May 2015 was a month full of practical challenges at the farm in Leicester.
Early in the month we had our second break-in on the farm. Whereas the first one involved a few small things being taken, this one involved almost £1000 of equipment being stolen from our green storage container. A heavy lock was forced and a chainsaw, water-pump, small milking unit were amongst expensive items taken.
We have been revisiting the whole security aspect on the farm. We have certain practical limitations such as having a full time person on site, something we are looking to address. Unfortunately, planning is required for temporary structures and it is a lengthy expensive process with the local Bosworth and Hinckley Council. We are exploring a few practical measures.
Around the same time, our cows broke into a neighbouring field when we went to collect the new poly-tunnel for growing vegetables. They must have remembered a spot from last year, we found them sitting under the wind turbines, a place they have previously visited. Perhaps this is not so bad, as they didn’t try to cross onto the fast roads.However, one of our younger oxen – Nimai – has learnt the art of walking over cattle grids…that is something to worry about. Little does he realise that if his leg gets stuck, he won’t be walking for months.
On a more positive note, Harry and Henry are being trained and we have a special ox-trainer coming in June to spend a week with the big boys – Gautam and Dharma, hopefully something to see on the Open Day.
On the planting front, we are getting ready for the ahimsa box scheme to come later in the year, 500kg of potatoes have been planted together with seeds sown for courgettes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, cabbages, pumpkins, tomatoes and much more.
Our new poly-tunnel (well, second hand sturdy frame) measuring 75 – 25 feet is finally up after two days of toil. We are getting ready for transplanting seedlings and need many hands. A team of volunteers will be going up every Sunday to help … please contact us if you feel inspired to join us … poly-tunnel photo gallery here
Nimai is known as our unicorn as he lost one horn and has only one to distinguish him from the rest of the herd. You can always tell when Nimai is unhappy about something because he lets you know in his own inimitable style. Whether it is geese on the pasture, a gate to a field he wants to go in being closed, or just somebody walking a dog on the other side of the fence, Nimai makes his displeasure clear.He will raise his head and look straight in the air, before bellowing out several moos as loud as his lungs will allow. He seems to take it as a personal insult when the world is not arranged exactly according to his wishes.
Nimai likes being brushed but hardly ever stands still while this is being done. He is usually constantly on the move while grazing, so brushing him normally takes twice as long as for any other member of the herd.