Riverside's Weekly Newsletter
As most of you will know, Northwich has been hit by heavy rainfall over the last week. It was said that a months’ worth of rain fell in 30 hours, causing a lot of the centre of Northwich and surrounding areas to the river to flood. Although we are right next to the river it is usually a couple of feet down the bank so can’t always be seen from the farm. However, as you can see from the pictures below it has risen a significant amount and flooded all the surrounding fields. Luckily, we knew that the rain was coming, and all our livestock have been moved to higher ground, closer to the farm.
Meet our Jack & Jenny, the two resident donkeys that we have here on the farm. There are 10 years old working donkeys but have only been with us since May this year. Donkeys are very social and like to interact with people and other animals and will form unlikely friendships. Through the summer they were housemates with our little pygmy goats. Donkeys are not only stubborn but are also very cheeky which is why you have to be carefully around them as they can become very nibbly when they think food is near. They were tamed more than 5,000 years ago and were used to carry materials, plow fields and draw up water.
Autumn is here! And last week we experienced the Autumn Equinox, this is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, and is seen as the first day of the Autumnal season. This is an important time for us here as we spend the next couple of months preparing the farm for winter. This means getting all the sheds ready for the cows to live in over the winter. Making sure all the haylage is in and stored correctly to feed the cattle throughout the cold months. And lastly making sure that any seeds for next year are planted before the ground gets to wet. So full steam ahead in the run up to Christmas.
The best time to plough is in September/October when the ground is dry. So therefore, it has been a very busy week getting the fields ploughed and ready for reseeding, before the heavy downpours started. The main purpose of ploughing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil and bring fresh nutrients to the surface, while burying weeds and the remains of previous crops and allowing them to decay. On our farm we grow organic grass, which will get turned into haylage the following year. We then use this haylage to feed our cattle whilst they are inside for the winter. The reason that we grow our own is because we are a certified organic farm, meaning the crops we grow are organic, making the cattle’s food organic and ultimately making the meat organic.
Meet our two pet emus Delta & Echo. They are 8 months old and have been hand reared here on the farm. Farmer Simon’s daughter, Anna, has previously raised chicks and guinea fowl, but decided this year we would have emus. They were bought as eggs and hatched in an incubator. Much to her parent’s delight they have been living in their house along side their two dogs until they were old enough to be live outside.
Fun facts about Emus:
- They are the second largest bird behind ostriches
- They can grow up to 2m tall
- Emus have two sets of eyelids, one to close their eyes and another to keep dust out.
Summer is almost over and the fairies will be settling down for the winter, but just before they do, we still have the fairy trail for one more week. It’s an interactive self-guided tour around the farm to visit all the different fairy houses and see if you can find not only some fairy friends but furry friends as well. The trail has been cleverly set up by Jessica from Crafting Corner and is only £3 for the booklet, which includes a special ribbon to tie onto the wishing gate.
Suitable for ages 2-100 years old!