We are happy to announce we now have a good stock of Ahimsa Gouda-style Semi-hard Cheese and Ahimsa Natural Spring Blossom Honey available for mailorder. Cheese is being made mostly from the milk of our Guernsey cow Lily, with some batches from Violet’s milk. Over the next 4-5 summer months we will also have increased milk available so we are beginning to work our way through our milk waiting list – giving priority to members/cow sponsors and then to those who have been waiting longest.
News from the Farm
Rather than a flaming June this year is turning out to be rather a soggy one, but at least we don’t have a drought like last year. We desperately needed the rain for the health of our pasture; unfortunately it came too late to sufficiently soften the ground to enable us to plough. The plan was to plough two troublesome fields, leave it while the crows gobbled up the leatherjackets – grubs – and reseed in late summer with a delicious variety of organic herbs and grasses for our cows to enjoy. We were thwarted by the lack of rain as ploughing would have merely produced a field of bricks of no use to man nor beast. Now we have to wait until the autumn, which is rather frustrating, but that is nature.
Meanwhile we have been working with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust to see how we can best enhance the biodiversity of our land. They carried out a survey and found the biodiversity had increased in other fields since the cows had been grazing there. We were also delighted that the Trust were able to confirm the presence of water voles in stretches of our river. They are critically endangered after their numbers were decimated when mink were released into the wild and are now a conservation priority. See this fantastic footage of the little fellows here. It is thought that otters in other parts of the river scare the mink off and thus protect the water voles. Following the Trust’s advice we will also be putting up boxes for barn owls and bats.
There has been some very exciting recent developments at the farm. The four expected calves have all safely arrived. So now we have a bull calf – Jambo – son of Rockstar; Cocoa, daughter of Violet; Florence, daughter of Darlia, and born last Sunday, Jagannatha, son of Hot Raisins.
Mothers and offspring are all doing well and already the youngsters are making friends. Rosie cow instantly fell in love with Jambo and has been doing a great deal of calf care, while Rockstar has continued her busy life as a herd Sloane Ranger. She pops in from time to time to make sure everything is okay and off she goes again. Even when Jambo is suckling from her Rosie stands by supervising. Please come and say hello to the new calves and their mums and enjoy a vegetarian lunch with us … New Calf Welcome (June Open Day) – Saturday 29th June / 12-4pm … tell us you are coming here
Seymour in the wars
… seems to have sustained some sort of back injury and the vet is researching physiotherapy / chiropracty for cows – this is something that is more usual for treating horses, so we will have to see what he suggests.
Retired cow Kamala had had a flare up of an old infection, but has now been signed off by the vet.
Farm organically for heaven’s sake!
Although we are pleased that this year our bees have now produced some delicious honey, we were devastated that ten of our bee families in hives on a neighbour’s land were killed after someone sprayed pesticide locally. If they had sprayed at night the bees would have stood a chance. As it was they sprayed during the day and our bees died from acute poisoning. Furious and upset hardly touches our feelings and we are astounded that these toxic chemicals are still available. They should be completely banned and the companies profiting from them wound up. Farm organically for heaven’s sake! It is better and safer for us and for the environment on which we depend. When you think the world is facing a huge biodiversity crisis with as many as a million species facing extinction, using these toxic products is just plain irresponsible.
Anyway, here’s hoping you all have a great summer. We hope we might see you and your friends and families at an open day. Either this Saturday to welcome the new calves, or at the one after that, which will be all about butterflies and moths. We have the Chair of East Midlands Butterfly Conservation coming to talk to us at the end of July. As usual please register on the website so that we know how many to cater for.
The Ahimsa Team