So, our journey on how to create a Wildflower Meadow begins…(thanks for BBOWT – Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust – for their help and advice on how to do this)
Step one – cut the hay (and get rid of it!)
Every June (normally on the Glastonbury Weekend) we have a party – Ross calls it ‘Parklife Festival’ (what else do you do when you own a field…) and every year it’s a bit ‘touch and go’ as to whether we’ll be able to get the hay cut in time: 2019 was no exception! On Friday 28th June, just as the first of our friends were arriving, Graham the Farmer was still cutting the long (and thankfully dry!) grass. So if you’ve never watched hay being made it’s worth a viewing – it’s really quite mesmerising – first the hay is cut and left in piles for a couple of days, then it’s stirred each day for 3 days to make sure it’s all dry, then the cool combine comes along and forms it into bales, then finally it’s all built into a pile – tada – our own hay stack to play with – step one on how to create a wildflower meadow
Unfortunately, Graham, the local farmer who had cut and taken the hay for himself for years, decided that this was the year he didn’t want it – challenge number one – what to do with 327 bales of hay! Actually we’re having a family competition on who can sell the most – Ross (our favoured Drone) is currently winning with his handmade signs on the side of our road, I’m (not very close) second with a Facebook post and Felix is a close third – he has a friend with a horse. In fact most of our sales have come from guinea pig and rabbit owners who want just the one bale – this make take some time…(anyone want any hay – a bargain at only £2.50 per bale – we have nowhere to store it!)
Update (now writing this in February) we’ve sold the hay! (Ross won) we sold to people for: hedgehogs, Llamas, guinea pigs rabbits and then building an outdoor fitness centre (thanks Fitness At The Farm) and a Church for a church summer activity camp! The pic shows the stationery (and switched off!) farm machinery being investigated by Jazzy.
The pic shows Bella the lab and Jazzy the ragdoll playing by the hay (no use to The Bees at the mo but they’ll love it next year)