Life on the farm with Frances Graham

Christmas. Most people think of it as a rest and a break from work, but for us and every other farmer all the stock was still to feed and water even on Christmas day when everyone is wanting to open their presents.

Thursday, 4th January 2018, 1:30 pm
Luckily for farmers Christmas Day didnt bring any snow

I didn’t manage to get a lie in as I had to get all the cows fed before the presents were opened, luckily at home they didn’t get up so early so I got them all done in time.

My Dad was held up by my little sisters who also got up early but for one reason only, to unwrap the presents. Once all the present opening had happened it was time to feed the sheep.

Luckily there wasn’t any snow nor was it frosty so the sheep were left to fend on the allotments as there was plenty of picking up there for them.

Only our Masham ewes have some silage as they are down in the pastures with less to eat.

All the sheep got their pot ale syrup (a by product from whisky) like they do every morning.

Typically, when we all think things are going really well we look back at one packet of ewes got out are were getting spoilt on some green grass, which was been kept for the hoggs when they come back from winter grazing down the dale.

So I whizzed over with my dog Fly to get them out and move them to a different field, so we could fix the fence the next day when there was slightly more time, as dinner was fast approaching.

After we had had our lovely Christmas dinner and a bit of an easier afternoon it got back round to feeding the cows again. Someone said the other day that they were pleased to have to go out and feed up, to burn off that Christmas dinner before the night of eating sweets and the next day of another dinner.

On Boxing day I did what I normally do every year and go moling, I even got my Dad to come and help me have a mad attack with them, best way to burn some dinner off!

We set the traps before dinner and then after dinner I went back and we had got four moles, so we were both happy. Just a shame it has come frosty now and with snow on the way it might just put a hold on them for a while.

We have recently been fencing for someone.

We have fenced some bits off around gills for them to be planted with trees, to help prevent erosion.

I am not convinced that it is going to work as where these trees are to be planted is a very wild part and there are no trees at the height that we are fencing. It is for part of a stewardship scheme which most farmers are in in the uplands.

They have to do it as they will lose their payment if they didn’t. I just wondered who came up with these crazy ideas, whether who came up with them had ever actually been to where they are wanting these trees to be planted.

It is very much like the government over Brexit, none of those ministers are interested in what farmers actually need and most of them have only been in the job for a year and have had nothing to do with farming in the past so how can such like people know what farmers actually want. Hopefully they will see sense before it is too late. ( everyone needs to eat)

I would like to thank everyone for all their comments on my writing in here and thank the Nidderdale Herald for letting me write in, I never realised how many people would actually read it.

So Happy Christmas and I hope that 2018 is going to be a good year for everyone.