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Grass at last

This morning was the last morning of feeding hay to the cows, this evening farmer J doesn't know what to do with himself. It's been five months of morning and evening feeding, the calves had their real taste of grass when the electric fence was taken down and they were called to the gate. The first turn out onto new pasture usually makes for a lovely sight as they get very excited running and kicking their heels and waggling their heads in the grass but today it was very subdued they just walked towards us, once in the field heads were down to start munching away, no running or going bonkers.

Each year around the 10th April they are let out to the fields, the tell tell signs of heads pushing through the barbed wire to eat a few blades of grass as they poke through. Yesterday the smell and sight got the better of one as she jumped fence into the hay field and was a real pain to get back in. It was time to let them out as it would only be a matter of days before the herd broke through the fence as the grass is always greener on the other side.

Hopefully no more escaping they are happy to munch, munch, munch for now.


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Demounting a hanger

Farmer J has brought a second hand hanger. It's an extension to be added on to the farms hanger which  up to last year housed the cows in 2/3rds and hay in the other 1/3. As we now have more cattle and calves the hay space is being converted to house the cattle giving them full access to it.
Only thing is the extension has to be dismantled (and erected when planning permission is granted).

He managed to take down the road crash barriers on the side of it but need my gophering skills today to start taking off the roof. Cold, foggy and damp it was a bit chilly standing around however we did have a visitor, a old lady hunt dog. Once fed and watered (doesn't everyone carry dog food in their car or is it just me?) she found a draught free spot between the hay bales to have a sleep before being called back to her hunter once hunting had finished.

So a 1/3 of the roof is down with the rest to be completed on Monday ready for the metal structure to follow.

Laguepie chestnut fair

Yesturday was he annual chestnut fair at Laguepie, a small village in the Tarn et Garonne. The sun shone which made for an enjoyable time amberling round the market stalls, drinking coffee and eating hot chestnuts. Traditional dances and muscicians put on a display. In previous years there has been a mushroom display showing edible, toxic and fatal fungi in appropriate coloured boxes of green , red and black (leathel ones). I imagine no mushrooms could be found as it has been dry here for a while.

The many varieties of apples grown locally along with walnuts and chestnuts were laid out on tressel tables, so many different types of apples were displayed. As well as chestnuts for sale there was apple juice being made, which at this time of year many villages and organisations invite you to take your non treated apples along to have them pressed into juice for a small fee. We didn't stay for the set menu lunch, each course is chestnut based so you really have to love your chestnuts.