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Since March 2020 we have been posting a regular update of what is happening on the farm.  Here are some of the things we have covered. For our earlier  entries, look at our "Past farm diary films" page

 

  Shimpling Park  Spring 2022 

It's lambing time on the farm and everything is springing into life.  The Autumn-sown crops are motoring and we are getting on with planting the fun stuff including lentils and chia!  We are sowing the next fertility building clover crop under the growing grains and alongside having loads of visitors on the farm we were able to finally open our memorial to the 233 US airmen who lost their lives flying from our farm during WWII

coming up....

The farm is looking unbelieviably beautiful and full of flowers and insects.  Hopefully lots of sunshine in June to plump the gain as things begin to ripen. Fingers crossed. 

 

 

Shimpling Park Spring 2022

It's lambing time on the farm and everything is springing into  life. The Autumn sown crops are motoring and we are getting on with planting the fun stuff including chia and lentils. We are also planting the fertility building crops under the growing grains and our great team take care while we visit Uzbekistan where we discover they are growing wheat as a garden ornament and they have some of the tastiest lamb receipes ever!  We finally open the memorial built to all those who died on our airfield during WWII. 

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Shimpling Park March 2022

It's two years since we started these video diarys from the farm. Two full harvests have passed and we have really enjoyed the conversation with our friends, neighbours and students near and far. Onwards on a busy farm, March is upon us with rain, heatwave, gales and snow.  The spring-sown crops are finally in the ground and the sheep are getting ready for lambing. Thank you for your feedback. 

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Shimpling Park  February 2022

Storm Eunice and the winds prove too much for some of our most lovely trees but the agile farm team turn into tree surgoens and clear the roads, paths and fields.  The grain goes off on its journey - some even to make beer in Holland and John tours the South West to talk about different ways that you can farm without chemical inputs.

 

 

 

 

Shimpling Park January 2022

Christmas weaths have been made.  The rams have done their work and the ewes have been scanned. The woodland coppicing is underway and there is more new treeplanting going on. The Wildlife Trust and the soil samplers visit. Sadly so do the deer. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shimpling Park November 2021

The rams are hard at work making the next generation of lambs and we are raddling them so we will know which ewes are due to give birth. John has been away to Europe to share ideas about reducing tillage in organic farming systems and talking about how we could work towards locking up more carbon in our soils. The Country Trust are running some school visits focussing on understanding more about the role of a farm in climate change

issues. 

Shimpling Park October 2021

We are preparing the fields for next year's crop and working to incorporate lots of organic matter into the soils to feed the new plants and lock up carbon. And we have harvested the first UK organic crop of chia seed. The new rams have arrived and the ewes are getting ready for the mating season. (Warning: brief mating images included.) and the school visits are noisy and fun.

Shimpling Park September 2021

After a very wet harvest the sun finally came out and we managed to get the harvest finished.  The ewes have been sheered and moved accross the road to their winter pastures. The lambs are ready to go to the butcher and we are getting ready for the new farming year.

 

 

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Shimpling Park August 2021

A busy August on the farm weaning the lambs, moving all the ewes around and buying some new rams at the auction. On the cereal side we are well underway with harvesting oats and beans and barley although the rain has stopped play in one of the dampest harvests on record.

 

 

 

Shimpling Park Farm       July 2021

 

Its show time in the farming world so lots of chat about soil heatth, whoistic and sustainable farming systems and of course some machinery.  The weeds keep growing and its been a terrible year for hay. But we finally got a holiday even if it was to our own farm and harvest has started

Shimpling Park Farm   June 2021

Real live visitors are back. School children, farm walks, rural commentators and journalists. Crops (and weeds) are growing by the second so we are weeding and hoeing and racing towards harvest. The ewes need to be shorn and the farm dog has given birth. 

 

 

Shimpling Park Farm    May 2021

It has been cold and dry but the last of the lambs are born, the crops are growing and the wild spring flowers are out in abundance.

 

 

 

 

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Shimpling Park April 2021

 

Our crops planted in the Autumn are growing - as are the weeds - and we are racing to get our Spring-sown crops in the ground. Lambing is well under way here in Shimpling.

 

 

 

Farm Diary - one year on 

We started this Shimpling Park Farm Diary because the Covid 19 pandemic meant we had to cancel all the school parities.  Little did we know that a year later we would still be  posting.  We have loved the engagement with all those keen to see what is happening on the farm.  We are amazed how many different people come to the farm every week. We are sure that we are seeing climate changes in action and more than ever we are hugely proud of our amazing farm team. 

No 31:  March 10th 2021

 

 

The spring drilling is underway and the ewes are reaching their time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No. 30 February 14th 2021

IIt's time to scan the sheep to see what lambs we are expecting and we are finally able to get on the fields in the extreme freeze. Get it right, and the frosts will help us get good seedbeds and kill a few weeds on the way.  Lots of  Spring seed is arriving which seems a little optomistic in this rain!

No. 29  January 2021

IWe hope all the ewes are pregnant. They are certainly eating lots of haylage that we made in the summer! The barn owls are hunting and we have finished planting 50 acres of agroforestry amid lots of rain and lots of snow here at Shimpling Park Farm.

 

 

No. 28. Christmas 2020

IIt's quiet on the farm. We are counting and photographing birds, feeding sheep and preparing for the New Year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No 27. 18.12.20

IIt is very muddy and wet at Shimpling Park Farm so no field work is being done but after years of planning, we have started planying our Agroforestry project where crops and trees will grow side by side in the fields together.  3500 trees have arrived and we are planting hard!

 

No 26. 15.11.20

The teasers come out of the field and the rams go in. The fat lambs are being sorted and the breeding ones kept. Rain has stopped play with the sowing and the weather means we are ploughing in tandem. 

 

 

No. 25  31.10.20

The lambs are fattening and going to slaughter. The rain stops play with the sowing  and we decide to experiment with growing two crops together to limit the risk of crop failure. 

 

 

 

No 24 - 17.10.20

The lambs are fattening and going to slaughter. The rain stops play with the sowing  and we decide to experiment with growing two crops together to limit the risk of crop failure. 

No 23 - 3.10.20

 

A World champion sheerer gives Cameron a few tips while the arable team get on with some Autumn sowing.

 

No 22 - 18.9.20

 

Harvest gets finished and John and Robert go shopping for rams.

 

No. 21  - 30.8.30

John shows us round his combine and explains why it is now urgent that we get the barley and oats into the barn. 

 

No. 20  15.8.20

Finaly harvest starts. We try out some new machinery and the heavens open!

 

 

No. 19  26.7.20

Discovering so many butterflies on the farm and  getting ready for harvest

 

 

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