled Spelt are now flowing into mill, apparently destined for a large retailer. Hopefully within a couple of weeks our spelt flour will be for sale in 1kg bags in farm shops too. A very promising start to our new venture, but we have a long way to go before we are marketing and selling all our produce directly to consumers.
We are also feeling full of beans about our ideas around bean snacks and bean beer. Rather low key kitchen-based experiments are working well and we are trying to develop ways of producing these products on a rather larger scale.
The gardens at Whatton House #whatton_gardens are looking much more spring-like than the weather and are now open for summer – www.whattonhouseandgardens.co.uk – so do come and visit us.
Finally, things must be changing on the farm as I am writing a blog instead of driving a tractor or wrestling a cow. Who would have thought it?! Exciting times for Whatton Farm.